OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (KAMR/KCIT) — The year is 2019, My Chemical Romance is back together and playing a show in Los Angeles, tickets sell out within minutes. The band goes on stage, it’s been six years since they announced they were splitting up. The show is a success, but it would be the only opportunity to see them, because the pandemic begins, and everything comes to a stop.
By now you may have clicked out of this article, thinking “why do I care”, and it’s a good question. Music to me is therapy, whether it’s lyrics that you can relate to, or those that make you laugh, or take you out of your head for a few hours, but music can connect people in ways that conversations cannot.
I know, My Chemical Romance’s music isn’t for everyone. A staple in the pop punk/emo world with their iconic “Welcome to the Black Parade” hit and “Teenagers” but those who venture far into their discography will tell you there are some great songs that meant a lot to them growing up.
Fans will tell you their music makes them feel like their weirdness is ok, that someone understands them, accepts them. They’re among a fandom of quirky unique people connected through music. If you deep dive into the internet, you’ll even find many posts about how the band saved their life, tattoos covering the scars where they tried to take their own life. The band promotes a culture of being yourself, not giving yourself over to the internet world, and believing that you can do anything you want, be anything you want, that you matter, and to be yourself no matter what.
But let’s take it back to the start. Gerard Way from New Jersey was involved in a number of local bands, but while music was his passion, working and making money to survive is also a priority, plus he didn’t even think he could sing well. In 2001, while traveling to work in New York, Way would end up witnessing the September 11th attacks, and at that moment decided life was short, and that he needed to pursue his love of music.
Matt Pelissier joined as the drummer, as did amazing guitarist Ray Toro, and Gerard’s brother Mikey, who came up with the band’s name. Then after his original band broke up, another amazing guitar player Frank Iero would join the band in 2002.
Months later their debut album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love” is released. Then in 2003 the band signed with Reprise Records and started working on their second album “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” which went platinum in less than a year and featured hits like “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, “Thank You for the Venom” and “Helena”. During this time the band would also replace their drummer with Bob Bryar.
Fame and notoriety would increase in 2006 with the making of their next album “The Black Parade” with iconic songs like “Welcome to the Black Parade”, “Teenagers” and “Cancer” as well as “Famous Last Words”.
Then in 2009 the band released their next album “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” featuring songs like “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”, and “Bulletproof Heart” while parting ways with their drummer Bob Bryar. Then parting ways with their next drummer Michael Pedicone after the band says he stole from them.
In 2012 the band released “Conventional Weapons” which was unreleased songs recorded in 2009 that were released in sets of two. In 2013 the band announced they were splitting up, with all members going off to create their own solo projects.
In 2019 the band announced their return, with tickets to their Los Angeles show selling out in four minutes. That show getting a lot of praise. Then their UK tour sold out quickly, but because of the pandemic it was postponed. The UK tour people purchased tickets for in June of 2020 finally took place in May of 2022.
Oh yeah, we also need to cover the random single they released in May of 2022, “The Foundations of Decay”.
We’re caught up on our MCR history, which takes us to the night of August 20, 2022. I sat just a few rows away from the stage, excitement stirring and feeling like I had personally waited three years for the return of this band when in reality I’ve only made the deep dive into MCR for a few months, but it quickly took over my attention, with song lyrics speaking to me on a deeper level.
The concert was worth the wait, Gerard Way in Joker facepaint, the uniqueness of his attire mirroring some outfit choices in the UK tour. They played several of their hits, as well as a few fans haven’t heard in more than a decade including “Bury Me in Black” which they haven’t played live in about 19 years and “This is the Best Day Ever” which hasn’t been performed live since about 2005.
A great start to the U.S. tour, and hopefully a sign that the band is back, they’re making music, and making young and elder emos happy along the way. Moral of this entire article, music is awesome, concerts are fun, and don’t judge a band by their look or their fans. For anyone who has an MCR fan, ask why they like them so much, you might learn something about them.