REVIEW: Passenger at the O2 Academy, 4/5
SOMETIMES all you need is a guitar, spotlight and a hint of smoke as a backdrop. That way you focus on what you're there for, and that's the vocal.
In Michael Rosenberg's case, the incredible vocal.
Casually dressed in a pair of old blue jeans, black boots and shirt, this man held the crowd in silence. Every face was etched with concentration, straining to listen to his words.
This was a performer who held the audience in the palm of his hand. Of course there was banter, plenty of cheeky chuckling and a dash of heckling – this is Bristol after all. But in the main it was all about him.
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He confessed he was feeling a bit nervous and he didn't seem totally at ease with the sell-out crowd, but that just added to his appeal. His vocal was so glorious you didn't want him to stop. With a hint of James Blunt he put emotion into the music to produce a sound that was soft, sincere and heartfelt – simply put it was beautiful.
There was fodder for savvy romantics with Fairytales And Firesides – which came with an apology for being cheesy. A pep talk with the jaunty Life's For Living, which got the audience smiling and singing along.
He pulled at the heartstrings with Riding to New York.
His lyrics are intelligent and carefully crafted. I Hate caught my attention with its swipes at Facebook and X Factor.
A cover of Daft Punk's Get Lucky was well received, while his recent hit Let Her Go got whoops of approval.
He wrapped his show up with a little food for thought – warning the audience not to see the world behind a tiny screen of a mobile phone or computer. He urged us to look up at the stars.