Monday, June 16, 2014

Musical Monday: MS MR (stands for Must See Musical peRformance)

On Tuesday last week I went to see MS MR at the 9:30 club with my friend Melissa.  You can check out her *official* review over at BYT

Here's where you can stream MS MR's album Secondhand Rapture from Soundcloud:

Opening Act

The Preatures opened up the night, and we go there to see about half of their set.  A female-vocalist with 2 guitars, a bass, and a drummer, the Preatures had a great retro, upbeat sound. Isabella Manfredi led the band with fantastic vocals, especially when she and the two guitarists sang together, for some layered harmonies. There were also some great guitar shredding solos but throughout the  whole performance I couldn't decide how much was genuine joy/movement and how much was a performance as there were periods, especially in the slower/more emotional songs that seemed a bit over-acted.

I didn't take any pictures of the Preatures because by the time we had gotten there Ms. Manfredi had taken off her long sleeve button up shirt and had a see-through white tee with nothing underneath (and I try to keep this blog SFW). Maybe that's why I felt like parts of the performance were contrived, as some quick research showed this was an intentional clothing choice she had made before, but as Melissa told me "this is Rock & Roll" so maybe I'm not as hardcore as I thought, since I would have preferred not to see her boobs.


(Not any great pictures but you can head over to the link near the top to see what the professional photographer took)

True story, I tried to see them at the Black Cat last fall for my birthday, and in a minor protest on the "service fees" which cost more than half the tickets decided to buy tickets at the door, but tickets sold out the morning of the concert. However, while it would have been a more intimate performance last fall, I'm glad to have benefited from the awesome acoustics of the 9:30 Club.

Here's the video for Fantasy, which is the first song of theirs I heard/saw on the blog You Me & Charlie. As Melissa points out in her BYT review, it's mesmerizing in its glittery bitterness (warning, if you can't handle cheerleaders puking glitter, this is not the video for you):

The Ms. and Mr. of MS MR are Ms. Lizzie Plapinger and Mr. Max Hershenow. They brought a ton of energy to the performance and played, sang, danced, rocked, and rolled with an genuine jubilation. They were entertaining to watch, even in their banter to the crowd and between each other. Thier personalities were want any listener of their reflective dark-yet-peppy-emo-pop would expect while their dance skills far exceeded my expectations.

They had another instrumentalist/back-up singer and a drummer to help fill their sound which worked great in a mid-size venue like the 9:30 club.  While I have no doubt Lizzie's full-yet-raspy vocals could fill a room, they songs benefited from the extra boost. They let us all know before the last song Hurricane there would be no encore because "honestly, they don;t have that much material," which worked out nicely since it was a weekday concert.

I was presently surprised to find one of my favorites, Ash Tree Lane, was actually the first song they wrote.  Notably, they also performed a cover of The Arctic Monkey's Do I Wanna Know which Melissa and I both agreed was better than the original and I thought that hearing it sung by a female vocalist gives the lyrics a moving sadness and the song a vulnerability that's not there in the original version.

Overall, it was a wonderful concert by two musicians whose gracious attitude at playing their sixth show (and FIRST headline) at the 9:30 club brought an infectious energy that captured the ears, eyes, and (dare I be cheesy enough to say it, yes I dare) hearts of the audience.

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