It’s Friday night in Manhattan, and the members of MS MR are ready to celebrate. Not only is the July 17 release of the acclaimed alt-pop band’s second album, How Does It Feel (Columbia), around the corner, but a few hours earlier, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Singer Lizzy Plapinger, 27 — who also is co-founder of Neon Gold, the highly influential label behind early music from Ellie Goulding, Passion Pit and Charli XCX — and producer Max Hershenow, 27, arrive at West Chelsea’s McKittrick Hotel to take in a performance of the immersive, Macbeth-inspired theater experience Sleep No More.
Like the other audience members, the two are given white masks and separated to wander through Sleep No More‘s sometimes-racy, sometimes-bloody interactive scenes on their own. One of the cast members gets a little fresh with Hershenow. “A guy came up to me and licked my neck,” he says afterward, “but then he went off and murdered someone. I was like, ‘OK, that’s the end of our relationship.’ “
Noshing on oysters, cheese and wine at McKittrick restaurant The Heath, the duo sits with its manager, C3’s Jasmine Washington, and catches up on which parts of Sleep No More each saw and missed — most notably, the rampant male nudity. “There was peen?!” Plapinger asks incredulously.
Plapinger and Hershenow, who’s gay, take a cab downtown to the iconic Stonewall Inn, where a huge crowd has gathered to celebrate the SCOTUS decision. “It feels so good,” says Plapinger. “There are so many couples that look extra happy to be together.”
With the line at Stonewall snaking around the block, Plapinger and Hershenow turn construction scaffolding into a makeshift jungle gym while making plans to meet friends down Christopher Street.
At nearby bar The Hangar, which is draped in papier-mache rainbows, a ’90s house remix of Toni Braxton‘s “You’re Makin’ Me High” blares across the speakers. “Are these new vocals?” marvels Hershenow. “We should try that with ‘Painted’!” jokes Plapinger of MS MR’s current single.
After several rounds of tequila shots, they’re ready to call it a night — they have to catch an early flight to Las Vegas for a show. “See you in four hours!” Plapinger calls out to Washington as the twosome’s taxi pulls away.
For more photos from MS MR’s crazy night out in NYC, click here.
Listen to MS MR and more music from this week’s issue in the Spotify playlist below:
This story originally appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of Billboard.