MS MR @ The Independent 10/17/13 - photo by Jon Ching
Photos and review by Jon Ching

The mics at The Independent last night served us well as the new vocal heavy hitters, Wildcat! Wildcat! and MS MR, played their second of three sold out shows. The Independent was a great host, and on this second day, the sound and lights were all spot on and felt dialed in.

The crowd showed up early to see Wildcat! Wildcat!, who are more than deserving of their own crowd. Filling the room with their powerful psych pop atmosphere, the gentlemen had strength and confidence in their sound and delivered some of the most beautiful harmonies. Harmonies that were so tight, it was to the point of melting into a singular, insanely rich voice that smoothly weaves itself through the song before drifting away.

It’s not just their hauntingly achy falsettos that make Wildcat! Wildcat! so entrancing. Their clean instrumentation and sharp beats built these slow, beautiful builds that break into epic anthemic sing-alongs that feel fresh and contemporary. It all comes together into a sound that you can’t get enough of, and I found myself feeling a bit empty when they ended their set.

Luckily, the lights dimmed again and MS MR made their entrance through the chaotic and discordant guitar solo that kicked off the set. Starting their first song felt like being bewitched. The moment Lizzy Plaginger’s voice hit my ears I was under a spell and completely present. And I’m not the only one. From word one, she had fans singing along and following her every word and every move.

Plaginger wasn’t shy about her moves. Decked out in clean white platform pumps, a cropped leather jacket and glittery pink pants that must have taken hours to squeeze on, she grooved and got down with their tantalizing and seductive sound. In fact, they all got down with the beat. Max Hershenow kept his moves at his keyboard before eventually taking his booty on tour and dancing his way across the stage. Max and Lizzy both proved that they can lay it down and be dynamic performers.

Apart from their cool and effervescent sound, what I found most refreshing was their humility and genuine care for the crowd’s enjoyment. Plaginger’s persona hopped from powerful, entrancing, songstress to giddy 20-something that reveled in pure appreciation of the moment. Her charm and honesty only added to the authenticity their performance. It was as if Miss, or should I say MS, America’s talent was to rock.

Their set ended without an obligatory encore, which they were kind enough to warn us about. And to be honest, I wasn’t too upset. MS MR put on an exciting show that made me feel like I was supposed to see it. They held the crowd in their hand, made us dance, built us up and let us go home satisfied. Not much more I can ask for but maybe to see them again on Monday.

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