It was only halfway through January and Maggie Rogers had already delivered a strong contender for album of the year. Through it’s dreamy harmonies, emotionally strong lyrics and groovy production, ‘I Heard It In A Past Life’ immediately delivered something that was special and memorable. Bringing that raw energy to the live stage, Rogers returned to Australia for a massive run of sold out shows. Closing the tour in Brisbane, this also marked as her first time in the city after coming to Australia in 2017 for a coveted set at Splendour In The Grass and some exclusive sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.
With the early crowd packing into the venue, Stella Donnelly took to the stage for an unapologetically honest set that showcased her raw vulnerable side as well as her quirky attitude. After taking a moment to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land she dived straight into her songs ‘Grey’, ‘U Owe Me’ and ‘Lunch’. Telling quirky anecdotes in between songs she told the crowd about her “critically acclaimed” video for ‘Lunch’ which she proudly made on iMovie. Before later admitting “It was critically acclaimed from my mum”. Getting a little darker and more emotional on ‘Old Man’, ‘Die’ and ‘Mechanical Bull’ she got some of the raw emotions and angst out into the air. Bringing up her mum again, she confessed how her mum messaged her to tell her that she despised the fact that ‘Mosquito’ was played on Triple J because of it’s lyrical content which is such a mum thing to say. Closing her set with ‘Tricks’ she really set the emotional and honest sentiment for the rest of the evening.
With ‘Dancing Queen’ from ABBA blasting through the sold out theatre, the crowd immediately started screaming along to the lyrics as her band walked out onto the stage. With the opening riff of ‘Give A Little’ oozing through the intro, the crowd erupted with excitement as Maggie Rogers took to the stage. “Hello Brisbane, it’s our first time here” she exclaimed. She didn’t hold back from giving the audience a whole lot of energy and groovy 80’s inspired vibes straight away with the infectious ‘Burning’, the sensual ‘Say It’ and the anthemic touch of ‘Split Stones’. The setlist was perfectly curated to maintain that energy and euphoric feeling that these songs naturally create. Older EP favourites ‘On + Off’ and ‘Dog Years’ still perfectly fit in with the aesthetic of songs like ‘The Knife’, ‘Retrograde’ and ‘Light On’ from her recently released debut album. As she started singing ‘The Knife’ she stopped the show to ask the crowd to put away their phones and live in the moment as she wanted to connect with everyone. She explained how it was distracting to try connect with someone and share a moment when they get excited and put a phone in front of their face, which is completely fair. From then on the crowd were living in the moment more and dancing and singing along to ‘Past Life’, ‘Overnight’ and the breakthrough hit ‘Alaska’.
The whole show grasped onto this idea of growth and the power of vulnerability and for me it was the song ‘Back In My Body’ that perfectly cemented this raw sentiment. The powerful and reflective track builds this heavy and therapeutic emotion that releases such a positivity through it’s anthemic build up. Following it up with the fan favourite ‘Fallingwater’ she thanked the crowd for coming out to see her. Returning to the stage for a very special encore, Rogers stood in the middle of the stage and delivered an acapella rendition of ‘Color Song’ which she even performed half of without a microphone. It was a very special and intimate way to finish the very memorable and energetic show. Maggie Rogers is an incredible performer and this show cemented that status.