Live Review: My Chemical Romance — House of Blues, Sunset Strip
Tue, 23 Nov 2010 08:24:00
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Timeless rock bands are like superheroes.
There's mystery surrounding them. They're larger than life. They can open up new perspectives. They have the power to save the world. Led Zeppelin thrived on that mysticism, while Queen effectively brought bombast back. Pink Floyd treated everyone to the ultimate space trip, and The Who made the world a better place.
My Chemical Romance wielded sonic superpowers all their own during their triumphant release show for Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys last night at the Sunset Strip House of Blues.
My Chemical Romance transformed the venue into a scene right out of Danger Days. Outside stood a dusted carnival with all kinds of games, allowing fans to win a variety of ray guns, swords, sparkly rings and so much more. Inside, various signs from My Chemical Romance's post-apocalyptic 2019 adorned the walls. However, the future truly arrived the second the band hit the stage. After "Look Alive, Sunshine" piped through the PA, our heroes for the evening sauntered out.
With one red-smeared hand pointing to the sky, singer Gerard Way fired off a sharp smile, and the corrosive riffs of "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" curled and crisscrossed from Frank Iero and Ray Toro's guitars. The song's hyper-speed stomp immediately pulled the sold out crowd to its feet as Way pristinely powered through the unshakable hook. He screamed, "Everybody wants to change the world, but no one wants to die," and his intensity overtook the room, effectively placing it under My Chemical Romance's spell for the next hour plus.
Lights flashed and pulsated as Mikey Way's bass veered down the proto punk groove of "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)." The bass rumbled, tightly bolting the song's rhythm down. Everyone chanted "I'm Not Okay" to chilling effect, matching the earthshaking aural aftershocks emanating from the amps. "Planetary (GO!)" from Danger Days illuminated just how far ahead of the game My Chemical Romance are. From Iero and Toro's astro punk fret fireworks to the dangerously danceable synth, the song felt like the ultimate party track—for the end of the world.
Gerard painted a gorgeous portrait of lyrical darkness and disillusion, while dancing through the flames. His brilliance truly shone through, placing him in the pantheon alongside the likes of Morrissey and Robert Smith—legends who can expose the truth sharply with a wink.
The vaudevillian swagger of "House of Wolves" saw ray guns and light swords raised to the sky, while My Chemical Romance elegantly thrashed like there was no tomorrow in sight. Toro ripped out a mindblowing solo during "Desolation Row," while Iero cycled through the distorted bliss with a power chord crunch.
Gerard prefaced "Sing," saying "We believed truly in the art, and we chased the art more than anything else. This song is about us. This song is about you. This song is called 'Sing.'"
His voice bled with a poetic passion as he carried the song's refrain far beyond this mortal coil. Angelic backup singers infused an operatic vibrancy into the song as a funky riff filled out the sound. "Give 'Em Hell Kid" was the ultimate radioactive rock anthem. Gerard windmilled as the bass kicked in, instantly igniting another scream-a-long. The song careened from heartfelt hardcore into pulverizing pop. Then, "Mama" segued from a choir of handclapping into Gerard softly crooning a lullaby for the end times to send it all home. There was a primal poetry at the heart of "The Only Hope For Me Is You," rising from the synth and guitar swell. "Teenagers" morphed into the gorgeous theatricality of "The Ghost of You." My Chemical Romance ended with an inspiringly infectious performance of "Famous Last Words," walking off slowly.
The lights went down for a couple minutes before the band returned to overpowering cheers that only became louder as "Helena" came to life. The modern classic set the ground work for a tearjerking, beautiful "The Kids From Yesterday." Even after such a high energy display, Gerard sounded as perfect as ever crooning out thought provoking lines like, "Does the television make you feel the pills you ate?" and "We'll find you when the sun goes black." With one hand raised, he and the band left the stage victorious upon the song's end.
My Chemical Romance already proved there's hope for rock 'n' roll with Danger Days, and with more live shows like this they could save the world…There's nothing more super than that.
Watch our video interview with the band here!
Were you at the show?