Once-in-a-generation pop innovator Maggie Rogers pumped out magnetic energy through her unique electro-folk melodies, intense dance moves and rare stage presence that entranced audiences at the Wang Theater. 

10/5/19 – The Wang Theater

Maggie Rogers’ show opened with ethereal lighting on a white canvas draped in front of her band, illuminating her caped silhouette. The 25-year old electro-folk songstress and pop sensation crooned the lingering harmonies of “Color Song as the crowd screamed. The white canvas fell in perfect timing with the bass drum kick of “Fallingwater,” followed by the song’s descending piano notes and Rogers’ voice that flowed like her white silk pants, shawl, and waist-length strawberry blonde hair. Maggie Rogers has a musical superpower in which she transmutes magnetic energy. As soon as she started singing, an electricity filled the air and magical moments ensued as she blessed Boston with a stop at the historic Wang Theater on her 2019 tour for her debut full-length album, Heard It In A Past Life.

The 25-year-old pop newcomer has recently bent the suns’ rays in her direction through her ability to combine equal parts synthy electro pop, full-bodied pop rock, and 70s singer-songwriter piano balladry. The immense energy that Rogers channelled through her voice also appeared to be powering her movements on stage. Rogers danced hard—at a level of intensity that usually prohibits many artists from hitting all their notes—but she hit every note like a hammer. When she wasn’t whipping her hair to the beat, her dancing moxie on full display, she moved in a style reminiscent of the days of the Jackson 5: kicking her ankles to the side, creating a forward motion while standing in place.

Rogers played hits that night like the airyBack in My Body” to the Florence Welch-esque, Burning,” in which she flexed her full-throated pipes. DuringLight On,” Rogers sang about loneliness and longing, reaching out to the audience as she sang, “With everyone around me saying / You should be so happy now!” An especially poignant moment came as she slowed the show down to a single and crawling point of focus during the 70s folk-styled, “Past Life.” Rogers stopped dancing for this song and walked slowly across the stage with nothing but the piano playing. She elegantly slid her voice up an octave to end the song on a haunting high note, simultaneously freezing and melting the audience into their seats.

The show ended with an encore where Rogers came out with just her acoustic guitar and said, “For anyone who’s ever heard of me, you know there’s one song I didn’t play tonight. I wanted to play it the way I wrote it.” Rogers then played her first big hit, “Alaska,” which was relaxing, but did lack some of the power that the final version of the track contained (the one that famously made Pharrell cry). Right before she left, Rogers left this striking comment for the crowd to ponder: “You know, you can tell someone how you feel, but if you can sing it, then you can show them.”

The level of emotional and physical resonance that took place during Rogers’ live performance supported critical praise and comparisons to music legends like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. She seems to be a rare living legend whose talent and presence transcends the fly-by night nature of most pop music. Rogers transcended and channelled the universe that night, and everyone got a chance to feel that rare energy. As the audience walked out of the theater, Whitney Houston was playing, a deserving talent comparison, and the audience sang “Ohhh I wanna dance with somebody!” in unison. Clearly, they were electrified. 

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