Last Friday Marina & the Diamonds had their first sell-out in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, packing the legendary TLA for the summer’s best and sweatiest queer dance party, which very much resembled a performance from Madonna’s least mature days, when her fans’ favorite hangout was Claire’s… and I mean that in the best possible way.  Seeing the seemingly-iconic 26-year-old Welsh songstress sassily strut across the stage, with a haphazard costume-(or accessory)-change between nearly every song, it was hard to believe that it wasn’t actually 1984.  The only real tip-off was the lack of fishnet gloves and the abundance of small “meaningful” tattoos.  However, as sleek and sexy as her swagger was, Marina wasn’t quite the highlight of the evening… That honor would go to openers MS MR… who also seemed to be stuck in a bit of a time warp… also, not a bad thing.  The NYC male/female duo (although the live band is a four-piece) has successfully maintained a relatively ambiguous identity.  In fact, they’re most regularly associated with postmodern, multi-media collages of [mostly] 90s pop culture (and anti-pop culture) imagery.  Their sound is a, somehow, glamorously sludgy amalgamation of the gothiest post-punk, the dreamiest bubblegum pop, and the darkest alt rock.  Had they been born in time, they easily could’ve served as the perfect opening act for Cyndi Lauper, Love and Rockets, or Meat Beat Manifesto.  Their first single, “Hurricane,” (which can be downloaded for free at http://msmrsounds.com/) sounds along the lines of a 90s R&B heroine fronting Echo & the Bunnymen.  The band’s set opening for Marina & the Diamonds was as epic and sunny as I think they’ve ever appeared and they were enthusiastically embraced by the largely underage audience, likely unfamiliar with what I’m assuming are their most prominent influences.  What’s in-store for MS MR’s future, like everything else about them, isn’t entirely clear.  However, they will be back touring the states very shortly, supporting GROUPLOVE, including a November 1st stop at the Electric Factory (dates listed below).

10/14 – New Orleans, LA @ HOB

10/16 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade

10/17 – Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theater

10/18-22 @ CMJ Festival

10/23 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery

10/24 – Norfolk, VA @ NorVA

10/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar

10/27 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall

10/29 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club

10/30 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club

11/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory

11/02 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5

11/03 – Boston, MA  @ Royale