Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Passenger North American Tour at the Newport here in Columbus, OH. I’ll be honest I had no idea what to expect from this show and right off the bat I was blown away. The show consisted of three astoundingly good different artists. Stu Larsen, The Once and of course Passenger.
I got to the show a little after 7:00 like most concerts the first act didn’t come on till close till 8. The lights went down and out walked this bearded man with nothing but a guitar and microphone. In my head I was thinking, how is this guy going to perform in front of such a large crowd. Yet without the skip of a beat he opened his mouth and we were carried away into world of soft music and heartfelt lyrics. Stu took time during his 15-20 minute set to interact with the crowd, tell us his stories and genuinely make us laugh. I never thought I could fall in “like” with someone in such a small amount of time but here I was getting over attached like a middle school girl. After Stu’s incredible set I wandered back over to the photo pit so I could get some more close up action with the next band The Once.
Now I’m usually not one for folk or bluegrass music but with the lead singer, Geraldine Hollett, serenading the crowd with a voice perfect for lullabies. It was hard for me to resist the bands crooning voices and acoustic instruments. Within no time a hush feel over the crowd as we all stood there soaking in every moment they were on stage. My all time favorite part of the set might have been when they took a moment to honor the King, Elvis Presley. I found myself singing along at the top of my lungs to “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. Which is exactly what I was doing at that moment. Falling in love with The Once, song by song, chord by chord and beat by beat.
At the end of their set, everyone was ready to see the man of the hour. Michael Rosenberg better known as Passenger had a simple stage set. It was just him, his microphone, a few guitars and a small lighting package behind him. He came out on stage all smiles and you could immediately tell he was beyond passionate about his music and all about putting on an unforgettable show. For the next hour and half or so he told us of his stories of traveling the road, his own personal problems and telling jokes that involved enough vulgarity to make a movie R-Rated. But it was all in good fun, as he played song after song that were sure fire hits for the crowd at the Newport last night. One moment that seemed to go over particularly well was when he played one of his underground hits “I Hate”. The crowd was quick to jump in singing a fairly simple chorus and responding rowdily when Michael would sing out something that, they themselves, also hated. However the crowning moment of the whole evening was when both Stu Larsen and The Once joined Michael on stage to sing a duet, or would it be called a trio? Anyways, having all three artists bring their own vocal and musical talents together provided for an unreal moment. Everyone in the crowd fell quiet as if it were something they had never seen or heard before.
To sum everything up, everyone was beyond amazing and exceeded my expectations. If I ever get the chance to see any of the artists play again I will make sure to clear my calendar. Because I know for sure they have all gained another fan.
The Passenger North American Tour Ends September 14th in San Diego. Check out his website to see if you can find tickets to a show coming near you.