Reading up on Maggie Rogers, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed in a Refinery29 article, “there is no such thing as not ‘liking’ a Maggie Rogers song — there is only ‘not knowing a Maggie Rogers song yet.‘” I was in that camp until the turn of the year while on a short road trip from Portland to Seattle for New Year’s Eve. By then, I missed all the ticket sales, so I did what I rarely do anymore: pay a shit-ton of money on StubHub to see her. Was it worth it? Yes, worth every single penny.
The 24-year-old ingenue from Maryland was feeling the evening. Tonight marked her first headline gig in New York, and hours earlier, she sold out two shows at Radio City in October. It’s a long way from NYU and her humble apartment on Aveue C just a few years ago. Tonight was a celebration with friends, family and new found fans like me.
Right before the show started, ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ played in pink light as the band took stage. I fell in love with Maggie Rogers for that stunt alone; she then emerged wide-eyed and full of adrenaline to perform ‘Give a Little.’ She gave a lot.
A self-proclaimed witchy feminist rock star, Rogers is special. She possesses the songwriting prowess of folk legends like Joni Mitchell. She’s beguiling (and sometimes twirling) like Stevie Nicks, and she’s not afraid to thrash her hair like iconic, ironic alt rock heroines like Alanis Morissette. Simply put: she’s all my favorites wrapped in one yet with her own voice, aura and moves.
‘Retrograde’ is my favorite song on her debut album Heard It In a Past Life, and not just because she references Stevie’s ‘Bella Donna’ and the lyric ‘come out of the darkness.’ She revealed much of her album is about fear — whether your in your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s — and may explain her universal appeal. All of those age groups were represented in the sold out, packed to the hilt Hammerstein Ballroom as ‘Dog Years’ soothed our despair and reminded us ‘we will be alright.’ ‘Burning,’ ‘Back in My Body’ and ‘Fallingwater’ were also highlights of the set. She closed the show with ‘Color Song’ gorgeously performed in a cappella. If I didn’t love her enough with the ABBA intro, we departed with Whitney’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).’ So the question is, will I pay Stubsadized prices to see her in October at Radio City? Probably.