Show Recap: Maggie Rogers’ Summer of ‘23 Tour - Local Wolves


Maggie Rogers — McMenamins Edgefield, Troutdale, OR — August 17, 2023

It was a sweltering Thursday evening some miles east of downtown Portland, with the sun just starting to tuck away behind swaying, towering trees. Tykes to teens to elder couples and everyone else in between gathered on the rolling, dried out lawns for a beautiful late summer show. The established indie pop band ALVVAYS kicked off the night at the top of golden hour. Their airy, reverb-soaked sound seemed to be in its ideal setting. Between front-woman Molly Rankin’s glowing vocals and beaming guitar tones, ALVVAYS effortlessly created a space to soak it all in: the scenery, the company of one another, and their sonic sunshine. Numerous murmurs came from the crowd in awe of the performance’s likeness to their studio recordings. ALVVAYS’ set was a breath of fresh air, like a soundtrack for driving around when all of your time is best spent dreaming. 

“Electric” may be a show descriptor cliche, but it ultimately and sincerely describes the feeling of attending Maggie Rogers’ Summer of ‘23 Tour. On August 17th, the first of two finale nights at Portland’s Mcmenamins Edgefield, ended a nearly four year hiatus from the last time she performed in the city. And while live performance has always been an essential of Rogers’ craft, she continues to elevate herself. 

Summer of ‘23 Tour was the best time yet to see Maggie Rogers. Fans got a bit of everything: a near-even split of songs from “Heard it in a Past Life” and “Surrender,” plus dazzling new tracks “The Kill” and “Don’t Forget Me.” Rogers performed like every moment was an opportunity to do her best work, with vocal belts fit to reach and puncture through clouds above. Her movement commanded the stage as if pulling the instrumentals forward, proving her catalog is music meant to be embodied. With each transition of songs she carried the crowd to a new feeling to sit with and cathartically dance through, and even teased, “If you’re not sweating yet, you’re not doing it right.” 

With Rogers’ Portland performance, it’s become clear that there’s no stopping point for her as far as artistry and capability goes. Success comes from her constant growth: evolution and its seamless cohabitation with living presently. She shows you who she’s been, who she is now, and where she’s going next. Rogers’ superpower is her summoning of presence and joy, and thus she has created a show charged with everything that live music strives to be.

Words & Photography: Heather Zalabak

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