Pop Punk Princess Maggie Schneider Rocks Aisle 5
Friday night in an artsy Atlanta neighborhood called Little Five Points, festivities ran wild at Aisle 5. The venue hosted Maggie Schneider, who was celebrating both her birthday and the recording of her first full-length album. After rousing and engaging sets from both openers - Cloudland & Neutral Snap - Maggie took the stage to a roar from the rowdy audience.
Long having performed by herself with an acoustic guitar and a set of keys, it was a treat to see her flanked by a full band, particularly one that featured her frequent collaborator Alex Crain (formerly of The Everyday Anthem) – who’s a celebrated local musician in his own right.
Opening her set with a pair of classics her faithful knew, namely “695 North Ave” & “No Herman We Can't”, the room felt like an echo chamber as the crowd sang each of Maggie’s lyrics back to her. Following this, the crowd erupted into a cheer when she asked, “Do you guys wanna hear some new songs?” Patrons danced along to this new material from Maggie’s forthcoming album, clearly enthusiastic about the more refined take on the pop punk flavor her work is known for that it represented. After two or three new tunes, Maggie dedicated a cover to her parents, thanking them for getting her a karaoke machine as a young child, saying it was one of the first things to help her discover her passion for music. The room erupted and belted every word of the Rick Springfield hit “Jessie's Girl” with her. The energy was so high, and the room so loud, that I’m convinced that the bartender and security guard outside were singing along, too. During one high point of her set, Maggie also broke out the much-loved single “Pretend” as the band stripped back to just her on a keyboard and Alex on an acoustic guitar - a nod to her previous show style with one of her newer, more pop-inspired songs.
After a cover of “Basket Case” & one more new song from the coming album, the show seemed to be over, but the crowd wouldn't let Maggie leave the stage & demanded an encore. She picked up her acoustic and played “The Mash-Up”, a blend of early 2000’s classics that became a signature staple of her early solo performances. With her fans satisfied and the night growing late, Maggie then bid everyone goodnight and left the stage.
Friday night at Aisle 5 was an excellent show - one where Maggie brought a lot to the table and featured a “something old, something new” approach. One of my personal favorite things about watching her perform live is you can't help but have a giant smile the whole time. You can look around the room and if someone's paying attention to what's happening on stage, they're grinning ear to ear with joy. There is an overwhelming positive energy at every one of her concerts and that's no small accomplishment.
Photo credit: Sophie Harris