September 14 @ 19:00 – 21:30
Passenger has come a long way since his debut album “Wicked Man’s Rest” in 2007. Back then, Passenger was still a band around the songwriter named Mike Rosenberg. But at some point the street musician drew a line, took over the pseudonym himself as a solo artist and set off on his journey.
The native Englishman has mainly roamed around Australia and New Zealand, putting himself on every marketplace, every street corner and performing his songs. He met the young Ed Sheeran and went on tour with him when the halls were nowhere near as big as they are today. And then came “Let Her Go”, the hit that won the Ivor Novello Award, with which Passenger became a star, with which he toured continuously for two years, and which has been viewed an incredible 2.6 billion times on YouTube to date.
“Let Her Go” changed everything and yet again it didn’t. “When you play on the road, you’re an outsider,” Rosenberg/Passenger says today, “so when the song got so big, people’s view of me changed. It wasn’t easy at all to stay true to myself and stick to my principles. When the snowball rolls down the mountain, picks up speed, gets bigger and bigger, it becomes harder and harder to shape it. I just didn’t want to become something I didn’t want to be.”
The Brit has succeeded: he has remained true to himself because he still writes songs that embody him. Or as he once put it himself: “Every song has its own life.” The fact that he sounds just as good with a band as solo makes the joy of music even greater. So he also changes his working method on each album: in 2018, “Runaway” was released, a record with his band together, followed last year by “Sometimes It’s Something, Sometimes It’s Nothing at All”, a chamber music work that Passenger recorded with acoustic guitar and a string quartet. This interplay is what makes his songs so exciting, on record and even more so live.