Despite what host Victoria Freeman (CAS ’26) said in the last episode, “Victoria’s Secrets” will expand its scope to reviewing live performances. In this week’s episode, Freeman reviews the Maisie Peters concert she attended on Oct. 9 at the 9:30 Club. Tune in to hear about the venue, the set list and, of course, what song this performance reminds her of.
Victoria Freeman (VF): It’s Victoria, and I have a secret.
VF: Hey, hey, hey, I’m back with the second episode of season two. And you might remember how last time, I said that I was going to focus on theater. Turns out, that was absolutely a joke. I was kidding. In fact, we are going to focus on live performance in “Victoria’s Secrets.” Mostly because I saw a lovely, lovely concert that I was just dying to review on this podcast.
On Monday, Oct. 9, I went to go see one of my favorite music artists, Maisie Peters, who is a British pop singer-songwriter. Right now, or actually, it might be over now, but she was on her North American tour for “The Good Witch,” which is her latest album. And sorry, spoiler alert, I really liked the concert. And we always knew this was gonna happen because I did buy these tickets about six months in advance. So it would have had to have been pretty bad because I freaking love Maisie Peters. But let’s get into the specifics of why I thought this concert was so, so successful.
First, I want to talk about performance: Maisie’s performance. So the energy in the room was fantastic. It was high in a way that set her up to have an amazing performance. This concert was at the 9:30 Club, which is a venue that is honestly perfect for artists that are not too small, but not too big, because the room is packed, and everyone is on the floor ready to dance, ready to have a good time.
At the beginning of the concert, she started off with “The Good Witch,” which is the opening track of her album “The Good Witch.” And both on the album and in the show, it really sets the tone for what the rest of the story she’s going to tell are going to look like. And notably in this song, the end of it actually includes the chanting of her name, “Maisie.” So of course, it makes sense that that is how this show begins: where the band comes out, we’re waiting for her to come out and everyone is chanting “Maisie.” So we were so excited. Everyone was hype.
And in terms of Maisie Peters herself, her performance was the perfect combination of acoustic songs where she was playing the guitar and those where she was off the guitar, the band was playing and she was just singing into the microphone and dancing around the stage. So in terms of the acoustic ones, she always knew when to bring it back to the basics because, although “The Good Witch” is by far her biggest album yet, she has been releasing music for quite a long time. And specifically, a lot of her past discography has been more acoustic in nature, and over time she has kind of shifted to that more electronic pop sound. So she knows that for people that have been fans for a while, like me, we do definitely also want to hear those old acoustic-sounding songs, ones that maybe she couldn’t play all of, so she made what I thought was the fantastic choice of instead doing an acoustic medley. For example, playing “You Signed Up For This,” the opening song of her last album. So we got to hear things that I was a little bit worried that we might not, which was amazing there.
And then in terms of those moments where she was just playing the guitar and the band was also playing in the background, it was amazing to see her emphasize the fact that she wrote all of this music herself. They are her own tone, her own stories, and seeing her up there on the guitar really drilled that in for me, and it makes all those lyrics and all those stories resonate all the more.
But that being said, she also knows how to turn it up. There were flashing lights and when she was off the guitar and the band was playing in the background, we were able to see her just run across the stage, back and forth, hype the audience up for songs such as “Coming of Age” or “Watch” off her latest album that are honestly just bangers, just fantastic. I love to play them anytime that I need to hype myself up. And that was exactly what it was like to see her play them in person.
In terms of the band, it was absolutely amazing to get to see the people that are in the background of all of those songs that we’re always hearing, but to be honest, none of the fans know a lot about because of the fact that Maisie Peters herself is really the only one in the public eye. But she kind of hinted at the fact that she was going to be highlighting the band more in her concert in the upcoming tour because she literally has a song on the album called “The Band and I” in which she recounts what it was like for her and the band to tour North America the last time she released an album. So that was almost foreshadowing for her introducing the band to the audience during the concert, and even telling stories about them both in the song “The Band and I” and when she was just introducing them. Honestly, it was absolutely adorable that she called them out by name and shared what was clearly just inside jokes between them on stage that the audience had no idea what was going on, but it was clear that it was inside jokes between them, and that was just absolutely heartwarming to see that bond play out.
Next, in terms of the physical experience of being at this venue at the 9:30 Club, it was an extremely positive one. This was a primarily general admission concert, and the doors opened at seven. I showed up at 5:45, and by the time we got to our position in front of the stage, the only people between us and Maisie Peters had VIP wristbands, so basically, we were in an absolutely fantastic position. There was maybe one and a half people between me and the barricade, and I feel as though I made eye contact with that singer multiple, multiple times. So it was honestly superb for me to be that close to her, but I think on a larger level, the venue really, really suited her.
The reason why people fundamentally resonate with her music so well is because she is a storyteller. She is giving anecdotes from her personal life that resonate with all of the listeners that hear her songs. So when you see her live, it’s absolutely ideal to feel as though she is singing to you, personally. And the intimacy of the 9:30 Club did absolute volumes to accomplish this because truly, you’re in that crowd of people who appreciate her just as much as you, and she can make eye contact with as many people in the crowd as she wants to. And other than just the venue, she herself did a lot to accomplish this. For example, she specifically asked a couple in the front row to tell her the story of their relationship before she sang the song “Run,” so she put a lot of emphasis on that personal connection, which the venue was perfect for that.
And the only criticism I had was that, maybe it was because I was kind of standing directly below the speaker, but at times the sound mixing made it so I could hear the music super, super well, but I couldn’t actually hear her voice as well as the music, primarily for the songs that had a lot, a lot of loud, instrumental backing. So that was maybe not ideal, but at the same time when you go to a concert, let’s be realistic — you’re there because you’re going to scream along as well, so, [Victoria smacks her lips].
In terms of song highlights, I absolutely loved both “John Hughes Movie” and “There It Goes.” In terms of “John Hughes Movie,” she prefaced it by saying she wrote it at 18 — well, that was the song that I listened to at 18, so that was absolutely amazing to hear her tell that story live, and it resonated really well.
And then the other one, which is off of her more recent album is “There It Goes,” and there’s actually a sound on TikTok that originated from the song “There It Goes.” But in reality, it’s a lot more than just that TikTok audio because hearing it live was like hearing it for the first time all over again because it is fundamentally just the story of how she gets over a past relationship, so the lyrics sunk in super well, and at the very end, she asked the audience to scream “There It Goes” with her after asking each person to think of something that they want to let go. So that was again, just her making sure all of her songs resonated personally with each and every person in the room.
Now getting into what song, I think encapsulates this show, you would be absolutely crazy if you thought it wasn’t going to be a Maisie Peter’s song, that would just be absolutely wild, and the one that I’ve chosen is “Wendy.” The way she introduced this song at the show was that it’s one of the fans’ favorite songs, so now it’s one of her favorite songs, and I think that encapsulates really well the type of performer she is. She wants to be as responsive to the fans as possible. And the central lyric to the song “Wendy” is, “behind every lost boy, there’s always a Wendy.” And through her music, she really makes the listener feel like they are the main character at all times. She recenters the Wendy as the main character. And I think that does a really good job of showing what not just “Wendy” does, but what each and every one of her songs aims to do, and why people love it so so much.
And in terms of the secrets, I want to talk about how, after the show, quote, unquote, ended, everyone knew, of course, everyone knew that there was going to be an encore, because she had not played “Lost the Breakup” yet, which was the most popular single off of her album, but for the other song that she played, “History of Man,” she actually brought out Grace Enger, who was her opener to sing “History of Man” along with her. And I can’t lie to you, normally, I get extremely sus [suspicious] of this because I’m like, “I’m paying to hear Maisie Peters, can we please get this other person off the stage?”
But I was wrong. Because here, Grace and Maisie meshed really, really well because they’re fundamentally similar performers. They’re both honestly primarily telling stories about breakups on their guitars, so it was absolutely lovely to hear the two of them singing together. The final rating I’m going to give is an eight out of 10. My only complaints lie in the songs that I wish she played but she didn’t because she only has so much time for her to be on stage. So I have to be careful what I asked for because I’m so glad she played each and every song she did, but at the same time she played nothing off of her EP, “It’s Your Bed Babe, It’s Your Funeral,” despite that album including so many, just easy-to-sing bangers like “Adore You” and heartbreakers like “Personal Best.” So her early work was super, super earnest, and I would have loved to hear them live, but then again, I wouldn’t have replaced anything that she did play live. So I will give Maisie Peters’ beautiful concert an eight out of 10.
This podcast was recorded by me, Victoria Freeman, edited by Amna Shamim and produced by Amna Shamim and Emily Han.