Passenger @ Fly by Night, Fremantle (14/04/12)

The crowds outside the Fly by night were a clear indicator of the popularity of the amazing indie- folk band Passenger. The British band fronted by the charming Mike Rosenberg is fast making their name in the music world.

Having taken to the stage and collaborated with some of the most prominent names in music recently, everyone from Ed Sheeran, Kate Nash, Lior, Matt Corby to Jools Holland and Old Man River. Passenger defiantly is no stranger to a stage, and a room full of people.

He started off with some warm banter with the audience, as if he was talking to a group of mates, asking ‘you guys alright yeah?’ Performing the song The Last Unicorn , solo and acoustic, to start things off. He then welcomed his talented, five piece band to the stage with a roar from the audience.

His latest tour to promote the new album All The Little Lights has been travelling extensively all over Europe and Australia, and yet he still manages to pack such sincerity and enthusiasm in to every show, which gives the audience and fans such a sense that he is a really genuine ‘nice guy’.

Performing the well-known Caravan, the audience joined in on the whistling chorus and swayed in union to the upbeat song.

It’s no secret that Rosenberg loves to go busking in his spare time, taking to the streets on tour whenever he gets a chance. He has one of those voices that sound brilliant naturally, without any technical intervention.

Going solo, Rosenberg performed a little treat for the audience, and unplugged version of Simon and Garfunkel’s, The Sound of Silence, which went down well with the audience of young, and young at heart alike.

Rosenberg spoke with a genuine sincerity about his love of Fremantle, which really struck a chord with the locals, and he included some places in Fremantle in his songs.

It’s refreshing to see such a successful band be so grateful for their current success, thanking the audience after just about every song, they really appreciated the support the crowd was giving.

If Mike Rosenberg wasn’t fronting Passenger, I feel he may have tried his hand at stand-up comedy; his cheeky British humour went down well with the crowd, as he told jokes, and made remarks about British and Aussie slang.

The audience’s enthusiasm lifted when the band performed the comical song I hate, cheering out in agreement with the lyrics. Rosenberg apologised to any Cher fans in the audience, as the song takes a swipe at Cher’s plastic surgery.

With meaningful messages behind every song, you can feel the life stories unravelling before you, from a man who seems to be wise beyond his years, you get the vibe that he is an old soul who is sharing tales from his experiences.

Before the band played The Wrong Direction, Rosenberg assured the audience it had no association with the Boy band One Direction, to which the audience had a good laugh at.

You could feel the emotions coming through in each and every song, and even spot a few sneaky tissues coming out during the performance of Let her Go. The set list was well planned, with a mix of emotional songs, next to songs that got the crowd moving, and intervals of jokes thrown in, it made for a well-rounded gig, which was sure to please the fans.

The performance of the title track of the new album, All The Little Lights, was another crowd pleaser, accompanied with the simple yet captivating backdrop of fairy lights, and a massive mural of the album art.

Sharing the personal stories behind the songs, Rosenberg’s connection with the audience is a credit to him, and he is generous with the fans. Explaining the lyrics in his songs, and telling tales from his busking days, the band provided an intimate and very satisfying performance.

Everyone should have the pleasure of listening to such first-class music.