First it was scheduled for the Ogden, then moved to the Gothic. Then the drummer becomes ill on the scheduled date and the show is postponed. But they pulled it off at the original venue on the rescheduled date, after memorable performances around the country, including their time at Coachella where they performed immediately after the cancelled date in Denver last April.
The wait was worth it. A great hour long set in front of a packed house, but Lizzy and Max had a bit of a struggle engaging the audience in the beginning but their choice of songs soon turned that around.
Angst-fueled lullabies. These are three words one might use to describe the sound of MS MR. Not that the band’s music will put you to sleep — quite the contrary. Tucked in beneath a blanket of poppy-sweet soundscapes is a fiery spirit.
Fans were disappointed last month when MS MR had to cancel its April 9 show at the Gothic “due to band illness,” as it tweeted out that night; apparently touring drummer Zach Nicita was sick. But all was forgiven on Wednesday as MS MR had the crowd moving, shaking and dancing along to their one-hour set at the Ogden Theatre.
“We really, really like Denver. And we were so bummed, as many of you were, to cancel the show last month,” music maker Max Hershenow said between songs. “None of us are throwing up tonight, so we’re all good. ZACH.”
The indie/electro-pop duo from New York is comprised of producer and keyboardist Hershenow and vocalist Lizzy Plapinger, a tall, slender woman with a huge set of lungs. Along for the ride were Nicita and David Lizmi on bass. A barrage of bass feedback kicked off the night as MS MR moved into the second track of its debut album “Secondhand Rapture.” Here the audience got its first taste of Plapinger’s sweet-and-salty vocals. Bathed primarily in black and white, the stage was adorned with a giant, sparkly striped monochrome “M” flag. To match the visuals on stage, Hershenow wore a black short-sleeved T-shirt with black-and-white speckled leggings and white platform shoes. Plapinger wore an Adidas track suit. The only color showing was her dyed magenta hair.
The chemistry between the songwriting duo is palpable. During “Fantasy,” the fourth song of the evening, Hershenow stepped away from the keys to dance with Plapinger, doing near-pirouettes across the stage in his humongous shoes. MS MR’s dozen studio recordings translate well live, where the band brings added energy and aggression to the songs.
A highlight of the evening was a superb cover of Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” There was a fan in attendance with an Arctic Monkeys T-shirt (black and white, no less), and the band took notice. Plapinger asked him if the cover was worthy — he quietly nodded in agreement.