I'm certain that Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge didn't leave my Toyota Highlander's 6-CD changer for the entirety of my sophomore year of high school. This was probably before I owned an iPod, or had a subscription to Rolling Stone; but I knew my Converse sneakers, inked with sharpie-drawn checkerboard patterns, reflected the type of music found on the 2004 album that drove around with me every place frequented by sixteen year-olds on Wednesday afternoons. (Like, student government meetings.)
This past weekend, My Chemical Romance invaded Dallas for two full days, parading in alternative garb across the House of Blues main stage for back-to-back nights of danger and darkness. Frontman Gerard Way sounded brilliant (save for retreating to his lower register during “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”), but lacked a certain deranged energy that I imagine usually pairs with MCR shows. As I was present for night two of the Dallas excursion, Way may have exhausted his adrenaline during Saturday’s show. I guess I expected to see the whites of his eyes a little more.
With flaming red hair and a striped yellow tee, Way was clearly the focal point of the otherwise stark stage. Before song “Mama,” he held his arms in the air for a good 60 seconds before pulling his elbows to his sides in a downbeat clap. “More fearless onstage” after a 40-pound weight loss, Way repeated this motion frequently throughout the evening, initiating multiple audience clap-a-longs.
This was my first time seeing MCR live in concert, and I’m happy to know the band boasts the same big stadium sound found on their studio albums. During “The Only Hope for Me Is You,” the resolving feedback settled just enough for Way to produce a wolf-like howl introduction to the deathly, twisted tune “House of Wolves.” It sounded just like the cemetery from which MCR first emerged.
“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” still seemed to be the song that summoned the most hands up in the air and garnered the most smiles from Way, as he sang to a fist-pumping pit of black-clad fans, who collaboratively freaked out at the first piano note from a refreshingly non-radio edit version of “Welcome to the Black Parade.”
Way dug up his demons during an epic rendition of “The Ghost of You,” and energy pulsed throughout the venue during “Helena.” As I looked up toward balcony seating, a row of teenage boys sprang from their chairs, and heartily mouthed Way’s lyrics back at him. For MCR, moments like that must make them remember why they started a band.
Song to run to when you’ve had a really, really stressful day: Famous Last Words
Author’s Note: So, Green Day has their musical edging toward a full-scale Broadway tour. Who’s brave enough to take on The Black Parade? Hmm? HMM?
Photography by Giovanni Gallucci, Dallas Concert Photographer
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