Maggie Rogers

By Jason Beardsley

Artist: Maggie Rogers

Date / Venue: Sunday July 23rd, 2017 - Forum Theatre, Melbourne

In a week of yet more darkness in the music industry following the death of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington, I just felt there had to be a glimmer of hope and prosperity within the music community. I was lucky enough to find it at Melbourne’s beautiful Forum Theatre on Sunday night.

I walk into the venue with a completely open mind, without having much knowledge about tonight’s acts. Brisbane teenage rising star Mallrat takes to the stage, bringing her modern day electro-pop to the front. Full of confidence and purpose, barely taking her eyes off the audience, she dances around the stage like she owns it. It is truly hard to believe she is new to songwriting, as the sold-out crowd is engaged and connected to her uplifting style. She will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

Soon after, the night is taken to a whole new level. There isn't much standing room left as the venue hits capacity. Maggie Rogers runs onto the Forum stage, delivering the first song of her set ‘Color Song’ from her latest EP ‘Now That the Light Is Fading’. Her voice fills the famous Forum Theatre night sky as I look skyward. It’s not often in my lifetime that I have teared-up during a performance, let alone the first song, but this is a welcome exception.

Here’s the thing, Maggie is only 23 and if there is a story of something that resembles overnight success that people normally believe happens within the music industry, this is it.

She delivers a performance with so much heart and meaning, explaining during her set, ‘There’s so much change happening in my home country [America], it’s way too easy to switch off. I decided I was going to stay emotionally involved.’

You certainly can’t pigeonhole Maggie as she belts out her Electro Pop set-list with layers of Folk and Country. Her voice works in perfect unison with her touring musicians and the captivated audience show their gratitude with emphatic applause and screaming ‘We love you Maggie!’ in what is her first Australian show, not to mention her largest show to date.

Maggie has previously indicated that writing and producing her own music is a way to express her beliefs and feelings. Touring is a way for her to humanise her fast track to stardom and connect with the people that mean so much to her.

Maggie closes out her masterpiece with hit song ‘Alaska’, followed by a well-deserved encore performing a slow and heartfelt rendition of ‘Here’s Where the Story Ends’ by The Sundays. ‘At the end of every show it takes me so long to come down. Its like being electrocuted. So now we’re going to come down together’. The perfect end to such an engaging performance.

Tonight’s short but incredible set filled with passion, fragility, hope and light is just the beginning of a truly remarkable story.