Maggie Rogers / The Japanese House @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
The ascension of Maggie Rogers has been on full display the last few years, as she continues to climb up the pop pyramid, performing to larger and larger audiences along the way. I caught Maggie last year while she performed to a packed Factory in Deep Ellum, a venue with a capacity of 4,300. That's no task to shake your head at, but just over a year later, she's headlining a sold-out show at the Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory, a venue that holds 8,000 fans and is a venue that showcases artists just on the cusp of super-stardom, who have the fanbase and production, but are just a stones throw away from the major leagues. But super-stardom for Maggie is in sight, as she announced her first-ever arena tour dates, starting in October of this year. I have no doubt, given the demand for this current stretch of The Don't Forget Me Tour - Part I, that these arena dates will be packed to the brim, as her popularity only continues to grow.

Opening the show was the Japanese House, the alias of English artist Amber Bain, who has been making music since 2012, but, like Rogers, has been making her name for herself over the last few years. Most recently, she sold out the Granada Theater in Dallas back in November of 2023, a venue with a capacity of 1,000 patrons. So, she's well on her way to paving her own path to stardom. While I have heard the band name throughout various social posts, I had really paid any attention to Bain's music. Man, what a miss for me. Her sound is straight out of the 2000-2010's indie pop/dream pop that I listened to for hours on end. I think the word chill encompasses not only her sound, but live show as well. The sound was clear, precise but enough bounce to keep heads bobbing and people dancing with themselves. Now that I'm in the know, I'll be searching them out when they come back to the DFW.

As I'm waiting for the lights to dim, I'm standing in the photo pit talking with two of my cousins, who were front row, both wearing cowboy hats. One of them had just texted me, "Are you at the Maggie Rogers show?" I responded, "Yes." "We see you." It was nice getting to share a moment with them, as we had just lost an uncle the previous week. And something I know I had shared with him, was my love for music. While I'm assuming Rogers wasn't his cup of tea (my uncles introduced me to KISS, Pantera, Megadeth, et cetera), I think he could appreciate an artist who was at the top of her game, performing to thousands of fans, including a few of his nieces and nephew.

As Maggie ascended the back of the stage, the metaphorical roof was blown off by the crowd's response. For the next 90 minutes, she controlled the thousands in attendance with her voice, her careless dancing, and her gratitude. Opening with "It Was Coming All Along", the opening track to her latest effort and the namesake of the tour, Don't Forget Me, Rogers laid the groundwork for the evening's soundtrack, a blend of pop rock, folk, singer-songwriter, and a dose of emotion. As she sings the first few songs, I cannot help but be starstruck by her unbelievable voice. It's so casual and effortless, you would surprised at her range and volume over the course of the evening. The night's setlist is definitely Don't Forget Me heavy, making up eight of the night's seventeen songs. But fan favorites, literally, were included in the set, featuring the fan-requested "Fallingwater", "Light On", and an acoustic arrangement of "Alaska". The show's encore also included a special guest in the form of Leon Bridges (ahem, not from Dallas, but Fort Worth), where he and Roger performed one of my favorite Bridges' songs, "River". It's simply an amazing song, but with their voices combined, it was truly magical. A cherry on top of the evening's cake of great music, one that will hold its place as one of the better shows of the year.

Photos of the show are below:

The Japanese House
Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers / The Japanese House @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX Maggie Rogers / The Japanese House @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on June 03, 2024 Rating: 5
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