Live Review: Passenger, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Luke Thompson

26 February 2016 | 2:04 pm | Paul Smith

"This was a definitive performance of one of the best singer-songwriters at the moment."

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New Zealander Luke Thompson enjoyed a warm welcome to the country he is about to call home as he quickly quietened the hubbub of a growing Enmore crowd. The one song he performed on electric guitar did see his voice being swallowed up just a touch but his acoustic ruminations were captivating.

By sharing vocals, four-girl local act All Our Exes Live In Texas had a lot of variation open to them. I'm Gonna Get My Heart Cut Out blended harmonies with slow humour, while at other times they turned things up to hoedown level. A new song full of combined vocal power for the chorus promised much from the debut album they are currently working on.

Passenger (aka Mike Rosenberg) had drawn a very mixed crowd. As he opened with Fairytales And Firesides he immediately gave them a taste of his extraordinary talent with the combination of the power of his vocal and the way his acoustic guitar almost seemed to take on a life of its own. The passion and poetry was drawn out of his songs with a measured delivery, particularly evident in the way a change of pace in David controlled the emotion of the song and in Travelling Alone, where his poetic images hung in the air. At other times a pumping energy took over in the defiance of 27 and a momentum-changing cover of The Sound Of Silence. Rosenberg was clearly having the time of his life with as much enthusiastic pre-song chat as there was music. Just about perfect in every way, this was a definitive performance of one of the best singer-songwriters at the moment. He even commented after the massive Let Her Go that rather than his mind wandering after singing it so many times he really felt the song again. As he exclaimed "It's been an absolute dream of a gig," no one could have agreed more.