Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Image taken by me at the Maisie Peters concert in Toronto to be included for her concert review
Image taken by me at the Maisie Peters concert in Toronto to be included for her concert review
Original photo by Rachel Ecker
Culture > Entertainment

Maisie Peters Delivers an Intimate and Explosive Performance at her Tour Stop in Toronto

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

The night that Maisie Peters was set to take the stage at The Axis Club, I can recall walking down College Street, passing the lineup of buzzing whispers from the waiting audience. It wasn’t until then that I felt the weight of my live music deprivation that I’d been lacking for the past two years. 

The angsty excitement from the crowd was distinct and familiar. I noticed parents and children, groups of friends, those with bright orange and pink hair, and those who would rather stand in the cold with open toed shoes and mesh tops then have to pay for coatcheck. It felt like a homecoming even though I had only learned about Maisie Peters three days before the show. 

Maisie Peters has since emerged as a contemporary folk-pop music force, leaving an international imprint on listeners through her music and songwriting. The West Sussex-grown singer and songwriter first got her start on YouTube at the age of 16 where she posted videos performing original songs and steadily, a loyal fan base started to form, awarding her musical traction. It wasn’t until her single, “Place We Were Made,” went viral in 2017, that she captured widespread interest from listeners across the globe. 

Peters spent three years following the release of her single “Worst of You,” (2018) grasping career-building opportunities and further capturing the hearts of girl power pop enthusiasts around the world, including Taylor Swift who praised Peters’ cover of her track “Betty” on Twitter. 

Ed Sheeran recognized Maisie as “a very special artist who continues to push her storytelling in new directions.” Peters was signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label, Gingerbread Man Records, in June of 2021 and her debut album You Signed Up For This was released in September of 2021.The two collaborated in writing three songs for her album: “Psycho,” “Boy,” and “Hollow.” 

We now jump forward to March 8, 2022, inside the doors of The Axis Club where Maisie Peters waits backstage to play for her Toronto-based fans. But before she does, Jonah Kagen takes the stage to open the show. Kagen set the tone and won the audience over with his bright personality, expressing his disbelief, excitement, awe, and eagerness as he was about to play his fourth show EVER. He even took a moment to ask the audience, “Who’s first show is it back?” and about 90 per cent of people raised a hand, proclaiming their official return to live music. From then, the partnership between audience and artist was forged, which would be carried through for the rest of the show. 

Kagen and his instrumentalists sent an inspirational cast over the crowd with their dynamic guitar playing and nasaly yet clear vocals. Press play on a Jonah Kagen track any time you are huddled around a campfire, having a late night listening session, canoeing at sunset, or any other time you crave an acoustic serenade.

By this point, the crowd was ready to witness Maisie Peters in action. The moment she entered the stage, Maisie was electric. She used the entire space by dancing around every corner, joyfully interacting with her band members, and involving the audience in her theatrical performance. Throughout her set, Maisie’s facial expressions told the story of her songs just as much as the lyrics and instrumentation. She spoke directly to the audience through her lyrics, promoting messages of self-confidence, the struggle of breakups, reclaiming autonomy, an IDGAF attitude, community, and above all, the strength of girl power. 

The crowd ate up every single song. There was an unspoken unison between Maisie and the audience as they seemed to move together through each track, bobbing their heads or swaying in a synchronized motion. The atmosphere was soothing and energizing, intimate and explosive. 

Imagine if Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Birdy all sat in a room trying to conjure their ideal pop artist for today’s contemporary musical sphere. Maisie Peters would appear in front of them with her platinum blonde hair, plaid pants and graphic t-shirt ready to make connections through her musical storytelling. Peters’ vocal abilities project her image of femininity and boldness. While performing her track “Sad Girl Summer,” which encourages listeners to seek out community during times of heartbreak, raise their glasses, and let their exes go, the clarity and smoothness of her voice made every word sharp and distinct. She continually evokes a bright breathiness in her vocals that makes her compelling messaging and pop-dominant tracks easy on the ears. 

Adding to the theatrics of the show, each song seemed to have an individualized lighting composition that helped communicate the emotional intention behind each song. For her track “Boy,” which can be found on her new album, the stage lights projected a blend of orange, yellow, pink and blue lights, communicating a bright and unapologetic selfhood as she proclaims she can do better than the boy the song is about. When performing her first released song, “Place We Were Made,” the stage lights quieted down, displaying a transforming pink, red and purple wash. A centre stage spot light illuminated Maisie with her acoustic guitar in hand, exuding a calming nostalgia through the venue.  

The unmistakable energy and connection between the crowd and performers was consistent throughout each segment of the show. Occasionally you would see the glow of a screen capturing a specific moment or song, but overall, it seemed as though most phones remained in pockets. I wonder if we have a newfound appreciation for live experiences since being bound to screens and our homes for the past two years. 

Pre-pandemic, I couldn’t attend a concert without having not only heads and bodies blocking my view, but countless screens as well. This was not the case at Maisie Peters’ Toronto show. People were present, they were watching, absorbing, and experiencing. As a performer, Peters demands attention and fosters a party-like atmosphere where you can’t help but move with the rhythms of the music. The only thing left to do is add some Maisie Peters tracks to your warm weather playlists in anticipation for the spring and summer months to arrive.

Journalism/Fashion at Ryerson University in the Creative Industries program I'm here to write, share my perspective, and learn from others. My favourite things to do are read, watch some great TV, and laugh with my friends about Schitt's Creek. Also, if anyone needs a new show to watch, I recommend Schitt's Creek. You won't regret it