I’ve mentioned before that I (foolishly) didn’t listen to My Chemical Romance until after they broke up (because sometimes I make poor decisions). Consequently, I never got to see them live. But yesterday, we went to Gerard Way’s solo show, and I got a taste of what an MCR concert would have been like.
The opening band, Nuns,was okay. Not the greatest, but probably not the worst we’ve ever heard. Ro called them a “wannabe White Stripes”, while I compared them to early Muse, but not as good. There was a lot of long guitar solos and the occasional high pitched vocals; I love Muse, so while I love Matt Bellamy’s falsetto, I know that not everyone can pull it off.
The best song in their set was “Melanie Bryn” which they dedicated to Gerard Way; that was the song that made you understand why he had chosen them to be his openers, since it has the same vibe as much of his solo stuff.
Gerard came out at nine on the dot and played for a solid hour-and-a-bit, including a one-song encore. I have to admit that, while I recognize most of the songs, I only know the words to about three of them, but it didn’t stop me from having a good time.
Fair warning: if you attend a Gerard Way solo show (or a solo show by any of the other members of MCR), don’t go in expecting to be welcomed to the black parade or have a bunch of “na na na’s” thrown at you. Gerard’s solo stuff has a completely different vibe to most of MCR’s catalogue. His album, Hesitant Alien, is more glam rock and the boppier parts of Danger Days, but they sound great live.
There’s a hint of the theatrical in pretty much everything Gerard Way does. Whether he’s prancing around on stage or waving his arms to get the crowd to participate – which everyone willing did – he’s every inch a showman. I imagine he was the same way at an MCR show, but with more make-up. At the same time, he also made sure to express his gratitude to the fans, the people who, in his words, made it possible for him to make more music.
He also made it a point to show his love and support for transgender/non-binary people, as well as those who have/had any sort of mental illness. I follow him on Twitter, and he’s pretty vocal about those kinds of issues, but it’s always nice when a band member – especially someone as respected and (relatively) prominent as him – starts the conversation at a show. You wouldn’t necessarily expect it, but certain music scenes are very accepting and it’s amazing that they – the bands and their fans – continue to support people who much of society might still see as “different” or “not normal”.
If you’ve ever been an MCR fan, it’s worth seeing Gerard live. And if you’re looking for an hour of solid live music, then I absolutely recommend taking in one of his shows.