It has been over nine years now (where on earth has that time gone?!) since the release of one of the greatest rock albums of the modern era – My Chemical Romance‘s Black Parade. Following its release the band saw a meteoric rise in their popularity and managed to establish themselves as arguably the biggest rock band of the Noughties.
They were loved world wide for their theatrical performances, both on stage and in their music videos, and were applauded for the way they were able to do this every single time without fail. Fast-forward five months from the release of Black Parade in October 2006 to March 2007 and we find ourselves in the middle of the Black Parade World Tour.
I travelled two hours east down the south coast of England from my home in Southampton to the Brighton Centre with an old school friend (being driven by my mum), in order to attend my first ever gig. I wasn’t big, bad and ugly enough to brave the floor and those with standing tickets like I do now, so I conservatively found myself in the seats on the balcony – much to the dismay of my friend who was already a gigging veteran.
I couldn’t have hoped for a much better gig for my first. The five-piece dominated the stage and powered through the entirety of Black Parade in order, before retiring for an interval and returning to perform eight tracks from their sophomore record Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge.
The set began with the standard blackout before a spotlight lit up a hospital bed centre stage, with a sheet covering frontman Gerard Way who would soon emerge and start singing ‘The End.’ whilst remaining on the stage by himself. Once the opening track moved straight into ‘Dead!’, just like it does on the album, the curtain behind Way fell and revealed his brother Mikey, Frank Iero, Ray Toro and drummer Bob Bryar thrashing away to the heavy riffs. The atmosphere in the Brighton Centre was absolutely electric, with the vast majority of people, myself included, singing along to more or less every single word of every single song.
The New Jersey natives, who broke up in March of 2013 to the dismay of millions of fans worldwide, were faultless on the evening. You could quite easily have been listening to a CD playing extra loud, it was that good and that precise, and there have not been many bands of their genre who can boast such a compliment on a nightly basis. Highlights from the evening had to come in the form of the anthemic ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’, which topped the UK singles charts before the release of the album in 2006, ‘Teenagers’, which is still sung regularly in my household for some bizarre reason, ‘Famous Last Words, and from Three Cheers… after the interval, ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’, and the final track of the evening ‘Helena’.
My Chemical Romance were one of the most inventive and as equally impressive rock bands ever to grace a stage. Their tenacity and ability to perform to such an exceptionally high level was really something to marvel at. It would be quite safe to say that, despite not listening to their music for a good few years, if they were to announce a reunion tour, I would be one of the first to buy a ticket.