Electro indie pop is so in right now. Well that statement is certainly evident when it comes to Australia’s love affair with American duo MS MR. After just completing rave review shows at Groovin the Moo Maitland and Canberra it was the big city of Sydney’s turn to experience their pop goodness.
It was a cold Autumn night in Sydney but that wasn’t going to dampen the spirit of this hipster filled crowd. First up on stage was Aussie support act GRRL PAL who were obviously stoked to be on stage and a fitting start to the night. The attentive crowd seemed to enjoy the duo’s set as it comprised of up-tempo electro songs with an instant familiarity and likeability.
The gorgeous Jay LeKat was mesmerising as she bounced around the stage winning over new fans in the process. The highlight of the set came from GRRL PAL covering Drake’s “hotline bling”. This provided a great crowd sing-along moment and displayed an interesting contrast from the original hearing the innocence in Jay’s vocals.
After a short break the Metro had started to fill up as they moment had come for MS MR to take the stage. Huge cheers let out from the crowd as they burst onto the stage heating up the room with their intensity. The fiery red headed Lizzy Plapinger was shimmering in a gold jumpsuit while Max Hershenow danced up a storm behind his keyboard in an unbuttoned shirt.
The energy didn’t stop throughout the set from both band and audience. With MS MR playing a good mix of songs from both albums. Lizzy would pause between songs to talk to the audience and catch her breath. Explaining that “no guilt in pleasure” was written about a friend who managed to sneak into many gigs including Splendour in the grass. “Tri polar” went over a treat as Max continued to wow the crowd with his dance moves. After which throwing off his shirts as things really began to heat up.
A group therapy moment came from when they played “think of you”. Where it seemed every crowd member was able to channel their anger from a former lover by singing the lyrics at full voice. I still think of you and all the shit you put me through echoed through the Metro as if to solidify that in a room full of strangers we are not alone. The relatable lyrics and Lizzy’s amazing live voice made this a highlight of the set.
Lizzy commanded the crowd to dance as they played “criminals” and dance they did. All the while she had a huge smile on her face. The vibe of the night kept on rolling through with the pace picking up for crowd favourite “pieces”. Then before playing “leave me alone” Lizzy reassured the crowd and Max that the song is not actually about anybody. The band then announced they have one more to play getting the energy to a fever pitch by kicking into “painted”. The dance beats thundered through the Metro as the band danced around stage while Lizzy’s vocals soared through the chorus chanting what did you think would happen. The song drew to a close as the stage lights dimmed and the band left the stage.
But this was not to be the end as the audience was not leaving and started cheering for MS MR to return. The band then re-emerged saying ok they’ll play two more. Starting out with the slower atmospheric track “bones”. Finishing off the night by introducing “hurricane” with Max explaining how surreal it is that they wrote the song in his bedroom now playing it in Sydney Australia. “Hurricane” was a perfect way to end the night leaving both crowd and band on a permanent high.
All in all I get the feeling this isn’t a short romance between MS MR and Australia. This is evident in the way the band couldn’t stop smiling and dancing all night. This was also reflected by the appreciative vocal Sydney crowd. So while this genre of music enjoys its resurgence here’s hoping the beautiful MS Lizzy and exuberant MR Max return to Australian shores soon.