Maggie Rogers May Have “Heard It In A Past Life” But She Is Definitely Living In The Present Check out our thoughts, photos and found vids of her show at The Greek in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA- Maggie Rogers’ musical journey has been an amazing one. It has only been a couple of years since she played a rough cut of “Alaska” that floored Pharrell Williams in a masterclass that he was teaching at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Now, she is selling out venues like the Greek Theatre.
Her debut album, Heard It In A Past Life, was released earlier this year and it is a complete, sonic portrait of Maggie Rogers’ musical identity. There’s a little bit of everything on the album with Maggie dipping her toes equally in both the folk and electronic genres. There seems to be a real focus on memorable hooks and singable melodies; the necessary ingredients to leave a lasting impression on pop music aficionados. But even with its pop sensibilities, it is still a deeply emotional collection of compositions that touch on meaningful subject matter and legitimate introspection.
Now, Now kicked off the music for the evening with a solid opening set. Cacie Dalager and Brad Hale write some great electro-pop music, and it proved to be the perfect lead-in to Maggie Rogers’ subsequent performance.
Now, Now fans who had pit tickets lined the front railing and sang along to every song that Dalager sang. Although they were performing to a 5000+ capacity venue, Dalager’s attention to those adoring fans gave the performance a real intimate feel, and that energy seemed to carry out into the rest of the amphitheater. Had the railing not been separated from the stage by the photo pit, hands would definitely have been grasped.
The heavy purple stage lighting gave Dalager’s vocal performance an added weight, and while the songs are dance-friendly jams, we were reminded of the emo themes of longed-for, unrequited love that have been elevated to a religious experience. Their most recent album is titled Saved, so it was quite fitting
I vividly remember when I saw Maggie Rogers performed at SXSW in 2017. Back then, her performance was effortlessly organic and youthfully pure. Her performance in this instance was effortlessly organic and worldly ripened. Maggie has evolved from shiny, patchwork denim to a sleek, caped sophisticate.
Maggie commanded the stage effortlessly. She has always exuded an aura of unmatched maturity, but now there real sense of purpose and conviction with every note she sang and every movement she made. From the opening moments of the show when her body’s silhouette shadowed along a huge sheer curtain, to her dancing back and forth across the stage while she waved her cape in her hand, Maggie was an undeniable force.
When she started the performance, she had her hair wrapped up in a bun, but the joyful mood she was in, and the excitement in the amphitheater, seemed to have loosened her up, and she let her hair down, literally.
The only instance when she dropped her guard and seemed vulnerable was when she directly addressed the crowd before she concluded the evneing with the song that started it all off for her. She opened up and shared her thoughts on the power of music and the significane of the this moment, singing before a sold-out Greek Theatre:
I was really overwhelmed, and I was really scared. Every time I got on stage, I realized that there was a place for music. And that people … all of you… were making me feel so held. Like there really was a safe space for me to be vulnerable. I love going to concerts because I love connecting with something bigger than myself, and I love music because I believe it has the power to transport us… to that time when you wrote the song … or to that break up you heard that song with … or to when you first heard a piece of music. Tonight, I keep thinking, as I’m having all these giant culmination .. career … selling out The Greek moments …it’s both the end of a really beautiful chapter of growth and it also feels like the beginning of so much more. And as I’m … doing “the thing”, I keep just wanting to show that version of myself 3 years ago what this looks like and that this is even at all humanly possible.”
It’s all possible, Maggie, and you are the proof.