October 7, 2022. It had been 11 years to the day since I’d seen one of the bands that shaped my adolescence grace the post dystopian style stage. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was sold out for the event, and the anticipation for the band to hit the stage was palpable.
The crowd was one of the loudest I’d ever heard in all of the shows I’ve seen as original members Gerard and Mikey Way, Ray Toro, Frank Iero, and touring members Jarrod Alexander (drums) and Jamie Muhoberac (keyboards) took the stage amongst the sounds of the band’s newest single “The Foundations of Decay”.
My Chemical Romance has not waivered in sound nor performance since I first saw them back in 2005. As they broke into two of my favorite tracks off of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, “Thank You for the Venom” and “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid”, it was hard to photograph. Not only did Gerard run across the stage with the same energy he had almost 20 years ago, but it’s difficult to steadily hold a camera when you’re screaming along to the lyrics.
Ray, Mikey, and Frank were completely in sync, proving that for a band that is widely considered to be a part of the “emo” era, that the blues/rock driven guitar riffs, that they may have been misjudged all these years. Ray stepped off of the stage numerous times and onto the monitors that were set before the stage, getting close to the crowd to play his solos.
Of course, the crowd went beyond wild for another off of Three Cheers as My Chemical Romance broke into “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”. The energy remained high during catchy and danceable “Planetary (GO!)” off of the band’s concept album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Seeing an entire arena jump in unison is not something I’ve seen in an extremely long time.
One of the best things about the show was seeing people of all ages. You figure a vast majority of us older My Chemical Romance fans are in our 30s and 40s now. We have kids of our own, some the same age we were when we first saw the guys pop up on our screens. Hell, even the band are all dads now.
The next song that they played, which is the one that I blew my voice out on (as I am sure many others did) was The Black Parade‘s “Teenagers”, which Gerard dedicated to his daughter Bandit, who scarily enough is a teenager now too. Yet again, the crowd jumped in unison.
The band took it back to their first album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, with one of my personal favorites, “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”. If my voice was not gone because of “Teenagers”, it was gone because of this. It was completely wild to me as I looked around and saw so many people singing and screaming along. I guess it just kind of trips me out. I now know how my parents felt going to concerts of bands that they loved in their youth.
Closing out the show was Three Cheers‘ “Helena (So Long & Goodnight)”, which was ever fitting. The band left the stage, but the crowd remained cheering. As multiple phone flashlights lit up the arena, the band took to the stage again. Gerard thanked the crowd for always supporting the band, and lighting up the venues they play with something so beautiful. His speech was heartfelt, and you could tell he and the rest of the band seemed to be choked up.
Then that fateful piano began, and all of us cheered as we joined in on “Welcome to the Black Parade”. The night ended with “Cancer”, which is not one I expected at all; a song that has always moved me to tears.
I could say that I wish they played this or that (I will forever be wishing for “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville”), but it was an amazing return. I cannot wait to see them again at the end of the month, as I will be in attendance for the last day of When We Were Young Festival. I’ll be there ready to cry, sing, and scream my heart out all over again. And when they return again in the future, I’ll be ready to do the same thing all over again.
The Foundations of Decay
Thank You For the Venom
Give ‘Em Hell, Kid
This Is the Best Day Ever
I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
Vampires Will Never Hurt You
I Never Told You What I Do For a Living
Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
Famous Last Words
Helena (So Long & Goodnight)
Welcome to the Black Parade
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Muzio (Hayward) for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved