Maggie Rogers returns to D.C. for two performances at the 9:30 Club
The singer-songwriter performed to a full crowd last month
Maggie Rogers tells you exactly how she’s feeling, and she’ll make you dance while she does it. The 24-year-old Maryland native brought her debut album, “Heard it in a Past Life,” to the 9:30 Club on March 25-26.
Rogers amassed a loyal audience after a video of Pharell reacting to Rogers’ song, “Alaska” during a New York University masterclass went viral in 2016. Rogers’ album is an attempt to reconcile who she is with the person the world wants her to become, as many of the lyrics deal with personal growth and change. Her music can be described as everything from folk to indie to R&B to pop.
Rogers makes music that fans can identify with, in part because of the authenticity and vulnerability of her lyrics. This is present in “Light On,” a song about self-doubt. While it seemed like everyone knew every lyric to every song, the audience participation for the verse, “you should be so happy now” was by far the loudest.
Rogers’ opening act, guitarist Melanie Faye, opened the show with an instrumental cover of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child. After warming up the crowd with this hit, Faye played her own music, proving that her vocal abilities matched her skills on the guitar.
Rogers’ started her own set with “Give a Little,” an upbeat track that she claims is a “reintroduction of herself.” The crowd was immediately responsive and everyone began to dance to the optimistic tune. Rogers seemed to feed off that energy during her performance of “Burning.” While she fluctuates easily between acoustic songs and energized dance tracks, these two are arguably the most clean-cut pop.
The singer then took a moment to talk about returning to D.C., a place that she said felt like home. Rogers grew up in Easton, Maryland, and said she “grew up checking the listings for [the 9:30 Club] religiously.” Rogers had many friends and family members in attendance, including her dad, who she gave several shout-outs to throughout the night.
The show was packed with anecdotes and invitations to dance from Rogers. During “The Knife,” a song that evokes the emotional changes the young singer has faced, Rogers stopped to call-out the audience members on the balcony who she felt weren’t dancing enough. It was a playful yet effective way to encourage the few who weren’t dancing to let loose.
Before “Light On,” Rogers explained the fear that she felt grappling with so much fame so fast. Finally, she dedicated “Dog Years” to her friends who have stuck with her through this new chapter of her life.
Rogers ended the night with “Color Song” from her 2017 EP, “Now That the Light is Fading.” The song, which describes the colors of nature, was performed a capella to a silent crowd. Rogers even stopped using her microphone halfway through, making the finale even more intimate.
“Thank you, I’ll see you soon,” Rogers said before exiting the stage, hinting at her upcoming performances in D.C. this fall.