Courting New Ground with MY CHEMCIAL ROMANCE

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music, Concert Reviews,   From Issue 635   By: April Beeckman

12th April, 2007     0

My Chemical Romance is a concoction of five pale, aimless, and introverted musicians that have become one of the biggest and most theatrical acts to hit a stage since Alice Cooper de-commissioned his guillotine and Duran Duran hung up their lip-gloss.

Their latest album The Black Parade is definitively a modern album, not only in tone but context for our ages.  Apart from the similarities of wartime and inflation that hang over the U.S.A. like a black cloud, lead singer Gerard Way notes that he wrote much of The Black Parade while watching the movie Cabaret (plus, not incidentally, Liza Minnelli has a guest spot on the album).

Recently the group brought their new concept album to life at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.  'The Black Parade' was released under Reprise Records and initially promoted as if it were an entirely new band, though it didn't seem to take fans long to realize it was only an alter ego of their alternative punk rock heroes, My Chemical Romance The Black Parade topped numerous music charts and sold over 250,000 copies in the first 2 weeks of release.

MyChem has graced the cover of dozens of music mags across the US and Europe since their previous release Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge in 2004. While Three Cheers plays out like a punk rock, blood stained love story, The Black Parade shows the bands musical and personal growth and ambition while retaining their dark image. Each song touches on the reality of tragic loss (life and love).

"Welcome to the Black Parade" focuses on a character called "The Patient" who is dying at a fairly young age, the ballad "Cancer" touches the heart of just about everyone, "Mama" is an energetic anti-war anthem, "Teenagers" reflects on modern troubled youth, and "Famous Last Words" leaves one with hope and inspiration. Admittedly influenced by legendary bands like Queen, Pink Floyd and Smashing Pumpkins, the music is nonetheless fearless and fresh.

Currently on the first leg of their headlining tour, MCR took the stage as The Black Parade performing all 13 tracks in order. Rising from a hospital bed in a soft spot light, vocalist Gerard Way calls your attention to this tragic affair with "The End". Gerard never fails to direct attention to lead guitarist Ray Toro and his passionate guitar solos.

The band also features Mikey Way on bass, Frank Iero playing rhythm guitar and Bob Bryar on drums; all dressed in their custom Goth style Marching Band uniforms, complete with black and white make-up.

Adorned with mini explosions that warmed the face of every guest in the arena, an amazing shower of sparks that lit up the entire venue and a revolving drum riser, this band understands what rock 'n roll is all about.

Following The Black Parade set, hidden track "Blood" was piped through the PA while the boys quickly changed into their street wear and returned to perform 7 favorites from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge including Helena, I'm Not Ok, Thank You for the Venom and more.

Yes, the concept of The Black Parade may revolve around death, and some writers have referred to them as an emo punk band promoting teenage suicide and violence, but obviously they have not done their homework.

There are thousands of kids that will testify My Chemical Romance saved their life and thousands more that have become greatly influenced by their music, lyrics, energy and accomplishments.

For those misinformed individuals that have not been paying attention, My Chemical Romance is about being accepted and understood, making something of your life before it's too late and coping with pain and loss.

They send a positive message in a way that relates to those in a not so positive state of mind, which in this day and age, is definitely an accomplishment worthy of recognition."

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