By Natalie Gerber
When Maggie Rogers announced her Feral Joy tour last year, I knew I had to go one way or another. To my luck, her last show took place in San Francisco. Pulling up to the venue was an out of body experience as I had never been to a show quite this big. The area surrounding the auditorium was striking. From the beautiful architecture of San Francisco City Hall to the playgrounds in the huge courtyard, saying I was in heaven is an understatement. We parked and waited in the long line that only took about half an hour. The whole process of getting in was effortless with an amazing security staff. The moment I saw the crowd I felt hypnotized and was desperate to join them but we had to use the bathroom. After we were done, we skipped excitedly through the massive venue to the vast crowd forming. We got a decent spot for arriving slightly after the doors opened and I could not stop bouncing up and down with anticipation. I knew this night was going to be unforgettable.
The show was opened by her friend Del Water Gap. His performance was immediately enchanting with a cool multicolored visual on the screen behind the stage. His presence was endearing as he seemed like a reserved person in awe that he was performing in front of 8,000 people. He gave his thanks to Rogers multiple times stating that she was the only reason he was on stage in front of us. “I never would have pursued performing my music if Maggie didn’t tell me that people need to hear it.” Halfway through his set, Rogers came out dancing which made the whole crowd explode with excitement. I almost died with happiness seeing someone that I have looked up to since I was thirteen being a real person. Then he performed a funky cover of Complicated by Avril Lavigne, which made my sister and I lose our minds. He ended his set with his most popular song, Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Head, which had everyone dancing and singing along.
During the intermission, my sister and I managed to get a better spot with no tall heads in our view. The minute the lights turned off I am almost positive I jumped five feet in the air. Maggie Rogers is my Taylor Swift. Her music has been playing throughout my entire teenage existence. The screen turned on with an old fashioned countdown and when the seemingly endless ten seconds passed her surrender intro started. She came out in a black and white striped blazer kicking off the show with her song Overdrive, which is when my spirit ascended. Suddenly, I was that thirteen year old girl on the floor of my room playing her music for the first time. This was a moment in my life where everything felt exactly right. I looked at my sister sometime during the show and said, “I never want this to end,” with tears in my eyes.
The entire set was magnificent. I danced and screamed and sobbed. Every single song was beautiful as her voice sounded exactly like her recordings. Some of my favorites that she played were Begging for Rain, Shatter, and Say It. The crowd was a diverse mix of older and younger people which was cool to see. There was a moment where she stopped the show to address an older man in the front who was recording her. She told him to put his phone away because it was making her uncomfortable and that he should live in the moment instead. He must have been super creepy for her to stop the show like she did. I love it when women use their voice to call out gross behavior. Near the end of the show, she thanked her tour partners; Planned Parenthood, Headcount, and Musically Fed. Each of these organizations are extremely important as they bring awareness to current human rights issues that this country is facing. It felt special that Rogers used her power as an artist for good, especially during Women’s History Month. She instilled a sense of hope in me that there is still a desperation for growth and change.
To my dismay, she reached the end of her set. She left the stage and, as expected, the crowd went crazy. It seemed like the cheers for her encore were louder than the speakers. She came out and stated that she too did not want the night to end, so she added a third song, called Dog Years, to her finale. The line, “We will be alright,” has been rattling throughout my entire soul since then. Nothing will ever replicate the feral joy I experienced while she owned that stage.