[Editor's Note: Today is officially My Chemical Romance day on LocalCut. More MCR coverage to come. Also, I would be remiss not to mention that this post's author, Clara Ridabock, is 16 years old (so, you know, 2004 was a really long time ago for her).]
Oh, 2004. Who remembers 2004? It was the year My Chemical Romance came out with their commercial smash, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
. Tweens and Teenagers all over the world fell to their knees to worship at the altar of frontman Gerard Way, insisting that they were "Not Okay,"
and they promised. Hot Topic was suddenly a massive chain, and boys with greasy black hair and red eyeliner popped up all over the place. My Chemical Romance was not just a band—they were a way of life. They defined the generic "emo kid" of the early 2000s.
Today, things are a little different. The band's latest album, 2006's The Black Parade
, is a huge step away from their old ways. Gerard cut his hair, guitarist Frank Lero got married. The Black Parade is quite the opposite of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
. To be blunt, Three Cheers says they've given up—The Black Parade
says they've grown up.
The crowd at the sold-out Crystal was so aggressive that I was told to stay out of the photo pit for at least half of the first song. Beefy security guards pushed all of their body weight against the barriers to keep them upright. When My Chemical Romance finally took the stage, the crowd went nuts. Many fans jumped over the barrier and fought to get closer to their idols. The band ate up the wild attention and fed off the crowd's energy. MCR's first song was no slow start—they threw us immediately into a roaring, fast paced set that did not slow until the encore. They played everything—new hits (like "Famous Last Words" and "Teenagers", which is hilarious) and the songs that made them famous ("I'm Not Okay, I Promise").
There are many things you can call the boys of My Chemical Romance, but poor performers is not one of them. Gerard Way (with his wild arm movements and gyrating hips) takes on a modern Freddie Mercury persona on stage, making the crowd go even crazier. The band filled its set with plenty of 'witty banter' ("There is a strong stench of marajuana in this venue") and professed their deep love for Portland. "There is no where else in the world you can find a vintage Helio [Sequence] 7-inch," said frontman (and new Portland resident) Gerard.
So scoff all you want, doubters who scoff at the idea of seeing My Chemical Romance in concert—there are few bands that can put on a show like these guys. They've made it crystal freakin' clear that they too are now way better than just okay. They're doing just fine, thank you very much.
My Chemical RomanceSpace
Photos by Clara Ridabock