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Concert Review: Passenger with The Paper Kites


Snow fell lightly on the heads of concertgoers Friday night at The House of Blues in Boston. A line grew from the door as eager fans shivered in the cold, all for Passenger, who would soon be gracing them with their music. Doors soon opened, 21+ wristbands and X’s were placed on hands; another successful night at HOB commenced.

Fans drew themselves to the barricade as the opening act, The Paper Kites, took the stage at 8pm. The band started their set with “Revelator Eyes” from their 2015 album Twelvefour. “Give me little reason to refuse my centre, shifting in with feelings of a sweet surrender”, slipped off frontman Sam Bentley’s tongue as a low purple light casted against the crowd. “Hey Boston, we’re The Paper Kites,” Bentley said as he lowered his guitar. “We’re from Melbourne, Australia, thankfully we got through customs okay, unlike others who are prevented to,” Bentley referencing the current Muslim ban enacted by President Trump. Bentley also joked about the TSA workers at Logan airport, “I said the name of our band to the TSA worker, and he goes “The Apricots?”, Bentley tried his best to imitate an American accent before singing their next song “Renegade” and their ode to troubled love “I’m Lying to You Cause I’m Lost.” The Paper Kites ended their set with “Electric Indigo” a fan-favorite among many.

Soon after, Passenger settled on stage with fans screaming at the top of their lungs. Waving his hands in the air, frontman Mike Rosenberg energized the crowd with “Life’s For The Living.” Feet lifted off the ground as Rosenberg played every beat. “Hey there Boston! We’re Passenger,” boomed from his mic as a smile grew on his face. “Thanks for being here, but I’m going to be honest, I only have one famous song, and that’s “Let Her Go.” Fans laughed. “Not to be confused by “Let It Go” from that famous movie Frozen…that movie has ruined my life.” Fans went into an uproar of laughter as Rosenberg continued on with “Anywhere” and “Everything,” which are featured on his new album Young as the Morning Old as the Sea. “We’re going to be singing some new and old songs, and a whole lotta Justin Bieber tonight, hope that’s okay,” Rosenberg joked.

The night grew quiet when Rosenberg decided to go back to his roots with just him and his guitar on stage. Lights sparkled behind him as he began the backstory of “Traveling Song,” written when he first started playing on street corners in England. “I did a lot of busking back in the day. It was tough, but to look at it now, it’s humbling.” Aw’s came from the mouths of women throughout the crowd. “I know I have that effect on women.”   

Rosenberg then served the crowd with a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” Many laughed, many took it literally and listened in silence. “I started writing music because I had something to say,” Rosenberg expressed in between miserable anthem “I Hate” album title “Young as the Morning Old as the Sea”, “I wanted to make human connections through my words.”

Fans were reenergized when “Let Her Go” filled every corner of the House of Blues. Couples swayed, while others lifted their beer filled plastic cups. The lights exemplified a bluish hue as Rosenberg covered Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine.

Rosenberg ended the night with his take on America’s current state with President Trump. “A Kindly Reminder” is a direct hit at President Trump’s actions towards the American people. “We don’t have to blame minorities for the shit that America is going through. So, Boston hold up your lighters, your phone flashlights and sing this song with me.” The crowd sang at the top of their lungs as the tiny lights from their hands created a sea of stars.

It is known however, that a good concert never ends without an encore. Rosenberg re-entered the stage with a guitar wrapped around his body and belted out “Home” and “Holes.” The lights grew into the mezzanine as Rosenberg came close to the mic with a wide grin and a message to last a lifetime. “Take care of yourself, take care of each other, take care Boston.”

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