I love seeing gigs at the Astor Theatre so when Passenger announced his 2013 Theatre Tour I jumped at the chance to get a ticket.
The 1919 art deco building has had many transformations over the years (it even had little known career screening porn films somewhere around the 80s) but was restored to its former glory in 1991 and has been the heart of Beaufort Street ever since.
Passenger, otherwise known as Mike Rosenberg, is somewhat of a vagabond who decided to leave his native England and travel the world busking his folksy tunes after his original ‘Passenger’ band broke up.
The reason I know all this is because he talks about it in his shows. Each song is the result of an experience and each gets a thorough but deserving introduction.
The result for the audience is that you leave his gig feeling like you have literally travelled the world, had your heart broken and then chain smoked your way through the performance.
In fact, the first time I saw Passenger live at the Rosemount Hotel last year myself and my two friends were mocked by a group behind us for tearing up during the song ‘Travelling Alone’. You can see the You Tube version of Travelling Alone but be warned: it’s a real tear jerker.
I must admit the appeal of the Astor Theatre is being able to sit down and enjoy the show with out getting pushed around by over enthusiastic punters (Nanna that I am) but on this occasion I also appreciated the high ceilings and perfect acoustics when Mike unplugged his guitar and microphone and sung completely acoustic.
Personal highlights for me were the Sound of Silence cover, Let her go and Holes all joined by the backing vocals of the audience. But it wasn’t all sadness and heartbreak, I almost fell off my chair when Mike started singing the Taylor Swift ‘Trouble’ goat version.
You can keep up to date with his tour and music on the Passenger website. I believe his music has become popular recently on commercial radio stations due to a tour with Ed Sheeran. So book tickets early.
The outside of the Astor Theatre is lit up by a fluro sign on the Walcott Street end of Beaufort Street, but to truly understand its beauty you need to have a gander inside and see a gig there. Stay up to date with upcoming performances at the Astor Theatre website.
This is the first of many posts about Mount Lawley and the Beaufort Street strip. Known as the hipster part of Perth it has a special place in my heart that I hope you will love too.