Pret-a-Reporter

Lollapalooza: MS MR Talk Onstage Style for the Music Fest

Ryan Lowry/Airbnb
MS MR performing for Chicago Airbnb host and contest winner Chad Gordon and his guests at a private, in-home concert hosted by Airbnb.

Before Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow perform live on Friday, we caught up with the duo at a private Airbnb-hosted event to find out what they plan to rock onstage.

Alt-pop duo MS MR is returning to the Lollapalooza stage on Friday, two years after performing for the first time at Chicago's famous music fest. With the recent release of their second album, How Does It Feel, singer Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow are thrilled to be getting back onstage at Grant Park.

"We're really excited. We had a really fun set two years ago, but I think we've grown a lot as performers and as musicians since then, so we're excited to get back onstage and sort of show our chops," Plapinger told Pret-a-Reporter before performing at a private, pre-Lollapalooza in-home concert for an Airbnb contest winner on Wednesday.

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Hershenow, who is an Airbnb host himself, added: "It's also nice to come back to a festival we've played before. We sort of know what to expect. We're coming at it from a much better place."

The special concert experience — hosted by Airbnb in partnership with Lollapalooza and MS MR — was organized for Chicago-based Airbnb host Chad Gordon and his 20 guests as a way to "not only appreciate our community of hosts but also to incentivize people to become hosts," according to an Airbnb spokesperson.

FUN TIMES: MS MR's Lizzy Plapinger (far left) and Max Hershenow (far right) with Airbnb host contest winner Chad Gordon.

While the pair are pumped to perform new singles from How Does It Feel (Columbia Records), the one track they're most excited to play for the "eclectic mix" of folks at Lolla is the one that happens to share the same name as the album.

"This record is much more about focusing our music on being played live and to be sung along with and danced to," Hershenow shared. "'How Does It Feel' is definitely the pinnacle of that. While we were in the studio, we were like, 'Let's imagine a crowd jumping and chanting along with this.' So far it's been going off really well."

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Both seen as having their own distinct sense of style — a fiery red-headed Plapinger in a rosy Nasty Gal jumpsuit with cut-outs and black vintage boots, and Hershenow in an all-white ASOS ensemble, red Adidas kicks and his DIY sunglass frames covered with googly eyes — their fashion inspirations are found in other musicians, documentaries and, well, each other.

"I'd say [my style is] constantly evolving and it sort of depends on what mood or mental state I'm in. I love Debbie Harry's style, Karen O — right now I'm feeling very '70s-inspired, so a lot of Bianca Jagger, '70s Cher," said Plapinger, who is also the co-founder of Neon Gold Records, the label behind Charli XCX, Tove Lo and Marina and The Diamonds.

Hershenow shared that lately he's been finding inspiration in David Bowie, as well as fashion films Advanced Style and Iris. But most of the time, he looks no further than his partner in crime.

"I look to Lizzy a lot, actually, because she's always got her finger on the pulse and really has a radical and interesting style, so she's my main source," he said, causing Plapinger to blush with a smile.

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As for what they plan to wear onstage for their set on Friday, Plapinger says they've designed their own outfits.

"I think something we're doing more is making more of our stage outfits, and that's particularly fun for festivals. That sort of echoes our DIY approach to music and now our fashion sense. We're pretty excited about it," Plapinger said.

However, knowing that it will be pretty hot this weekend, she mentioned with a laugh, "We were just discussing how we were going to handle Friday and how we may not have chosen the right outfits."

Hershenow has somewhat of a solution for beating the heat, though. He joked, "I will try to find some air conditioning room and get my core body temperature as low as I possibly can before going onstage."

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