Written by Guest Contributor: Erika Voeller
The Armory was packed on Thursday night as my roommate and I scanned the crowd for our friends. Maggie Rogers had already started playing, and we’d watched her first song from the glamorous position of … right in front of the women’s bathroom.
I’ve been to a lot of concerts, but I’ve rarely seen so many people packed in like sardines, all vying for a view of the stunning Maggie Rogers – who donned head-to-toe white, in what can only be described as a Glamorous Goddess Jumpsuit. She brought unrivaled energy and talent to the stage. I wanted a good view, too.
I continued to scan the crowd for a better place to stand until I finally recognized my friend’s fur-coat-covered arm raised to the ceiling and made a beeline to meet her in the center of the venue. The lights on the stage flashed yellow and red and “Fallingwater” began to fill the space as I finally let loose for the first time all week.
Third Time’s the Charm
I first heard Maggie’s music back in her earlier days of Pharrell-induced fame. Last night at The Armory, she talked about her first time in Minneapolis three years ago, when she played at the Triple Rock Social Club (may it rest in peace).
She joked about her performance at First Ave a year later, recounting how the smoke machine went off at random without being turned on, and how her mic kept flying across the stage all night. She thought Prince was playing a prank on her.
This time around, Maggie played in the Big Leagues. She packed The Armory full (despite the fact that Post Malone played at the Xcel the same night) and lit up the stage from song to song, taking us on a journey through the music that made her famous. “This feels like a mini arena,” she said. “It’s so cool.” Someone behind me whispered, “I can’t believe she’s here.” And the night only got better from there.
But First, Feminism
From “Give A Little“ to “Dog Years” and a sensational performance of “Overnight,“ Maggie showed off her breadth of talent and incredible vocal range, but she didn’t just focus on the music. She paused partway through the show to chat with the audience, and said one of the most memorable quotes of the night: “If you’re not a feminist, you probably shouldn’t be here.” Moments later, someone cat-called her, and she called them out right away. “Hey, whoever just cat-called me, stop that. Come on, we just talked about feminism.” The crowd roared with applause.
“If you’re not a feminist, you probably shouldn’t be here.”
An Encore for Alaska
To wrap up her setlist, Maggie performed what’s arguably her most popular song, “Light On.” The crowd lost its mind. But, if I’m being honest, I hadn’t even noticed she hadn’t played “Light On“ yet … because her entire set was just that good.
As the intensity of the music built and the crowd sang along in unison, cell phone flashlights proudly raised overhead, the emotions and experiences I felt when I first heard the chart-topper earlier this year all came rushing back to me.
And then I remembered another one of Maggie’s songs with a particular pull on my heart, “Alaska” (You know, the song she played for Pharrell Williams.) I wanted to hear “Alaska” performed live since it’s the song that first made me fall in love with Maggie’s music—but it was too late. The set wrapped and the lights dimmed.
Psych! After a brief ovation, Maggie returned to stage alone with her guitar and finished off the night with an acoustic rendition of “Alaska.” She shared that she wanted to play the song the way it sounded three years ago as an homage to all that has shifted since she went from hungry music student to mega success. (Turns out, the Triple Rock closing isn’t the only thing that’s changed since 2016.)
Hey Maggie, We’ll Leave the Light On
The countless music lovers in attendance at last night’s show know there are big things ahead for Maggie Rogers. She said herself that this is only the very beginning. There are still so many sounds to explore, and she still has ground to cover.
And Maggie, until the next time you’re in Minnesota… we’ll leave the light on.