Maggie Rogers dazzles at the Orpheum Theatre

The singer-songwriter’s concert was a spirited and dance-y, yet intimate and personal, affair

Maggie Rogers blends folk and dance music to create a sound that’s all her own. Image courtesy of Joseph Okpako / WireImage.

By: Remy Brayshaw, SFU Student

There are countless different ways to spend a Friday night in Vancouver, and choosing to spend it dancing the night away with Maggie Rogers was without a doubt the best decision any of us could have made on September 13. From the moment Rogers took the stage, she illuminated the grand and historic Orpheum Theatre as if she had performed in that venue dozens of times before.

Having grown up in Maryland, it only made sense that Rogers would adopt a sound that was primarily inspired by the folk music genre. After studying at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and spending time abroad in Europe, Rogers also became influenced by a new genre of electronic dance music. She merged this discovery with her folk sound to create a style of pop music that is very unique to her. It’s quite easy for an artist to construe such grand intentions of creating something new and exclusive to them, but it’s rare that they can bring those visions to life. Rogers has done just that with her music, seemingly effortlessly. 

As the house lights dimmed and the stage lights lit up the theatre, a very obvious shift in energy took place as Rogers and her band took the stage. She began the show with “Fallingwater,” and from the first beat of the song until the end of the show, Rogers filled the stage with a sense of passion and spirit that many artists couldn’t. It was as if the show was her own personal dance party, and she only stopped for a quick breath in between one song and the next.

The energy that Rogers gave off as she flawlessly performed made it impossible for anybody in the crowd to stand still, forcing each and every one of us to let loose and enjoy the music in a way many attendees likely never had before.  One of the less obvious yet most impressive aspects of Rogers’ performance was the way in which she coordinated the lighting of her show to correspond with the emotions and feelings behind each of her songs, demonstrating her own creativity and personality that shines through in her music.

Although the majority of the night was spent dancing to Rogers’ funky beats, bright lights, and impressive vocals, she ended the show with a beautiful and largely unexpected encore. After a few technical difficulties involving the sound system, Rogers took the audience back to her roots and performed the song that catapulted her to fame. This performance of “Alaska,” done in the way she originally wrote it in her bedroom many years ago with nothing but her guitar and raw vocals, ended the night with a newfound connection between Rogers and her audience. In addition, this performance allowed her to showcase her incredible talent for songwriting one last time before her dazzling performance came to an end. 

If anyone had entered the theatre that night unsure of who Maggie Rogers was, there is no possible way they left without also admiring her talent and feeling a new sense of optimism for the future of pop music. If this is only the beginning for Maggie Rogers, we should all be very excited to see what she brings the next time she leaves her mark on Vancouver.