“’Cause the world is ugly, But you’re beautiful to me, Are you thinking of me, Like I’m thinking of you.”
Yes the world is ugly, but yes, we have been thinking of you, My Chemical Romance! In a city known for live music, it was incredible to see and hear the buzz about MCR in the weeks before the show. The anticipation was visible all over Instagram, Reddit, and local social media sites; people were pumped for this show. But this was no ordinary concert: This was the reunion of My Chemical Romance.
My Chemical Romance devastated their incredibly loyal fans when they announced their break up in 2013. They reunited in 2019 and announced their 2020 reunion tour. Alas… it was 2020, so here we finally are in 2022 getting our MCR.
August 23, 2022
The North American dates run though October – including FIVE nights at the Forum – and they have multiple artists helping out: Badflower, The Bouncing Souls, Devil Master, Dilly Dally, Ghösh, The Homeless Gospel Choir, Kimya Dawson, The Lemon Twigs, Meg Myers, Midtown, Nothing, Shannon and the Clams, Soul Glo, Surfbort, Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Turnstile, Waterparks, and Youth Code rotate shows. For the Nashville show, the third show on the tour, we were treated to Turnstile and Dilly Dally.
The arena started off with an energetic vibe. There was so much black, fishnet, dark lipstick and eye makeup. People planned their attire for months… maybe years. Everyone looked so stoked to be there and the merch spots were selling like crazy.
Up first was Dilly Dally. Dilly Dally hails from Canada and their grunge/alternative rock style was a welcome treat. Their passion was evident in their performance and I look forward to seeing more from Katie Monks (guitar and vocals), Liz Ball (guitar), Annie Jane Marie (bass) and Benjamin Reinhartz (drums).
As the energy level continued to shoot up, Turnstile took the stage. The hardcore punk group from Maryland has been around since 2010 and in that time has released three albums and four EPs. They released their album “Glow On” exactly one year ago, and it debuted at number 30 on the Billboard 200. In recent months, they have appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Having them on tour with My Chemical Romance is definitely a deserved honor and I was impressed with Daniel Fang (drums), Brendan Yates (vocals), “Freaky” Franz Lyons (bass), and Pat McCrory (guitar).
Turnstile treated us to 10 tracks including “Mystery,” “Underwater Boi,” “Real Thing,” and they closed it out with “T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection).” They spent their set jumping all over the place with a super-high energy that did not shut off once and the audience was engaged the whole time. If you need punk in your life, get some Turnstile.
At this point, the arena looked full and you could feel the excitement. Years of waiting were finally about to be put to rest. A message appeared on the screens: “MCR – Look after each other; if someone falls, help them up. Security are here to help if you need it. HAVE A GREAT NIGHT!”
The stage featured a draped red curtain which dropped away to reveal a post-apocalyptic cityscape. Before MCR came to the stage, there was a steady tone… isochronic tones (thank you photographer Stephanie for that wording!) that got louder and louder until MCR took the stage.
That was it; the crowd lost it! An arena full of fans chanting “MCR! MCR!” Honestly, I can’t think of the last concert I attended with this much insanity!
Singer Gerard Way slayed in a full-on cheerleading uniform, green and white with a “W” on the front – W for Way, perhaps? MCR launched into “The Foundations of Decay,” the song fans received in 2019 when the reunion of the band was announced. The fans screamed along to every word.
While there were lights and fog, the focus was on the band. I absolutely love the LED visuals and effects used in shows these days, but to have such a stripped down show allowed me to get absorbed in the music and remain connected with MCR. Of course, the band could do no wrong in this packed arena, but I have to say “Our Lady of Sorrows” really showcased the musical chops Ray Toro (guitar), Mikey Way (bass), and Frank Iero (guitar) possess. The entire band looked as if they were pleased to be there, back with their fans in person.
They continued to rock and stoke the screaming fans with “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” and “Teenagers.” There was also a special moment when they played “Summertime” and dedicated it to Mikey Way’s wife and daughters who were at the show. Aside from the cheerleader dress, the rest of the guys wore t-shirts with “Mickey Fuckin’ Way” printed on the front.
Leading up to the show, I saw tons of posts on Instagram with the caption “I’m not okay,” and MCR delivered the song – technically “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” – in person to the crowd. “If You Ever Felt Alone, If You Ever Felt Rejected, If You Ever Felt Confused, If You Ever Felt Lost…” None of these apply at a MCR show; you feel like family. I cannot stop singing this song today!
In the first shows of this tour, they have been bringing out rarities and tonight was no exception. For the first time since 2008, MCR performed “The World Is Ugly.” When Gerard announced the title, the screams were insane! I don’t think the audience stopped singing once, and Gerard encouraged it. Through “Na Na Na,” “Welcome to the Black Parade,” “Mama,” and “Helena,” the sing-along did not stop. The energy was seriously amazing. I was also blown away by the musical skills, especially the rapid fire on songs like “Na Na Na.” They absolutely crushed it!
They would not leave without an encore and it included “Vampire Money,” “Hang ‘Em High,” and “The Kids From Yesterday.” There was also an incredible guitar solo from Toro. That dude is phenomenal.
There was joy, tears, screams, and smiles. Honestly, the world would be a better place if we could just live at a My Chemical Romance show. Lucky for those in SoCal, there are five dates ahead.
SHOW PHOTO GALLERY
by Stephanie Pepper Photography
MCR at The Kia Forum
10/11 w/ TBA, Youth Code 10/12 w/ Shannon and the Clams, Dilly Dally 10/14 w/ Meg Myers, Nothing 10/15 w/ Thursday, The Homeless Gospel Choir 10/17 w/ Midtown, Waterparks
Grab your tickets now and be part of this amazing experience!