MS MR Release New Album, Sell Out The Bowery Ballroom

May 16th, 2013

MS MR – The Bowery Ballroom – May 15, 2013

MS MR set the bar high for their first headlining tour by playing a sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom last night one day after the release of Secondhand Rapture, the New York City–based electro-pop outfit’s highly anticipated first full-length album. Following a splendid set from openers Magic Man—who endeared themselves to the crowd with infectious energy and great rock and roll sensibility—MS MR took the stage to uproarious applause. Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow, the MS and MR behind the band’s moniker, took hold of the audience from the outset and delighted us with a set that sent emotional electricity pulsing through the air.

Crowd favorite “Bones” opened the set, instantly sending the audience into an enraptured state. Eerie candelabras that produced syncopated lighting furnished the stage, and the lights changed color throughout the set to reflect the evolution of MS MR’s symphonic sound. The performance bloomed with renditions of “Salty Sweet,” “Think of You” and “BTSK.” The cover of Patrick Wolf’s “Time of My Life” that followed garnered plenty of adoration. Plapinger and Hershenow danced mischievously during “Fantasy” and then dipped into a darker realm for “Dark Doo Wop” and “Head Is Not My Home,” both of which are filled with apocalyptic visions and brooding lyrics.

Plapinger then launched into the simple, anthemic “Ash Tree Lane.” To the crowd’s surprise and delight, the next song was a clever cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean.” “We’ve always wanted to do that!” she said, beaming at its conclusion. “Hurricane” provided the ideal finale for a theatrical journey through the band’s repertoire. MS MR’s music is simultaneously tragic and euphoric, making the nuanced experience of hearing the music live greatly satisfying. The band brought an appealing sense of humility to performing a sold-out show at a venue they so admire. MS MR make their television debut tonight on The Late Show with David Letterman, and they’re sure to continue their tour with the same gusto and grace they showed us last night. —Schuyler Rooth

Photos courtesy of Lauren Glucksman