Alicia / East Village / Live Music / Music Hall / Pop

MKTO, Irving Plaza

I’ve been on a pop music kick lately – and I have to say I’m kinda enjoying it.  This time I traveled down to Irving Plaza in the East Village to see MKTO, the relatively new duo consisting of Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller. I’m not as well versed in today’s pop music as some of my younger friends are (if you have questions about Madonna, I’m your gal), so I brought along one of my go-to pop music mavens, Allyson Pableo, for tonight’s adventure.

Irving Plaza is quickly becoming one of CV’s favorite venues.  They have a great layout and lots of bars on all levels. The stage is perfectly small-ish, and it’s backed by killer sound and lighting systems. I love the general admission atmosphere where almost everyone is on equal footing and if you want to get close to the stage, you’ve got a shot at getting next to your favorite band.  Lucky for us, this time around I was able to score some VIP passes, so we made our way to the upper level and looked down upon the sea of female teenagers (and by sea, I mean a huge, hormone-drunk mass of undulating girls all screaming and crushing each other in an attempt to get water thrown on them from the stage by one of the boys).  It was equally overwhelming and amazing at the same time.

We arrived just as the boys were starting and they kicked off their set with “Could Be Me” and the crowd went wild. The twosome seems to have a unique thing going on in the pop world, Tony has a smooth voice and belts out the songs while Malcolm raps next to him, and they’re backed by a legit rock band. I haven’t seen anything like it in a while and they are 100% entertaining and captivating. They moved through their entire self-titled EP and sang hits like “Thank You” and my favorite, “American Dream.” For their encore performance, Tony played a quick drum solo that proved how legit the musical ability of these actors-turned-rockers really is, and they sang “Classic” from the crowd with throngs of adoring girls trying ever so hard to get close to them.

MKTO, Irving Plaza, Crushing Vinyl, Live Music

MKTO sings from the crowd during their encore song “Classic.”

It was a solid night all around, and although I’m ready to try some different music genres in our next adventures, I’m like-totally enjoying the pop scene!

Allyson’s Takeaway: Class and sick. I am so glad to have joined Alicia on this adventure. The various song performances were tremendously energetic! Throughout the show, I could tell that MKTO treasured and sought to engage with their fans to make an intimate, fun, but unique show experience. With Tony’s solid vocals, Malcolm’s lyrical delivery, the band’s stage presence and the fantastic lighting design… who wouldn’t want to check this classy – yet, ultimately sick – duo in action?? I am truly excited to see what they have in store for us in the future.

Alicia’s Takeaway: A couple times this past month, I’ve been called out for possible fan-girl-bashing.  I’d like to explain. I’m not bashing or throwing shade – I’m honestly amazed at these girls.  For me, I’ve never loved a band or a celebrity with the intensity that these fans love their favorite pop stars of the moment. It’s not in my DNA, but I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with it.  I may tease you if you’re my friend, but it doesn’t come from a bad place. I think it’s awesome.

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