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Maggie Szabo Rocks LA

Patrick O'Heffernan: Her high energy, beat-driven eight-song set, finished off with her hit single “Tidal Waves and Hurricanes” kept the packed club moving and dancing. Sparks and flames were practically flying out of Maggie and her band she was so on.
Maggie Szabo

...Then heads for New York (but she’ll be back)

Maggie Szabo left fans at the Silverlake Lounge with a lightning bolt of a parting shot before heading off to a recording session in New York Monday night. A high energy, beat-driven eight-song set, finished off with her hit single “Tidal Waves and Hurricanes” kept the packed club moving and dancing. Sparks and flames were practically flying out of Maggie and her band she was so on.

I have seen Maggie live three times, most recently at the Hotel Café in February, and she has grown and improved orders of magnitude – and she was top rated to start with. Her band Monday night– regular drummer Sam Campbell, the kick-ass Kyle Calvillo on lead guitar, Steven Shook on rhythm guitar and Sonny Kennelly on bass – were so tight they moved with Maggie without a nanometer between them. They showed a Grammy-level of professionalism that was a joy to watch.

Maggie was among friends at the Lounge – part of her huge and constantly growing fan base – as she shouted out to various people in the audience by name and told us mischievously about one song from a night she spent that she was, well, a bit embarrassed by. We loved it,. Maggie has always mined her Canada-Nashville-LA-New York travels for her lyrics, but Monday night she seemed ever more intimate, more open as she rocked, swayed, writhed, waved her arms in the air and in general gave us a show that could have read well in Staples Center. A tiny blonde solar chip in a black dress that exuded energy, she filled the venue with her presence.

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Maggie kicked off with new songs “Tragedy” and “Paralyze” and then went to the familiar “Slow Fire” from her Hear Me Out album, with its fast-rhythm guitar skip beat and addictive hooks. The crowd was fully engaged, bouncing and shouting. They loved it and they obviously loved Maggie. She shifted to new songs “Blame it on the Moonlight” and “One-sided” and then returned to the Hear Me Out collection with “Love Sick”, a more popped-up tune but with a kicked up energy not on the recording.

After delivering the new “Forgive and Forget” with a level of emotion that was surprising even for her, Maggie wrapped the show with her hit single “Tidal Waves and Hurricanes” to an ecstatic audience. It seemed that everyone in the venue knew the words and were singing along. For a few moments, Maggie created a single, singing, living being in the Silverlake Lounge and it was so much fun to be part of it.

Maggie returns from New York at the end of August with her new EP in hand and has announced a release party in Hollywood on September 4 – watch her website and twitter feed for the place. This little blonde chanteuse from a small town in Canada is emerging as one of LA’s signature talents and I for one am so happy she has put down roots in my hometown. I fully expect to see her on the top of the Billboard charts and filling major venues on her own by this time next year.

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Patrick O’Heffernan
Host, Music Friday Live!