This past Saturday, July 29th, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection had the honor of spending the one-year anniversary of Surrender with Maggie Rogers on her Summer of ’23 Tour. The singer/songwriter celebrated the first anniversary of her second LP at the TD Pavilion at the Mann, performing 11 of the album’s 12 tracks to a crowd that was nearly sold-out, despite thunderstorms early in the evening that had many in attendance briefly taking refuge in the venue’s cramped and humid bathrooms. However, aside from leaving the plethora of young female fans a little soggy, in their sundresses and cowboy boots, no one seemed to be phased by the slightly unfortunate weather.
Although Maggie Rogers spent the early part of this year touring the states with Surrender, she hasn’t been in the 215 since October of 2019, when she played the Skyline Stage (the smaller of the two venues) at the Mann, which accounted for her ramping up the volume of her latest full-length played Saturday night (most dates feature 6-8 tracks), something that she promised the crowd early in the performance. Highlights from Rogers’ latest included anthemic lead single, “That’s Where I Am,” which closed out the main set, in addition to equally anthemic “Shatter,” which sounds like something Garbage might pull out, if they were tapped for an Americana-heavy summer festival, which came 8 songs into the 18-song set.
Although the crowd was more than enthused to hear the vast majority of Rogers’ latest, something that seems unique to young music fans, her back catalogue also produced a number of the set’s high points, including 2019 folksy stand-alone single “Love You For A Long Time,” in addition to a number of tracks off of her 2019 debut LP, Heard It in a Past Life (co-written and co-produced by The Bird and the Bee’s Greg Kurstin), most notably folk-pop gospel “Light On,” and balladic album closer “Back In My Body,” which opened the two-song encore, and was followed by Surrender album closer “Different Kind Of World,” providing the night’s most intimate moments. However, it was Maggie Rogers’ performance itself that provided the true highlight of the evening. I hadn’t seen her since she headlined Union Transfer in 2018, but dressed in all white, resembling a cross between angel and fairy, woven into a legitimate 21st Century pop star, she strutted across the mega-stage (which included a impressively spectacular staircase) for an hour and a half, for a night that more than 10,000 fans were unlikely to ever forget.
Opening the evening was singer/songwriter Sophie Allison, better known as Soccer Mommy. Allison has already played two local post-pandemic shows, a sold-out Union Transfer date in 2021 and a stop last year at the Elec… errr, Franklin Music Hall. And while Soccer Mommy has established herself as a nearly-boygenius-level iconic heroine for American indie rock kids (She actually opened for Phoebe at a now historic 2018 show at World Cafe Live), the shed remained about half-full and almost entirely seated throughout the duration of her 45-minute set. One might argue that 2020’s “Crawling in My Skin” and “Circle the Drain,” along with 2022’s “Shotgun,” provided the actual musical highlights of the night, but her cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun” (officially released last week) appeared to be the only thing to rouse a sizable reaction amongst the masses, who seemed more interested in taking family pics in the historic venue and discussing which members of the University of Delaware chapter of Delta Phi they knew personally.