Home Live Review Live Review: Maggie Rogers @ The Anthem — 2/13/23

Live Review: Maggie Rogers @ The Anthem — 2/13/23

Live Review: Maggie Rogers @ The Anthem — 2/13/23

Maggie Rogers moves the crowd on the first of two sold-out shows at The Anthem on Feb. 13, 2023. (Photo by David LaMason)

Can I tell you guys a secret since this is a hometown show?,” Maggie Rogers, the singer-songwriter whose star has risen exponentially in recent years, asked the sold-out crowd at The Anthem Monday night before dedicating the song “I’ve Got a Friend” to “everybody who came here tonight with their best friend.”

For Rogers, who grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, having 6,000 fans, friends, and family singing along to every word was, as she said, “a homecoming.” 

Since the explosion in popularity of her song, “Alaska,” as an NYU student in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Maggie Rogers gone on to two brilliant full-length albums: 2019’s Heard It In A Past Life and last year’s Surrender, which she recorded in the midst of finishing a Masters degree at Harvard Divinity School and shares the title of her thesis. 

The latest album has an urgency but also feels like Rogers being comfortable in her skin both as a performer (Maggie Rogers has described Surrender as “made to play live”) and as a songwriter. Songs like “Want Want” bounce with a groove that’s infectious while there are songs on the collection like “Begging for Rain,” with its plaintive calls and strong lines like: And I try my best to not be bitter / Give my rage a babysitter / Stop waiting for the adults to come home that carry an emotional weight.

Haven’t had the joy of seeing Rogers perform before, I had heard I was in for a treat, and they were right! Kicking off the evening on Feb. 13 was an electric (both figuratively and literally) set by Del Water Gap, the stage name of S. Holden Jaffe — whose band included Rogers when they were in college. Jaffe has a stage presence that grabs your attention and holds on as he danced across the stage, calling out to the crowd to come along.

Then, as the lights went down and the projected image of Maggie Rogers loomed large over the stage, there was a sea of squeals from the audience as the band started on “Overdrive” and Rogers danced into view, settling on the raised platform before she made her home at the edge of the stage.

Rogers seemed inexhaustible as she got the everyone singing along to “Want Want” before taking a much deserved breather. “It’s nice to be home. I have so many old, old friends in the house tonight,” she said. “My middle school math teacher is here… kids I used to carpool with are here. Most importantly, my mom is here!”  

And it has to be said that Rogers’ band was incredible — turning on a dime from one arrangement to another, from slower anthemic songs like “Honey” to straight-ahead rockers like “Love You for a Long Time,” which Rogers said was “specifically for Galentine’s Day.”

Watch the official music video for “Horses” by Maggie Rogers on YouTube:

One of the highlights of the evening was when Rogers was joined by Jaffe for the last song they wrote together.

“Before I left the band, this was the last song we wrote and we played it once when I was 18,” she said before the pair sang “New Song” with the beautifully harmonized chorus, I don’t mind it. There was this emotionally resonant feeling across the capacity hall that lingered well after that last note was sung.

Maggie Rogers left the stage in front of this wanting more, coming back out for an encore of “Different Kind of World” before returning for a sold out Valentine’s Day the next night.

Rogers and her band continue their Feral Joy tour, and it’s a show not to miss.

The setlist included:

Want Want
Say It
Love You for a Long Time
Begging for Rain
Be Cool
I’ve Got a Friend
New Song (with Del Water Gap)
Back In My Body
Anywhere With You
Light On
That’s Where I Am

Different Kind of World

Here are more photos of Maggie Rogers performing at The Anthem on Feb. 13, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.


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