Sometimes I wonder why we pay money to watch music live, instead of just listening to it in our rooms. Then concerts like these remind me why experiencing live music can be such a healing and powerful experience.
When Maggie Rogers came on stage to a sold out SWG3 crowd, she was not prepared for a Scottish welcome. The 24-year-old singer started the show with a bang entering the stage to ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’, surrounded by singing and screaming fans. At times the audience’s applause between songs was louder and longer than the songs themselves, while during songs Maggie and the audience seemed to be competing on who could sing louder. She was not expecting the audience to know all the lyrics to songs that were released less than a month ago and was visibly blown away by the fact that people knew the words to album tracks such as ‘Retrograde’. During her more famous songs such as ‘Alaska’ or ‘Dog Years’ that just had their 2nd birthday, she was caught by surprise and laughs through the lyrics, letting the audience sing to her for a change. As she said, she was not used to the audience being able to call her out when she makes mistakes, and as the audience responded: “we have your back”.
During her newer songs, Maggie seemed to exude a different energy than that in the album: she never stayed still for a second, strutting across the stage and dancing as if no one could see her. The audience was treated to some new appearances on the setlist, since the Glasgow show was a homecoming gig for the band’s keyboard-player, such as a cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Tim McGraw’. Being flustered and excited, Rogers almost exited the stage a song early, admitting that she finds encores a farce since we all know she will return immediately. She said she finds it hard to come down off the adrenaline rush after the show and she finds it easier if she comes down during the show with the audience. She asked the audience to stay silent during this acapella rendition of the ‘Color Song’, saying that “If you need to cough or sneeze go ahead, because that would stress you and me out, but if you want to scream then don’t”. This gave us the only moments the crowd became silent, only to erupt again for the last song of the show.
Maybe I’m not the most reliable reviewer, since I describe every concert I go to as ‘life-changing’… but I do know that when I left the venue in a sea of people dancing and singing ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, I was fuller, happier and changed.
[Meli Vasiloudes Bayada]