Good night last night, PopWatchers!! After some light begging, I scored myself a ticket to the My Chemical Romance show at Webster Hall here in NYC, celebrating the release of their third album, The Black Parade (stream it now at AOL Music), and me and the kids had one hell of a time.
This whole thing was very exciting to me for two reasons:
1. I am basically 15 and I just switched my ringtone and my MySpace page music over to “Welcome to the Black Parade” (they’d previously been set to “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down,” but I’m sorry, Fall Out Boy; my heart belongs to someone else now).
2. I just got a digital camera that is, amazingly, smaller than a shoebox and capable of taking pictures without a flash (honestly, my old digital camera was basically a Polaroid with more battery drain), and I wanted to try it out. Yes, that’s right: I wanted to see what it was like to watch an entire concert through the viewfinder of a small, silver box, while clicking a button over and over again in hopes of capturing something amazing to put on my Flickr page.
Oh, PS: I have a Flickr page now. (Look at me, ma! I’m bloggin’!) (PS I also have a short video of the end of “WttBP” but I can’t seem to get it up on YouTube with the sound and picture properly synched. Also I am scared of being sued.)
Despite my slow drift into the fast lane of today’s technology,however, I think I managed to pay enough attention to the music to beable to come here and tell you MCR – oh, excuse me, The Black Parade– were very good. After their SNL performance lastweekend, I was a little worried that the rich, thick, creamy conceptalbum goodness wouldn’t exactly read so well in a live setting. I wasalso worried that because of the concept album nature of this record,they were going to play the whole thing in order or something. Andthere is something frankly a bit unsettling about frontman Gerard Way’s new blond-haired “Patient” look. (That’s him, pictured, center right.)
But not only did the new tracks sound terrific live, the band (veryintelligently) didn’t play too many of them: Over the course of about a90 minute set (and having only listened to the new album 3 or 4 times),I picked up “Welcome to the Black Parade,” “Mama,” “Sleep,” “The End”and “Famous Last Words” (Gerard dedicated that to Andy Greenwald,and introduced it, with a nice nod to history, as “This next one… isthe last song… on our new album!!”), and that’s about it. (Did theystart with “The End”? It is hard to read my notes. The children weremoshing, and thus, so was I. No VIP pass for me last night. It’s awonder I made it out alive.)
In general they kept things spread out, rocking a bunch of stuff off Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge –“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” was the third song of the night and inspiredmuch screaming (myself included), “Thank You For the Venom” goteveryone so riled up the floor was undulating, and they closed thingsout with an explosive “Helena” and at least one song off their debut, I Brought You My Bullets… ,which got things kicking in an old-school Warped Tour sort of way. Andfrom my perspective on the floor – where I used the wide-open spacescreated by mosh pits to move ever closer to the front, at which point Iwas nearly crushed to death by some ill-advised crowd surfers (makesure the people are looking before you jump on them, children) – Ifound the set to be unflagging, well-executed, and from the looks onthe sweaty faces of the kids around me, possibly the best concert ofall time. It was also completely devoid of between-song babble, withthe exception of many, many thank-yous from Gerard, and theannouncement that they plan to now tour for two years. If youare at all inclined towards this sort of music, I recommend you take ina show when they hit your town. Gerard’s got about 75 times thecharisma of The Killers’ Brandon Flowers (hey! don’t throw that bottleat me!) and even if you’ve just casually listened to their stuff, it’shard not to be moved – literally – by the MCR fans.
One question: Is the decision to only sell tickets on the day-of agood one? If I was in high school I’d be hard-pressed to stand in lineat a record store for 6 hours on a Tuesday. Webster wasn’t packed byany means, and for a band who’s about to break this big, you’d think itwould be. Perhaps this policy will change as the tour goes on, and/orperhaps the nation’s teens will all fail out of school to see The BlackParade in all their soaring, fist-pumping glory. If so, I think that’sfine. Last night’s show was probably worth it.