Comeback kids European tour
Some people speak about concerts they’ve been to as if it’s a spiritual experience and a My Chemical Romance fan is in all likeliness high on this list. I’m here to tell you that these people are wrong; I can say this because I’m a saner (bigger) fan than you.
Unlike Scruffy who had never seen the band before, this was my fourth time and thus I knew exactly what to expect. Two of the previous times I had seen them was at The Apollo so even I was shocked by just how many pre-pubescent children were orderly queuing up with mummy or daddy at hand. It was slightly bizarre. The worst thing was that so many people were in breach of gig-goers rule number one, never wear merchandise of the band you are going to see, unless it proves to be vintage and thus cool. Amongst the large crowd were some die-hards who had camped out or dressed up, but it was a gig comprised of mainly newer fans.
The last time I saw My Chem it was in support of the bombastic The Black Parade, it was all very theatrical and full of pomp. All you need know is that costumes and set pieces were involved. Before that it was for Three Cheers the bands major label debut which saw them rise to overwhelming success due to ‘emo’ (don’t get me started) anthem ‘I’m Not Okay’. This tour then is a refreshing hark back to a simpler more aggressive time. After a two and a half year absence from our shores it’s the comeback they need.
New single ‘Na Na Na’, which upon hearing once will incessantly play in your head everyday no matter what situation you find yourself in, opens the show to screams, applause, singing, and no doubt some crying too. It’s going to be magical. For about the first ten minutes of the show I find myself distracted by the sheer redness of Gerards’ hair, a photo just can’t convey how shiny or bright it really is. I was actually slightly disappointed by the lack of day-glow colours adorning the stage, though they did have a token biker helmet from one of the Killjoys (Kobra Kids I believe) on stage. This was a much more minimal affair for a My Chem show, but it fit the eclectic set-list and ballsy pseudo-aggressive presence perfectly.
Although it appears they actually played more songs from The Black Parade than any other album it didn’t feel that way and they had clearly chosen the set order carefully. While songs such as ‘Teenagers’ caused the crowd to erupt into fits of toneless singing and to mosh on command it was earlier mid-album songs ‘Give Em’ Hell Kid’ and ‘I Know What They Do To Guys Like You In Prison’ that stick with you. Regardless of the fact that ‘Prison’ is my favourite song they just seem to convey all the ferocity a band like My Chem has to offer. Set closer and the slowest song of the night ‘Cancer’ brings Gerard under the spotlight alone and he relishes the moment, but the song would have so much more power if it was just one man singing rather than 1000’s of kids shouting. Talk about ruining the mood.
The Apollo is a great venue, you can see from anywhere, and it allows some mosh-pits and crowd surfing. It’s good to see the fans that probably all hate each other, still take care to abide by mosh-pit etiquette in picking each other up.
While the band tell us some shit about how we are the best crowd they have ever played to what I can only describe as ‘space music’ plays in the background, but not just once, it happens every time the band break between songs and for me it ruins the atmosphere they have just managed to create. In keeping with this instrumental sound the start of each song is adapted to fit in and some songs ‘Ghost of You’ being the worst just don’t seem to recover from the change of pace.
For ‘Honey This Mirror…’ which Gerard says: “I forgot the words to last night” a fan is invited on stage and the lucky boy proceeds to get his camera out. Even I said “fuck off” at that moment. After being told precisely that he fails to miss the queue three times before actually starting the song. Despite the anger of everyone in that room focused on him he is highly entertaining and it’s a nice returning gesture for the band to show they are well and truly back.
The Encore was frankly shocking consisting of one new song ‘The Kids From Yesterday’. It sounded calm in comparison to the electro hyper-pop of other new material demonstrated this evening. It just wasn’t a very memorable ending to what was an otherwise well crafted set.
Fans piled out of the venue to the usual cohort of street traders with fake merchandise, which was yet again not day-glow, I honestly don’t know what’s going on. The song I still have stuck in my head is obviously ‘Na Na Na.’