Review: Passenger at the O2 Apollo

  • Remarkable vocals and a magnificently talented set impressed last Wednesday
  • Former busker welcomed Manchester to his newest tour: Young as the morning, old as the sea

Singer-songwriter Passenger left Manchester completely captivated last Wednesday night, after splendidly playing to a sold-out O2 Apollo.

The 2014 BRIT award nominee, Michael David Rosenberg, AKA Passenger, played 16 songs; a broad mix from all three of his studio albums, including his newest which shares the same name as the tour itself.

The show included classics such as the legendary Let Her Go, the song which gifted Passenger with global fame back in 2012.

Supporting the indie-folk singer was Gregory Alan Isakov, a South African singer-songwriter who warmed up the crowd for the first hour of the show, playing in a similar acoustic fashion to Passenger himself, gaining a handful of shiny new fans in the process.

During the evening, Passenger himself wasn’t shy to interact with his Mancunian crowd, sharing small stories and snippets of when he used to busk around the infamous Northern Quarter and play in some of the smallest bars, going on to thank the crowd graciously for letting him get to where he was.

Of the 16 songs he played in total, many of them were aided by his talented musical band, something that was somewhat unfamiliar considering he was once seen as solo and acoustic. The band seemed almost brash to some. Passenger's usual isolated, remarkably distinctive vocals stuffed beneath the melodic racket.

Though Passenger did treat the crowd to a few acoustic ballads, the exceptionally beautiful Travelling Alone one to be named.

He introduced the heart-breaking song with its story, silencing the crowd completely with the miserable tale that left him with a wonderfully crafted song.

The night consisted of an emotional imbalance throughout, ranging from the melancholy to the cheerier songs like I Hate leaving the crowd in stitches, especially when Passenger switched one of the lyrics to “I hate people who pay money to see gigs, and wolf-whistle through every fucking song,” something which had been happening throughout the gig. A bit of a joke on Manchester’s behalf.

Folk-singer Passenger also made a point about his hit number one ‘Let Her Go being controversially mixed with Disney's Frozen’s Let It Go, with many people flocking up to his gigs in hope’s to hear the crazed Disney tune, leaving disappointed.

The crowd was kept alive by Passengers genuine sense of humour throughout, with many people feeling like they were at a comedy gig. His phenomenal vocals and overwhelming desire to musically impress definitely set it apart from any average Michael Mcintyre show.

Passenger will eventually finish the UK leg of his ‘Young as the morning, old as the sea’ tour in Edinburgh on December 8.