My Chemical Romance
Edit this event
- My Chemical Romance »
So there I was, bracing myself for an evening trying to blend in with a horde of Japanese teens with more bottled-up angst than you can shake your black lipstick at when, on entering the arena, I realise something quite odd. Instead of the expected teenage masses, the crowd ranges from said teens right through to 40-something suited salary-men. Hell, the average age must even have been pushing a whopping 20-odd.* My Chemical Romance *have seriously gone mainstream – sales of_ The Black Parade _have made them front-runners hankering after the global crowns of punk-pop and emo.
The show opens with a typical burst of melodrama which sets the scene for their longer-than-average set. Gerard Way strides in from the wings, cloaked in a white hospital patient’s gown, with a heart rate monitor’s beep ringing throughout the stadium. It’s these campy, over-the-top antics that suggest MCR is a band that doesn’t take itself quite as seriously as most people give them so much stick for. It is a fine line though, as messiah to the disenchanted Gerard Way proclaims aloud that, “If you’re depressed, desperate or lost, find someone to talk to before you hurt yourself or someone else”. The delayed response from the 99 per cent Japanese crowd suggests that the message was perhaps a little lost in translation.
By the fourth song, we’ve already been hit with flame throwers, industrial-sized sparklers, a revolving drumkit, a rainstorm of black and white confetti and a light show that would make even the most stable of us slightly epileptic. MCR might not be writing the book on stage theatrics, but they’re certainly pulling every trick there is out of it.
If it all seems a little choreographed, that’s because it probably is. Way even takes to the spotlight twice during the set, conducting his crowd from this position in all their air-punching, lighter-waving gusto and this strutting, ass-shaking frontman is clearly loving every second. His request for quiet during ‘Cancer’ is met with equally unanimous obedience, and the silence throughout this backlit performance is really quite something in a venue this size.
Their encore sees them ditching their Black Parade costumes and alter-egos and getting back to their thrashing rock roots. Emo becomes screamo before the set is rounded off with breakthrough hit ‘Helena’ which is sung back to them word-perfectly.
Whilst their music and genre is always going to polarise opinion, love them or hate them, you can’t help but admire MCR’s live show for what it is: an ambitious, entertaining piece of rock theatre.
- In Photos: Reading Festival 2011 - Day 1
- In Photos: Leeds Festival 2011 - Day 2
- In Photos: My Chemical Romance @ Leeds Festival 2011
- This Week's Singles: 10/01/11
- My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys
- Spotifriday #70 - This Week on DiS as a playlist
- DiS meets My Chemical Romance: "It's hard to stay dirty"
- In Photos: My Chemical Romance @ Edinburgh Corn Exchange