Cherry Pie : My Chemical Romance live at Hammersmith Apollo

26 October 2010

My Chemical Romance live at Hammersmith Apollo

Sorry to bore you all with band stuff, but I really wanted to post this review.

My Chemical Romance live at Hammersmith Apollo
October 23rd 2010

Throughout the world, amongst rock fans old and young, there is a wave of excitement bubbling underneath the surface in anticipation for the return of the mighty My Chemical Romance. Every fan can feel it washing through them each time they read a news item or hear sneak peeks of tracks from the new album, ‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,’ released on November 22nd.

These past few weeks have seen this excitement rumbling slowly up the Richter scale, and when the band announced their first UK tour in 3 years, MCR fans all over the country went wild, snapping up tickets within hours, realising that the bands return was closer than ever.

The now very colourful circus rolled into London’s Hammersmith Apollo to be greeted by fans who had been camping outside the venue since the previous night, braving the cold temperatures and rain in order to be that little bit closer to the band.

Handpicked by Frank Iero, Scottish Indie rockers Twin Atlantic took to the stage as the only support act of the night. Perhaps it was nerves that meant they took a little while to really warm up, but once they did, it was clear that they really gave it their all. They tore up every inch of the stage, dropping to their knees and scratching at their guitars while writhing around on the floor. It was great to see the audience singing and dancing along to tracks such as ‘You’re Turning Into John Wayne,’ and ‘Lightspeed,’ and for a band playing to a completely different audience than what they’re used to, they certainly did a good job and won over new fans along the way.

The thirty minute break after Twin Atlantic’s set was an agonisingly long time for the audience. Every roadie that took to the stage received a deafening cheer and it wasn’t long before the “MCR!” chants began.

Finally taking to the stage at 9pm, it soon felt like they’d never been away. They tore straight into their new single ‘Na Na Na,’ with almost every fan in the room already knowing it word for word. The new tracks were sandwiched cleverly between some of the band’s biggest hits, such as the delectable ‘Thank You For The Venom,’ which followed the new single, to the heart pumping ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise),’ which continued the mayhem that was the dance fuelled ‘Planetary (GO!).’

‘Cemetery Drive’ and ‘Give ‘Em Hell Kid’ whisk the audience right back to the bands ‘Three Cheers’ era, while a surprise performance of ‘Our Lady of Sorrows,’ a first in five years, separates the diehard fans from the rest and proves that MCR’s older tracks still stand up strong against their newer material.

Things wound down for a few minutes while the emotional 'I Don't Love You,' floated around the venue. The pace quickly picked up again when the cheeky 'You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison' started up, with Gerard ordering all the males in the audience to whip off their t-shirts and wave them in the air. Unsurprisingly, many obliged.

'Honey This Mirror Isn't Big Enough For The Two Of Us' was another surprise for the dedicated fans, and an even bigger surprise for the two twins who were pulled on-stage to sing along. Of course, they couldn't contain their excitement and messed up their timings spectacularly. Showing them how it's done, Gerard launched into the much loved track while the twins ran around the stage, hugging each band member before taking to the microphones to warble a few lines before being ushered off.

'Welcome To The Black Parade' and 'Helena' were the two biggest songs of the entire night. The raw emotion and elation from the tracks was felt by everybody in the venue, bringing everyone together for a mass sing-a-long. With 'Helena' usually being the band's closing song, nobody expected them to go on for a further 6 songs plus an encore. 'Mama' was a phenomenal burst of energy and power, while 'Teenagers' brought out everybody's childish side for a good old fashioned mosh.

'The Ghost of You' kicked off in a flurry of green smoke, while 'Famous Last Words' and 'Sleep' saw the band really giving it their all. Their love for performing live became apparent in the way they were left gasping for air as the final beats left the speakers.

As Gerard took to the stage alone for 'Cancer,' the lighters and mobile phones quickly rose into the air as the poignant and emotional track filled the venue.

It was a risky move to put an unknown track as the show's encore, but thankfully, the U2-esque stadium filler that was 'The Kids From Yesterday' had the crowd jumping and screaming like it was as familiar to them as any other track. As the song drew to a close, each member left the stage individually, leaving bassist Mikey Way and their then unknown drummer, Mike Pedicone, to bring the spectacular event to an end in true style.

For every fan in the venue, the gig they had just witnessed secured MCR back into their rightful place as one of the best rock bands on the planet. If, like me, you pushed MCR to the side as you discovered new bands to fill the four year long void they left behind, this gig reminded us why we turned to this band in the first place. Their electricity, emotion and happiness to be playing again contaminated the crowd and assured fans that the band are stronger than ever.

At the beginning of the show, Gerard Way said he and his band were not only excited to be playing again but they were also extremely excited for the next ten years for My Chemical Romance. That night, over 5000 people became just as excited as to what the future holds.

Review by Cherry Pullinger


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