Fan Tour Report: Chicago

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Fan Tour Report: Chicago

By. Cassie
As I sit down to type this, my feet are throbbing, I am still covered in a mixture of my own sweat and the sweat of hundreds of other My Chemical Romance fans, my head is pounding, and I feel as if I may soon die. Those are all signs that April 15’s show at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom was a perfectly destructive force of hot and loud praise and energy exchanged between the “soldiers” of the MCRmy and the men who bring them together.

Read the rest of the review here

Killjoys, Black Parade marchers and Demolition Lovers alike could find all something to love in MCR’s set. It included a song from I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, familiar favorites from The Black Parade, a few gems from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge that I, personally, haven’t heard live in years and – of course – songs from Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, some of which fans here in the States are hearing live for the very first time. My Chemical Romance played an eclectic and satisfying mix, but the feeling My Chemical Romance brings reaches far beyond the notes they play and sing onstage.

Just look to guitarist Ray Toro, for example. As he played, his right foot bore a clunky cast and his gait was visibly slowed by a dragging limp. However, the cast was not the only accessory he wore: his face displayed a grin through most of the performance, and especially at the end of it as they closed with “Bulletproof Heart.” His expression showed the very definition of a love for playing. I will never forget how confident and strong he sounded when I met him earlier in the day and asked him if he were okay. “Yes,” he had said, almost nonchalantly, standing tall despite his injury.

You could also look to Frank Iero. Since the first time I saw My Chemical Romance in 2005, many things have developed and changed in the MCR world. One of the things that has remained a constant, however, is Iero’s chaotic energy. Frank, while swinging his guitar and thrashing about is a living middle finger to the phrase “slow down.” When MCR launched into “Vampire Money” early in their set, I was positive the aggressive song would cause Iero to destroy some set pieces…or humans.

One thing that has changed since that first show in 2005 is the stage presence of Mikey Way. I remember conversations I once had with friends in which we would whine, “I wish Mikey would come to the front more often.” Now, loud-and-proud, Mikey stands at the edge, his glimmering bass and golden hair a stand-out vision on the stage. I’m sure I speak for more fans than only myself when I say that watching the band grow and their confidence grow is beautiful.

And then there is, of course, vocalist Gerard Way, whose between-song banter is ever-caring and empowering. From his encouraging the audience’s helping one another when we fall, to his reminding us to “never stop running,” the vocalist leaves audiences with something to take to heart along with the messages of lyrics they have already internalized.

Gerard’s message of our helping one another in the crowd was certainly a necessity at the Aragon Ballroom, a place which, during soundcheck, James Dewees mentioned looked like the outside of a hotel the band had stayed in Spain and felt as if it were some sort of heat trap. No matter how sparse the crowd was in places (there were very few of said places, and I tried many of them after I finished shooting MCR’s first few songs in the photo pit), a steaming heat radiated from the intense kinetic energy of the show-goers. After the show on Twitter, drummer Mike Pedicone even called the venue “hot assed.”

“It’s hot as fuck in here. Hot as Hell,” Gerard had growled in foreshadowing to introduce “Mama.”

Eventually, when I ended up in the balcony beside the stage, I could see why the heat was so overwhelming—the floor was packed from the front to the back and lurched in nauseating waves with the music. It was so very tight that I saw only one circle pit break out during “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” which was comprised of about 4 guys who could not keep the circle open in the packed crowd for more than a few seconds at a time.
No matter how uncomfortable it was, no one stopped. No level of appreciative fist-pumping, jumping, yelling along or headbanging could possibly repay the men onstage for the amazing night they gave us fans.

I would like to thank MCR for making my day, both with the show and also with the soundcheck I and a handful of others were allowed to watch, as well as the meet-and-greet. I thank Mikey for remembering his invasion of the Twitter-based chat I run; Gerard for remembering my boots from the last time I met them; Frank for joking with my friends and I and making us feel comfortable and Ray for coming to say "hi" despite his injured foot and being a complete inspiration to stay strong in the face of adversity.

The members of My Chemical Romance are more humble, hard-working and caring than most can imagine. It is my hope that every fan can someday get to see just how great they are as I have been fortunate enough to see myself.

Setlist:

Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
Give 'Em Hell, Kid
Planetary (GO!)
Hang 'Em High
Vampire Money
Mama
The Only Hope For Me Is You
House of Wolves
Summertime
I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
DESTROYA
Welcome To The Black Parade
Teenagers
Vampires Will Never Hurt You
Helena

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Cancer
Bulletproof Heart