Maggie Rogers told the Thompson’s Point crowd that she wrote some of the songs she performed 20 minutes away from the venue. Photo by Robert Ker

“I wrote those two songs about 20 minutes from here,” Maggie Rogers said from the Thompson’s Point stage on Monday, after a dramatic entrance featuring two songs from her 2022 album “Surrender.”

“Anywhere With You” began as a ballad before exploding into a propulsive rock song similar to something The National might do. “Want Want” then carried that momentum into lustful pop, with the word “want” bouncing through the melodic hooks like rubber balls. Performed as part of an elaborate stage show, both songs felt much bigger than their modest origins might suggest.

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Rogers decamped for her family’s home in nearby Scarborough to relax in the natural surroundings and write those two songs and all the others that became “Surrender.” You may remember her performing on the Scarborough shoreline as part of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, staged remotely that year. Ties to Maine go back even further for the Maryland native. As a youth, she served as a camp counselor in Raymond – at one moment during the Thompson’s Point concert, she asked all the current or former counselors to raise their hands and was delighted by the response. These deep connections to Maine were close enough for her to exclaim that it was good to be back home.

Rogers performing at Thompson’s Point in Portland on Monday. Photo by Robert Ker

The feeling was mutual. The crowd, which was predominantly made up of young women, welcomed her enthusiastically, with the people near the front in particular banging their heads and screaming wildly. Rogers, who had a second show at Thompson’s Point on Tuesday night, put on a set full of driving rock numbers, uptempo pop songs that bordered on disco, and slower material strung through with country influences. The latter material, such as the new song “Don’t Forget Me,” featured her playing an acoustic guitar.

The setlist was bookended with boisterous anthems, closing with a robust stretch of songs that played out like a greatest hits album. “Alaska” was the song that first got her noticed in 2016, when she played it for Pharrell Williams as a student and his reaction went viral on the internet. The next three that she performed – “Love You For A Long Time,” “Light On” and “That’s Where I Am” – all went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Airplay chart by virtue of their earworm melodies and Rogers’ exquisite singing. “That’s Where I Am” is one of those songs you know even if you don’t think you know it, and the audience definitely knew it, carrying the vocals for Rogers.

It was an experience that Rogers clearly cherished, singing beneath an orange, nearly full moon hung low and heavy over the Fore River. She left everything out on the stage, running around, dancing and pumping her fists like she was playing a stadium show. And maybe that’s somewhere in her future. She has grown into a big draw at amphitheaters throughout the country, and perhaps has slightly outgrown the lawn at Thompson’s Point, but who cares? Nothing beats coming home.

Robert Ker is a freelance writer in Portland. He can be reached at

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