with special guest SYML

Monday, September 09
Crystal Ballroom   All Ages
Portland, OR
Show: 8:30pm    Doors: 7pm

About Passenger

Life changes forever in a moment. However, that doesn’t mean it happens overnight. Thousands of days, hundreds of months, and dozens of years often precede such a pivotal change. Just ask Passenger. It took years of busking, writing, recording and touring to prepare him for 2013’s All The Little Lights, the multiplatinum selling record that plays host to the global phenomenon “Let Her Go.”

To say “life changed” for the UK-born singer/songwriter Mike Rosenberg is a massive understatement…

Now, he’s celebrating everything before, during, and after this era with All The Little Lights (Anniversary Edition), due for release November 2023.

“I see my career as having two distinct phases – before ‘Let Her Go’ and after it,” he notes. “Before, I was busking, staying in hostels and on friend’s couches, traveling around and playing in pubs. I wrote all the songs on this album in the middle of this amazing adventure.”

Mike grew up in Brighton. His father hails from New Jersey and his mother from Kent in England. They introduced him at an early age to the music of Paul Simon, Cat Stevens and Joni Mitchell – all of which would prove to be hugely influential.

“My mother has an amazing way with words, and my father is very musical and spontaneous,” he goes on. “When I look at Passenger, I can see both influences. There’s something very English about it, but it’s rooted in folky Americana. The music is a fusion of the two cultures—as am I,” he grins. “So, it makes sense.”

When Mike turned nine-years-old, his parents gifted him a guitar for Christmas. He went on to learn classical guitar and started writing his own songs in his early teens. He left school at 17 to pursue music. “I knew it was all I wanted to do, he admits. Between jobs in kitchens and building sites, he played gigs in any pub possible.

Over the next few years, working closely with writing partner and mentor Andrew Philips, he put together a band, named it Passenger, and unveiled his debut LP, Wicked Man’s Rest, in 2007. Though it was well-received crticially, the album did not meet commercial expectations, which ultimately led to the breakup of the band.

Amidst personal and professional upheaval, he wound up back at his parent’s place. Unsure of his future in music, Mike turned again to songwriting. This time, a more honest and stripped back approach culminated in his second record, Wide Eyes Blind Love.

This represented a turning point.

“At that stage, my self-confidence was at an all-time low,” he admits. “I felt rejected by the industry and was unsure as to whether I wanted to carry on making music. I was completely broke and ended up busking a few times in my hometown of Brighton just to make ends meet. I was completely blown away by the reaction. It was such a wonderful feeling to suddenly realise that I could remove all the bullshit and just sing my songs for people that wanted to listen to them. That summer, I busked around the UK on my own. It was the beginning of everything really.”

His love for busking eventually brought him to Australia, a country that would end up playing a large part in Passenger’s success. It proved to be a clean slate for Rosenberg and an exciting new market to work within. Over the next few years, he would split his time between hemispheres – busking, touring, releasing music and steadily building a fanbase in both.

“I was having a great time, although I was impatient for something to happen. I was working so hard, busking and playing more gigs than anyone I knew, yet I was frustrated with how slowly it was moving. Looking back though, I’m so glad it didn’t happen any sooner than it did. I needed time to figure out what I was doing and who I was.”

In 2011, he serendipitously stumbled into Sydney studio – Linear Recording – owned by producer Chris Vallejo. Mike played him a handful of songs, and in doing so, found a lifelong musical cohort.

“It was just so nice to see how excited Chris was by my songs,” he recalls. “I could see how much he loved them. He was instantly on board with what I was doing.”

That year, joined by a rotating cast of local players, they created All The Little Lights. The record quietly transformed into a global phenomenon buoyed by “Let Her Go.” The smash single soared to #1 in 19 countries and reached platinum status in 11 countries, including going 6x – platinum in the United States. It stood out as the “#2 most-Shazamed song of all time” and “#1 most Shazamed Pop Song of all time. Thus far, it has generated north of 2 billion streams on Spotify alone and over 3.5 billion views on YouTube.

Over the years, Mike has delivered show stopping performances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, TODAY, and Live with Kelly and Ryan, as well as provided the soundtrack for a multitude of TV and film syncs, including a Superbowl Budweiser commercial.

In the 10 years since releasing this seminal record, there have been a further nine studio albums and countless sold-out tours around the world — all a testament to Rosenberg’s relentless work ethic and dedication to his craft.

Now, Mike readies the release of All The Little Lights (Anniversary Edition), which sees the whole album entirely re-recorded and completely re-imagined as he infuses these songs with another decade of experience and wisdom, and calls upon Foy Vance, Gabrielle Aplin, Nina Nesbitt, and longtime friend and touring buddy, Ed Sheeran, for special collaborations. This is much more than a trip down memory lane. Mike preserves all the spirit and soul of the original whilst breathing new life into these well-loved Passenger staples.

“I love the original recordings of these songs, and I know they mean a lot to my fanbase,” he says. “I don’t want to replace them; I just found the idea of recreating them a decade later to be so exciting. After recording 14 albums, I think I have such a better understanding of what I’m trying to achieve in the studio, both with my vocal performances and musical arrangements, and the fact that I’ve somehow persuaded these incredible artists to sing on it really is a dream come true!”

Musically richer, vocally stronger and shimmering with a bold beauty – All The Little Lights now shines brighter than ever.