Once upon a time, Maggie Rogers was just another spectator at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2021, before starting her graduate studies in religion and public life at the Harvard Divinity School, she and her friend Phil saw Christina Aguilera on the famous clamshell stage. Two years earlier, a certain contributor happened to sit near her as Death Cab For Cutie rolled through town to support what was then the band’s latest release, Thank You For Today.
On a balmy Sunday night this August, with Alvvays warming up the crowd, Maggie took the stage for a joyous celebration of her Hollywood Bowl debut. For 90 minutes, the viral sensation-turned-bona-fide pop star strutted through her hit-filled catalog while sharing some as-yet-unreleased cuts.
Maggie came out swinging with a pair of signature songs, “Anywhere With You” and “Want Want”, from 2022’s Surrender. After dipping into her debut LP, 2019’s Heard It In A Past Life, for “Burning”, the 29-year-old brought out “So Sick of Dreaming”, the first of three new tracks on the night.
During each of those fresh tracks—including “The Kill” and “Don’t Forget Me”—the screen behind Maggie and her band flashed with the lyrics. That way, fans could sing along to songs that they didn’t yet know, rather than, say, stepping out to grab snacks before the hit parade returned.
Even with those new tunes, Maggie had plenty of time to do each of her first two albums justice. She sang earnestly to “Overnight”, shook to the Pharrell Williams-endorsed “Alaska”, retrofitted “Retrograde” with an outro of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” as she danced across the catwalk between the Bowl’s garden boxes and orchestra pit, and had seemingly everyone in the house on their feet for “Light On”.
Surrender, though, formed the foundation of Maggie’s set—as expected, given that she’s touring to support it. The middle of the show featured a three-song stretch of “Shatter”, “Be Cool”, and “Begging For Rain”, the last of which had the audience waving their phone lights as Maggie strummed on her acoustic guitar. The Easton, MD native closed out the main set with “That’s Where I Am” and pulled out “Different Kind of World” for the encore.
Along the way, Maggie dedicated her 2019 single, “Love You For A Long Time” to her parents, who were in the crowd, and opened her encore with “Dog Years”, off her 2017 EP, Now That The Light Is Fading.
No matter what she played from which recording, Maggie exuded a sense of awe for being on the performing end at the Hollywood Bowl. Every gyration and prance across the stage betrayed gratitude for the opportunity, even as she charmingly described the experience as “weird as f—.”
At some point down the line, all of those emotions may well settle in and headlining the Bowl will become old hat for Maggie. Or, perhaps, having her name on the marquee at Los Angeles’ most iconic venue will never get old, and Maggie will maintain the same sense of childlike wonder that marked her initial performance at the top of Highland Avenue.
Either way, she won’t be seen onstage in the City of Angels again for a while, as she announced toward the end of her show. To be fair, this was her second appearance in L.A. this year, after filling the Shrine Auditorium in early March.
Maggie, though, will hardly be absent from the music scene between now and then. She teased the impending arrival of some “newness,” above and beyond the new songs she showcased at the Hollywood Bowl. Moreover, those fans of hers who are hoping to partake in this rising pop phenom will have opportunities to do so in Washington, Oregon, Florida, North Carolina, D.C., and Texas between now and the end of October. For tickets and a full list of tour dates visit her website.
Maggie Rogers – “Anywhere With You” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Want Want” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “So Sick Of Dreaming” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Be Cool” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Alaska” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Love You For A Long Time” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Light On” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Dog Years” – 8/13/23
Maggie Rogers – “Different Kind Of World” – 8/13/23