One of the best texts I’ve received to date was from my dear friend, Allison O’Connor. With no context, Allison texted me a simple sentence that perfectly encapsulates the experience of listening to Maggie Rogers: “Light On hit different today.” Every time I listen to Maggie Rogers, I pick a new favorite song, favorite line, or favorite feeling. Each time, a new line hits home in a different way. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, Allison predicted the energy of Maggie’s album, Heard It In A Past Life and her accompanying tour.
I got to hear Maggie perform live at the Showbox Sodo on April 16th. As my friends know, I am a very dramatic person. But I’m not exaggerating when I say this show was one of the — if not the absolute — best I’ve been to. Part of what makes a Maggie Rogers concert so special is her stage presence. She came out looking like a disco ball, decked in a shimmery silver top that lit up the room. Maggie seriously dances like no other. Her dancing is contagious. It was impossible to stand still as she sang bop after bop, including my personal favorites, “Burning,” “On + Off,” “Overnight,” and of course, “Light On.”
Towards the middle of the show, Maggie took a break between songs, telling the audience that her favorite part of performing is seeing how things change. Each performance, she said, brings up new feelings and she starts to see her own music — music she has been familiar with for years — in a new light. That night, Maggie said “Retrograde” was really jumping out at her. Quite literally, “Retrograde” hit different that night.
Seeing Maggie Rogers live reminded me why I love listening to albums. Nine times out of ten, I’ll play my monthly playlist over listening to a full-length album, because I don’t want to get “bored” of listening to the same songs on repeat. Listening to albums, however, doesn’t have to be monotonous. There is beauty and comfort in singing lyrics over and over again, in knowing them like the back of your hand. And even then, in the repetition that becomes ritual, there is newness and more to be found.
By Analyn Grasz