Often when I go to concerts, I’m met with hordes of screaming teenagers, all falling over each other to get closer to their idol. This was not the case on Monday night, when a crowd of young and old filled the Enmore Theatre to witness one of the most promising, up-and-coming musicians of right now; Maggie Rogers.
Having already sold out the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall this coming Wednesday as a part of the Vivid 2019 Festival, the adding of a second Sydney show is certainly a decision that went down well with Maggie’s fans, as she filled the theatre with a feeling of joy and unity that I have not felt amongst a crowd in a long time.
Rogers was supported by Perth singer Stella Donnelly, who’s 8-song-set was the perfect warm up, effectively mixing folk and pop to foster the ideal atmosphere amid the already excited crowd. As a rising presence in the Australian music scene following the release of her debut album in March, Donnelly is certainly one to watch, as she continues to build a name for herself amongst some of the best.
It was then time for the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Marylands, US, to take to the stage in front of an incredibly eager crowd. Right off the bat, it was clear that Rogers is certainly comfortable in front of a crowd, entering to screams and immediately jumping into an eccentric mix of running, jumping and dancing across the stage whilst draped in a sheer blue scarf, which only added to the ethereal feel of her performance.
One might think that the energy may begin to wane after the first few songs, opening with Give a Little and following it up with Burning, Say It and On + Off, however this was certainly not the case as Maggie continued to hold the crowd with her in every song, playing to every edge of the theatre.
Her pauses between songs were brief, only stopping to thank the crowd, “Australia continues to defy our expectations” and to explain that she has “a lot of feelings, as you can probably tell from my performance so far”. At one point, she asked the crowd in the rafters to stand and dance with her, which was met with eager compliance, explaining that she creates her setlist with the idea of dancing in mind, while also giving herself “emotional whiplash” as she jumps from feeling to feeling within her songs.
Highlights of the set included single Light On, Alaska and Burning, as well as Retrograde, Fallingwater and a never before played arrangement of Split Stones.
Rogers also played into the growing trend of playing slower, stripped back songs as an encore, explaining that she struggles to sleep after playing a show and finds it therapeutic to calm herself and the crowd by down by just singing. And sing she definitely did, as she sang Colour Song completely unaccompanied, even at times without a microphone, to a silent, admiring crowd.
Maggie Rogers Monday night performance could be compared to the likes of music greats Florence Welch and Kate Bush, and if that comparison is anything to go by, Rogers is well on her way to becoming a great herself.
Review – Jess Oehm
Photos – Georgia Griffiths