My Chemical Romance, Wembley Arena, 12.02.11
As the lights finally go down after an agonizing 20 minute wait, they’re finally here. Killjoys and fans alike rush forward or stand up in their seats as preparation for the epic event about to commence.
At this point, over all the screams and wailing and chants of ‘MCR! MCR! MCR!’, Dr Death Defying’s voice boomed around the arena, reciting his famous ‘Look Alive, Sunshine’ speech, right before the effortlessly catchy ‘NaNaNa’. As the curtain fell down, screams, lights and that unforgettable guitar riff ripped into every person in that room.
It’s quite something, hearing 10,000 people chant ‘NANANANANANA!’ in unison along with MCR frontman and heart throb Gerard Way. I wouldn’t be surprised if the other side of London could hear us.
For a minute, you’re lost in the moment. Lost in the song, lost in the screams. But then it hits you; that’s really them. I know it’s a weird thing to say, but as a massive fan and self confessed Killjoy, it’s such a strange feeling when you realize that your idols, heroes are merely meters away from you, in the exact same room. They’re the same people on the posters in your room, in the photos on yo
ur phone and the people who make your favourite songs on your iPod! And there they are in all their amazingness.
As NaNaNa finished, Gerard Way greets London in the fixating way only he’s good at. That arena was completely under MCR’s spell. They were ours, and we were theirs.
The band then fell into ‘Give ‘Em Hell, Kid’ from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, which to me, was quite suprising. But absolutely amazing none the less.
Then it was time for the mad dancey wonderfullness that is ‘Planetary (GO!)’, a song that got everybody jumping and dancing. Can I just say how GODDAMN EPIC that song is live please?!
As the evening went on, the band played ‘Hang ‘Em High’, ‘SING’ and ‘Vampire Money’ before playing the first Black Parade song of the night, ‘Mama’. That first… weird noise at the very beginning of that song (can somebody tell me what that actually is?) was enough to get the crowd stirred up and ready for the dark but beautiful sound of the band’s famous third record.
Following was ‘The Only Hope for me…’, the ever epic ‘Party Poison’ and just plain beautiful ‘Summertime’ before the band ripped in to one of their most famous – if not THE most famous – songs, ‘I’m Not Okay’. The reaction to the opening guitar of this song is absolutely mind blowing. At that point, everybody knows that they can scream out all their angst and discomforts and it’s okay, because that’s what that song is about, man!
‘Famous Last Words’ is also goddamn amazing live. It felt like the lyric ‘I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone’ meant a lot to people in that arena, because I’ve no doubt that it gave a lot of people the confidence boost they needed in life.
We were then treated to a different version of ‘The Ghost of You’, which was enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. It was slow and haunting, yet calm until the final chorus kicked in and the chanting of ‘Never coming home!’ began.
After DESTROYA, one of the only songs I really wanted to hear began. That opening piano tune is now undoubtedly world famous, and we weren’t let down. ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ was just as exciting, mad and weirdly moving as the album version, perhaps even better. I screamed my hardest during that song, which probably explains the sore throat.
The band finished with ‘Kids from Yesterday’ and ‘Helena’ before saying their goodbyes and walking off stage. But, that wasn’t all. We all knew they weren’t quite done and still had a little more in them to say a proper goodbye.
Gerard returned to stage by himself, standing in front of a red light, a silhouette in front of us. It was then that the piano for ‘Cancer’ kicked in. If I’m perfectly honest, I felt like I was going to burst in to tears at that point. That song is just so beautiful and ridiculously sad, it’s enough to reduce even the toughest man to tears. Lighters and phones were drawn and waved back and forth for the 2 minutes throughout the song. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than a few wet eyes in their by the end, mine sure as hell weren’t dry.
The band regrouped on stage for one final song, ‘Vampires will never hurt you’, from their first album ‘Bullets…’. I was quite surprised in the choice of song seeing as we hadn’t heard more well known hits such as ‘I don’t Love you’ or ‘Sleep’ from the Black Parade, but the boys of MCR know what their doing. Even though the song’s an oldie, it didn’t fail to impress or disappoint.
And then they were gone, and the lights came back on and we were slowly shuffled back out the way we came in. It was a blur. But my god, it was one hell of a blur. I was sweaty, I was tired, my legs hurt and my throat felt like sandpaper, but you know what? It was all completely worth it. Such little pain for so big an experience.
I’ve got a feeling I haven’t seen the last of you yet, My Chemical Romance. England’s waiting for your return.