Ethereal. Angelic. Authentic. Those are just a few adjectives that come to mind when I think about Maggie Roger’s voice. The 22 year old Maryland native is currently in the midst of her first major US tour, after acing her debut appearance at SXSW Festival earlier this month. Last night, she played to a completely packed Lincoln Hall for her first ever performance in Chicago, after selling it out the months ago.
Maggie’s 50 minute set began with her center stage, easing the crowd in with the soft and wistful “Color Song,” the first track from her debut EP Now That The Light is Fading. The pace immediately picked up with the new, unreleased track “Split Stones,” an uptempo, energetic tune that got both the crowd and Maggie moving. Maggie introduced herself before playing the third song and her second single, “Dog Years,” which showcased her crisp and smooth vocals. Introducing the fourth song, another unreleased track, Maggie says, “I like to tell everyone ahead of time that this next one is a slow jam. So feel free to groove however a slow jam makes you want to move.”
As the set progressed towards the halfway mark, someone yelled “take it off” when Maggie removed her jacket. Not taking any crap, Maggie called attention to the remark saying, “To whoever just catcalled me, I know it’s an all ages show, but fuck you.” Before moving into the new song “Hashtag,” Maggie revealed to the crowd that the song came from her tapping into her emotions about the changes occurring in the world. She prefaced the statement saying that she personally has had a crazy year, with a lot of change. Considering it’s been less than a year since she released her single “Alaska,” it’s quite the accomplishment to have a sold out headlining tour already in the books.
Next up, Maggie threw it back with one of her older songs, “Little Joys,” a slow-building song rich with harmonies, which she wrote at 18. The set immediately transitioned into “Better,” another one from the recent EP Now That The Light is Fading, the crowd singing along to the familiar tune. Sticking on the familiar track, Maggie followed up with a cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” keeping it fresh by adding some electric flare to the folk song. The energy kept flowing with the second to last song, “On + Off,” another recent single.
The night wrapped up with Maggie thanking the crowd, saying how much it meant for everyone to be there before playing the last song. Although both Maggie and her band sounded incredible and polished during the entire set, her delicate and powerful vocals really shone through during her breakout single “Alaska.” The goosebump-inducing tune had everyone in the building dancing and singing along, as Maggie managed to make this song sound even more amazing live than on the record. Maggie thanked the band and left the stage to a room full of nothing but good vibes.
Chicago, Maggie Rogers will be back in a few months for Lollapalooza. Judging by the cheers from the crowd when Maggie mentioned this last night, most of the Lincoln Hall crowd will be heading out to see her again in August. Everyone else, check out all of Maggie Roger’s upcoming dates and do not miss a chance to catch her magnetic performance. For now, check out the full photo gallery from her Chicago premiere and listen to Now That The Light Is Fading.