Jessie Ware and MS MR at the Independent [photo+review]


There’s a stigma to the end of a tour: a tired artist with their tired band gives a tired show. It happens to the best of acts, as tours can be utterly exhausting, especially when you add in the other appearances an artist has to make while they’re bopping around the country in the back of a van with a few too many people piled in.

The Independent in SF was the last stop on the MS MR + Jessie Ware tour. It could have been a tired show with tired acts and a tired audience.

But this was the last stop of the MS MR + Jessie Ware tour.

This New York + London connection could never be anything but vivacious and energetic, especially in San Francisco! A city that has embraced both young acts in every appearance they’ve made.

MS MR was exactly what you’d assume a dream-pop, art rock, dark-wave group out of New York would be: fabulously punkish in that they didn’t perform on-stage, they played. Lizzy Plapinger led the group with her intoxicating voice and personality. She spent the night in an endless dance with the audience, the mic stand, and MS MR main-man, producer Max Hershenow.

Following such a filling set, I was worried Jessie Ware would be too far of a calming step down. Her music is filling, but in an entirely different way. For me it’s like comparing a quick set of sprints on the track to a long-distance run. Both are exhausting, but in entirely different ways!

But then Jessie took the stage, in every sense of the phrase. Her set was a witty mixture of stand-up comic and fabulous musician. Clearly an old hand, I have no doubt Jessie would be equally comfortable on any stage in the world. As Lizzy said at the end of MS MR’s set, “She is the exact dreamboat you expect her to be.”

MS MR and Jessie Ware are the rare types that sound great on the record, in the car, in a theatre, or on the grassy fields of Golden Gate Park. That’s right, San Franciscans, you’ll find both these acts are going to kill it at the 2013 Outside Lands Music Festival August 9-11th.