- 24 Jul 17
When Mike Rosenberg, or Passenger, took the stage at Iveagh Gardens on Sunday night, he brought to a close both an electric weekend in Dublin— which saw the return of U2 to Croke Park and the influx of 80,000 fans— and his own tour of ninety-odd gigs.
The last time Passenger appeared in Ireland, it was in support of Damien Dempsey, who had appeared at the same venue just two nights before.
After the first song, ‘Somebody’s Love,’ Mike Rosenberg wasted no time launching into self-deprecating jokes about the global recognition of ‘Let Her Go.’
“I only have one very famous song,” he told the crowd, offering to play it twelve times. But when he sang out ‘Life’s For The Living’, it was clear nobody had come out just to hear one catchy chart-topper. The Sunday crowd shared every word to the Ed Sheeran-esque ‘27’ and wanderlust-filled tune ‘Anywhere’.
Rosenberg engaged fans with funny and introspective anecdotes about his five years as a busker, including the people whose stories informed ‘Travelling Alone’. He fuelled competition with the previous night’s crowd in Galway when asking everyone to belt the “la la lie-s” of his hilariously cynical song, ‘I Hate’. People laughed all the way through the singer’s eloquent rant against racists and the X-Factor.
Some musicians understandably take on a complicated relationship with their chart-topping hits, slowly phasing them out of their live sets. Rosenberg seemed able to put any apprehension aside, and enjoy the heartfelt sing-along with ‘Let Her Go’. It seemed unfair that some people in the crowd checked out after hearing the song, there was more still to enjoy with the band’s cover of ‘Fast Car’.
Fans demanded an encore unconventionally, by singing out the hook of ‘Scare Away The Dark,’ the final song of the main set. Their demanding chorus could nearly have drowned out whatever song was bumping across the street in Coppers.
The band came back for ‘Table For One'. They sent off their tour with ‘Holes’, an upbeat, if mildly cliche plea to "carry on".