By Cody Roark
For the first time in seven years the classic emo band, My Chemical Romance, played live on December 20. The band put on their reunion show in Los Angeles, California on Friday night.
The reunion show, held at the Shrine Expo, sold out in under four minutes after tickets were made available. The set list for the show included songs that spanned the band’s entire four-album career. From “I’m Not Okay” to “Welcome to the Black Parade” die-hard fans were not disappointed.
My Chemical Romance hails from New Jersey and became quite popular in the early 2000’s. The band is known for never being afraid to bring up mental health and fragility in their music, which is what got them branded as an “emo” band. During the height of the band’s popularity, these types of themes and lyrics weren’t always received well. However, with the subject of mental health becoming a much more talked (and sung) about topic, My Chemical Romance’s return is sure to be well received by more than just the original fans.
The long-awaited opening number for the set was a classic hit, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise).” Fans immediately leapt into a frenzy of cheering and screaming that didn’t subside until the show was over, an hour and 45 minutes later. The band’s front-runner, Gerard Way, greeted the crowd beforehand and thanked everyone for showing up. He then explained that they were dedicating the evening to My Chemical Romance’s former manager, Lauren Valencia, who lost her battle with cancer in July of this year.
Every one of the lyrically articulate and emotionally charged songs were met with nothing less than thundering applause. The fans themselves often drowned out Gerard Way when singing along with the band. Vocalist Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro showed tons of energy on stage and the fans ate every second of it up. Even though Gerard turned down the opportunity to stage dive saying, “Those days are over, I’ll fall apart.”
The band brought an end to the event with a show-stopping favorite, “Welcome to the Black Parade.” In this, creating a perfect end to a perfect night for old and new fans alike. The band is slated for five more appearances in 2020, exclusively in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Sorry for fans in the United States, however, that’s not to say you’ve seen the last of My Chemical Romance. It seems like this may be just the beginning. The Black Parade marches on once more.