Low attendance and indoor venue doesn't stop UB students from enjoying MS MR show

About two songs into MS MR’s Saturday night set in the Center for the Arts (CFA), a group of students stood up in their seats and started dancing.

It started a chain reaction.

Others began standing and moving closer to the stage and quickly the front half of the theater was packed with students singing and swaying along to the music.

Indie rock duo MS MR played at the Mainstage Theater in the CFA on Saturday night. Up-and-coming Rochester band Oh Manitou performed as the opening act. The show was hosted and funded by the Student Association.

The concert’s attendance was lower than expected. Although SA said it handed out 1,200 of 1,740 available tickets, only 204 students actually attended.

MS MR was the first SA concert of the spring semester. The concert costs totaled between $60-70,000, according to Marc Rosenblitt, SA’s entertainment coordinator.

Despite the low turnout, the band was still able to get the crowd that was there on its feet and dancing along to the music.

The opener Oh Manitou came out on stage right at 8 p.m. The group’s songs teemed with energy and featured heavy guitar and drums.

MS MR made their way onstage around 9 p.m.

When they first walked onstage, they didn’t address the crowd right away. Vocalist Lizzy Plapinger, dressed in a black shimmery jumpsuit, struck a pose and waited for the drummer to strike his drumsticks together four times.

Then they got right into the music.

The group’s dramatic entrance got the crowd going. After the first song, more than half the concertgoers were on their feet. Plapinger told the crowd that when she first came out on stage, she felt like she was performing at a middle school assembly and wanted to get the crowd pumped up.

She did just that.

Producer Max Hershenow also impressed the crowd with his smooth moves, grooving along to the pounding beats.

Andrew Charbonneau, a junior environmental engineering major, said the concert was awesome because of the energy in the theater.

“It was hard to stay seated,” he said.

Aliza Schneider, a freshman theater major, said that it was really nice to see people up and dancing to the music.

“I really liked the energy MS MR brought to the crowd,” she said.

For certain songs, Plapinger gave a back-story. Before launching into “How Does It Feel,” Plapinger said she wanted the crowd to imagine that this was the last song of the night and the cops were about to storm in and break up the concert.

The band wanted to make sure that the experience was unique and each song meant something different.

Before the song “No Guilt in Pleasure” Plapinger said, “Do everything that makes you feel good and don’t feel bad about it.”

Her energy and constant interaction with the crowd kept everything active.

MS MR finished off the night with their hit single, “Hurricane.” As the band’s most well known hit, the crowd gave its biggest reaction when Plapinger announced the final song.

Madison Reformat, a freshman biotechnology major, said her favorite song was “Hurricane” and that hearing the song made it all worth it for her. She said it was the only song she really wanted to hear.

Plapinger gave a huge thanks to the crowd and to UB for hosting the group and then with continuous applause and cheering from the audience, MS MR gave their final bow.

After the show, Kaitlyn Alcazaren, a sophomore environmental engineering major, said she enjoyed the energy the band brought to stage, but the concert could have much better if the band had the right venue.

Even with the unordinary venue, the acts and the audience made the best of what they were given and they did just what Plapinger said: “Do what makes you feel good and don’t feel bad about it.”

Evan Grisley is an arts staff writer. Arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.