MAGGIE ROGERS LIVE AT TROUBADOUR
Recent New York University graduate Maggie Rogers made her Los Angeles debut to a sold out crowd at the Troubadour. The ethereal singer/songwriter and self-produced artist drew in a crowd of everyone from pre-teens to middle aged couples. For her first LA show, the crowd was enormous and overtly enthusiastic. Rogers released her EP Now That The Light is Fading in early 2017 and has already seen over 30 million streams of her song “Alaska.”
After going viral in a video alongside Pharrell Williams at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU in 2016, Maggie Rogers burst into the music scene. While it was clear some attended the Troubadour show because of this video, the majority of the audience seemed connected to her on a deeper level.
She opened with the haunting tune “Color Song,” which also starts off her EP. The audience of several hundred fell silent until the next song in the set began with Rogers’ signature dancing moves. I stood on the upper balcony for the first two songs, but promptly joined the majority of the crowd on the dance floor as the set picked up.
Unlike most crowds, Rogers’ was welcoming and relaxed. It seemed as though the audience full of strangers were somehow friends. I was able to navigate my way to leaning on the stage due to a sense of freedom and inclusion the crowd emanated. I was photographing the show as well, and each time I asked a fellow audience member if I could sneak by them, they responded with only kind remarks. General admission shows typically fill up with those only focused on their own experience—Maggie Rogers’ show could not be further from that.
She may come off as a sweet and slightly awkward girl prancing onstage in a white denim suit covered in rainbow tassels and patches, but she is a much stronger force. Her sound is quite atypical. Rogers began her musical career as a banjo player who specialized in folk music. After studying abroad in France, she fell in love with dance music, and her sound today is very reflective of that. Los Angeles and the music industry as a whole is full of beautiful girls with a great voice, but something about Maggie Rogers is different.
Her audience connects with her in a way I have not seen in artists other than Florence and the Machine. Both of these women represent a sense of strength and individuality, and their ability to ground a crowd of any size is brilliant.