Maggie Rogers' fans are so happy now.
Rogers' music is full of color and texture, as witnessed by the full house at the Santa Barbara Bowl last Tuesday. She electrified the audience with her passion and infectious energy on stage.
She opened the show singing a cappella to “Color Song” while she was silhouetted with glowing backlight and wearing a soft white cape. She quickly transitioned into a fan favorite, “Fallingwater,” during which she began to display her creative beats and impressive melodic vocal range. Her energy intensified as she stormed across the stage waving her cape and heating up the already warm late summer Santa Barbara evening.
Rogers' big break came when she was a student at New York University studying music and sound engineering. She was invited to play her song “Alaska” for Pharrell Williams' master class at the NYU Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Williams’ endorsement and the chemistry of their interaction sparked a viral YouTube moment. The 1.5 million views caught the eye of music executives, and soon after, Rogers signed with Capitol Records.
On the eve of graduating from college, she released her EP, “Now That the Light Is Fading,” in February 2017. She was received with glowing reviews and began a whirlwind adventure launching her musical career. In January of this year, she released her debut full-length album, “Heard It in a Past Life.” She headed out on an extensive world tour with honesty and a fiery commitment to sharing her art with her adoring audiences.
In Santa Barbara, she sang songs from both her EP and debut album, including “Say It,” “On & Off,” “Dog Years” and “Give a Little.” She closed her set with “Light On,” her first No. 1 song on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs Chart.
Before she sang her encore, she expressed how humbling her experience has been and that the Santa Barbara show was her biggest headlining show to date. Reflecting back, she said, “If I could tell that little girl sitting in her bedroom writing songs 10 years ago what was happening tonight … her mind would be blown.”
As she stood alone on stage with her acoustic guitar, she sang “Alaska,” the song that gave liftoff to her shooting star.
The fall tour will wrap up a huge 2019 for Rogers and her band. It also will close a wildly successful chapter for “Heard It in a Past Life.” Her fans are so happy now, and are sure to be eagerly looking forward to the next chapter in her future life. We will leave the light on.
— Steve Kennedy is a Noozhawk contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.