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VOGEL: ROZES takes Milwaukee by storm

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Elizabeth Mencel, better known by her alias ROZES, performed at the Miramar Theatre Saturday November 18, in front of nearly 300 fans. She is touring with New York born singer/songwriter Max Schneider, better known as MAX.  

ROZES’ show was quite the crowd pleaser. She had the crowd moving and singing for the entirety of her set.

Her drummer Benny Brown was pounding out impressive beats, and ROZES matched his energy with her strong vocals. The two showed off their musical versatility when Brown got up from the drums in the middle of a song and picked up an electric guitar. He shredded chords while ROZES took his place on drums. The crowd showed their approval for this switch with loud cheers and applause.  

She ended the set with a bang, with two, strong closing songs, “Roses” and “Girls on Boys.” They were flawless.

During “Roses,” Brown’s drums once again perfectly coincided with ROZES’ powerful voice that filled any empty space inside the venue.

ROZES took the cellphone of a front row fan and recorded a video on stage of her and Brown performing “Girls on Boys.” The girl who’s phone it was let out the loudest scream of joy, and the rest of the crowd followed suit, matching her enthusiasm. As they exited, Brown flung both of his drumsticks into the crowd, landing each one in a separate fan’s hand.

ROZES definitely set the stage for MAX and got the crowd fired up. She has upcoming sold-out shows and I think that if she continues to perform the way she did at the Miramar, she can expect a lot more sell outs.  

Assistant A&E editor, Mackane Vogel caught up with ROZES backstage, before the show, to talk about her music, her tour and one of the most humbling moments of her career.

Vogel: How did you come up with the name ROZES? 

ROZES: My grandmom’s name is Rose, so I wanted to do a form of that I guess.  

Do you have any wild stories from the tour so far?  

I mean, we have some stories. In San Fran we had our van broken into, and my computer and camera were stolen. It wasn’t fun; all of our tour money, was stolen but it was fine because it was just the beginning. We’ve had an eventful time. Our van ran out of gas once, too.  

What kind of music did you grow up listening to, and what music influences your writing?  

My family was mostly into jazz, so I listened to Ella Fitzgerald growing up and obviously Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker — but when I started picking my own music and had my own iPod, I kind of did, like, Amy Winehouse, Adele … I kind of stayed in the soul/jazz theme. I was heavily influenced obviously by female artists because I idolized them.  

What is the best concert you’ve gone to as a spectator?  

It was actually recently. Over the summer I saw Twenty-One Pilots, and they blew me away. I saw them at Firefly Music Festival.  

Do you have any one artist you’ve always wanted to collaborate with?  

Honestly right now it would be Twenty-One Pilots just because I think it would be a really cool mix of genres. Especially cause right now you mostly see rap/pop or producer/singer kind of thing. So, I think it would be cool to switch it up and do rock/pop.  

You’ve already collaborated with so many artists like Big Gigantic, Logic, and the Chainsmokers. Who has been your favorite to work with?  

Oh, I don’t think I can pick. They are all interesting in their own way, and they all bring unique things to the table. The Chainsmokers are just goofy, funny dudes.  

What’s your current favorite song from your own work? 

I think “Matches” right now. I love “Famous,” my newest single, but I think “Matches” might be the favorite one of mine. I wrote it at a time when I really needed that song, and I know a lot of other people did and so when I hear people singing it, it makes me feel like I’m doing what I want to do.  

Obviously the song “Roses,” came out and was so popular right away. What did it feel like hearing that everywhere? 

It’s numbing. Obviously, it’s humbling as well because it’s like ‘gosh how did I do this,’ but um, I’m still adjusting to it I think.  

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About the Writer
Mackane Vogel, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Mackane Vogel is a junior from Baltimore, Maryland. He is studying journalism and has worked for the Arts & Entertainment desk since his freshman year.

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