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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

We definitely signed up for this: Maisie Peters at Mercy Lounge

Peters’ March 15 performance at Mercy Lounge left us wanting more: from Taylor Swift covers to upcoming releases.
Bella Macakanja
Maisie Peters rocked Mercy Lounge with tracks from her debut album on March 15. (Bella Macakanja)

“i heard taylor swift sing all those other girls well they’re beautiful but would they write a song for u when i was 14 and made it the basis of my personality and really never looked back” Maisie Peters tweeted April 5, 2021.

This self-reflective observation has never been more true than when Peters graced the Mercy Lounge stage last Tuesday night, clad in a dangling rhinestone cowboy hat borrowed from an eager fan in the audience. After singing a quick rendition of Our Song by the Nashville legend, Peters beamed at the glowing faces of adoring fans before diving back into her debut album, “You Signed Up For This, released in April 2021.

As the artist’s debut album, Peters experienced massive success—garnering over a million Spotify streams on each track from the album and 21 million on the most streamed track, “Psycho.” A quick TikTok search for “Maisie Peters” shows 9.5 million likes on the artist’s profile and hundreds of videos taken by fans screaming at her concerts. This rise to fame has not made Peters any less relatable to her fans, as she comments back and forth about romantic drama in her life, sends adorations for fans’ meticulously curated outfits for her concerts, and banters with the crowd regarding song origins and funny mishaps. 

Opening with the album’s lead single, “You Signed Up For This,” Peters immediately took the crowd in, her voluminous blonde bob headbanging to the demanding track. 

On the single, Peters reminds listeners that “I am sorry to make it about myself again … But you, you signed up for this,” making this an empowering single for the twenty-year-old who feels like they’re still not doing enough, even as they run themselves dry. 

Peters blasted through hits from the album, singing a particularly emotional and raw version of the track “Love Him I Don’t,” crooning each syllable in a style reminiscent to Noah Cyrus on her single “Lonely.”

Someone unfamiliar with her would never guess Peters was performing her debut album, as she had an absolute hold on a crowd of doe-eyed girls (and the occasional boy). Peters had a professional air to the way she made each fan feel important and noticed, complimenting their bendy straw hats, carefully crafted signs, and ability to recite each lyric back to her perfectly. 

Her performance of the currently unreleased track “Dealbreaker” created a reverent, silent crowd, eager to memorize each lyric of her next heartbreakingly honest single. She also played homage to her early singles that helped boost her to now acclaimed fame, including “Places We Were Made.” 

Her renditions of “Outdoor Pool,” “Villian and “Brooklyn were hard to distinguish from recorded tracks, with the power of her vocals and articulate singing style coming through on the Mercy Lounge stage. During “Brooklyn,” Peters shouted out a sign held by two sisters in the crowd with the lyric: “We wouldn’t ever leave a sister behind.”

For me, the peak of the night was quite unexpected. For the track “Volcano, Australian co-writer and backup singer Gretta Ray made an appearance, the pair belting out the track’s seething and resentful lyrics. Peters gushed about her friendship with Ray, stating that they were able to meet for sushi once pre-COVID-19 lockdowns. Therefore, their friendship primarily grew over the last two years on FaceTime. Their rapport with each other would never lead a viewer to guess the two had not been thick as thieves prior to the pandemic.

Seeing the two sing a track about “a quiet seething burning rage that you push down, [the] resentment and bitterness and confusion for how some people never seem to face the consequences of their actions, how they just get away with it” (as Peters stated for the music blog CelebMix) was a truly unforgettable performance. 

Peters’ opener, singer-songwriter Jonah Kagen, helped to balance the estrogen-heavy vibes of the night with equally emotional and lyrically powerful tracks. Kagen is a burgeoning artist from Savannah, Georgia, and his tracks “Drowning and “Turbulence were particularly striking with high-quality guitar-playing impressively backing his rich vocals. The vocals seemed to reflect the moment before a pitch into emotion, and he seemed to sing somewhat desperately through his teeth. His approach to songwriting and working the crowd reflected a similar feeling of genuine love as Peters, and he spoke earnestly about his excitement for his musical and touring future.

Both Peters and Kagen left us quite emotional and teary-eyed compared to our typical Tuesday night. But hey, we signed up for this.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Edelman
Sophie Edelman, Former Staff Writer
Sophie Edelman (‘24) is studying cognitive, child and educational studies in Peabody College. As the former Music Correspondent, she is passionate about expanding coverage of local musicians and performances. She loves fish tacos, thrifting and working at Vanderbilt’s Acorn School! She can be contacted at [email protected].
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