by Katie Zepf
PARIS, FRANCE - While in Paris two weeks ago (Feb. 22), I had the good fortune to see singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers perform at La Gaîté Lyrique. Rogers was discovered by Pharrell Williams at a master class at New York University less than three years ago, and her unique art pop sound has quickly made her a star. Her singles “Alaska” and “Light On” have only elevated her fame, landing her a spot on Saturday Night Live back in November. I had previously seen Rogers perform at the Governors Ball back in June, and I was excited to see that she was back on tour with new music.
For starters, La Gaîté Lyrique (like most of Paris) is stunning. The white entrance hall is lined with grand staircases and pillars, and was colored only by the neon pink and purple lights filling the space. The performance room itself was a very open general admission concert hall, with a bar and merchandise table located outside. If you’re ever in Paris, I would highly suggest catching a show there.
The opener was Grace Shaw (better known as Mallrat), an Australian singer-songwriter, backed by her DJ, Denim. I was previously unfamiliar with Shaw, whose music is dreamy electro-pop, but I enjoyed the set nonetheless. Playing several of her singles, such as “Groceries” and “UFO”, Shaw provided a relaxed start to the night, with just the right amount of energy throughout her performance to get the crowd excited for Rogers.
After a sing-along to Abba’s “Dancing Queen”, Rogers hit the stage, wearing a two piece zebra outfit. Accompanied by a small band, she started her set with one of her newer songs, “Give a Little”, and continued to play every song off of her new album, Heard it In a Past Life. The show was just as colorful as the lights that illuminated the stage. Midway into her set, Rogers brought her performance into the audience, crowd surfing over excited fans (including myself) while continuing to sing “The Knife”. Even after returning to the stage, she managed to keep up her exuberance for the remainder of the song.
Rogers thanked the audience for helping support her (literally), and asked if everyone could take some time in silence “just to breathe”. She then sang an a capella version of “Past Life”, in which the 700-person audience managed to stay completely silent throughout its entirety. The silence did not last for long, as she revived the audience with a fun performance of “Retrograde”. Rogers’ dynamic stage presence combined with her upbeat songs made for an amazing show. After Rogers’ concluded her set with “Fallingwater”, practically every member of the audience stayed around to dance to more ABBA songs and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.
Finishing up the European leg of her tour this week, Rogers will start her sold-out North American tour later this month, and is performing at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on March 29th. (Already sold out, but tickets are available on various resale markets). In addition, she will also be playing a number of festivals this spring and summer, such as Coachella and Atlanta's Shaky Knees Festival. All tour dates can be found here.