Passenger @ Orpheum Theatre – March 25th 2017

It had been several months since I attended a live show here in Vancouver, but I was thrilled to photograph and review Mike Rosenberg’s (best known by his stage name, Passenger) Vancouver show for the second time in about a year and a half. The opening band was Australian Indie-Rock band, The Paper Kites, who share a similar musical style and an overall great group. I didn’t make it to the venue in time to catch them – but hopefully next time.

Passenger began his set with “Somebody’s Love” off his most recent album Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea, which also is the name of the tour. His growing popularity was made obvious when he took the stage on Saturday night at The Orpheum and was cheered on by everyone in the crowd. This smooth and well-flowing song made the perfect start to the evening.

Despite his somewhat shy demeanor, he was well-engaged with the audience by cracking jokes, making the crowd laugh, and recounting his busking days back in the UK. I was thrilled to find out that he would be playing a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” which is a classic favorite of mine (and many others). His guitar-playing skills were perfect for the cover. I continue to be impressed by his ability to sing and play his song “27,” which is an upbeat number (not to mention a mouthful of lyrics!) I was also happy to hear “Beautiful Birds” for the first time live (the official music video was recently released to the world and is beautifully animated). Along with the rest of the evening attendees, I was awaiting the highly anticipated “Let Her Go” performance, especially since I did not catch him playing it when he was last in town. Unsurprisingly predictable (because the song is so well loved by everyone) it was incredibly well-received by an enthusiastic crowd singing along and hanging onto every lyric.

Apart from hearing the song that put Passenger on the map, his choice encore, “Home” may be his most beautiful yet, and this somewhat heartbreaking song has the potential to bring someone to tears (at least it made me emotional the first time I heard it!) and was a fitting one to close the evening with. He also continuously praised Vancouver for being such a wonderful crowd. I hope to catch Passenger for a potential third performance next time he’s in town.

Show set-list

  1. Somebody’s Love
  2. Life’s for the Living
  3. If You Go
  4. 27
  5. Anywhere
  6. Everything
  7. Travelling Alone
  8. The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
  9. Young as the Morning Old as the Sea
  10. I Hate
  11. Let Her Go
  12. Beautiful Birds
  13. Ain’t No Sunshine (Bill Withers cover)
  14. Scare Away The Dark
  15. Home
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