My Chemical Romance are BACK! We were at The Shrine in Los Angeles to see it all go down. Here's how the rock event of the decade looked from where we were standing...
Sometimes, entire eras of people's lives, of band’s careers, of movements, years, decades - a scene even - are defined by one moment. An act of beauty or courage, a gargantuan effort, a grand gesture.
A triumphant return.
Tonight, My Chemical Romance defined the end of our decade and so, so much more with the simple drop of a curtain.
At The Shrine in Los Angeles, in front of a touch more than 6,000 fans, family, and friends, they didn't just play a show. They brought people back to life.
Fresh from an incendiary, emotional support set from Thursday, a banner stretching the entire width of the stage was slowly raised, the crowd chanting "MCR! MCR!" while their now-iconic angel of death imagery lifted into view.
Then? Anticipation. Screams. Tears. Singing. Anything but silence. At the climax of a day where people from all walks of life, from over the planet, convened on one corner of Los Angeles, one band brought them together.
The room inhaled, the curtain dropped, Gerard, Frank, Mikey, Ray and touring drummer Jarrod Alexander ripped through 'I'm Not Okay (I Promise)', and, for an hour and a half, everything was right with the world.
My Chemical Romance just opened their Return show with ‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’ pic.twitter.com/PZSN33rkEi— Rock Sound (@rocksound) December 21, 2019
“We didn’t know if this was ever going to happen again so we really appreciate you guys showing up,” says Gerard as the band pause for breath. “It feels good to be with you tonight, here.”
Gerard Way: “It’s Been A Long Time, Los Angeles...” pic.twitter.com/Z7fZxE4262— Rock Sound (@rocksound) December 21, 2019
They play with a precision that feels like every second of their 39 rehearsals paying off, and by the time ‘House Of Wolves’ kicks in, it feels like they’ve never been away at all. In a flash, they run through ‘Summertime’, a debut airing of ‘Make Room!!!’ and ‘Na Na Na’, the crowd completely drowning out Gerard (who sounds really bloody good, by the way).
Gerard takes a minute to dedicate this show to artist manager Lauren Valencia, who passed away earlier this year. Addressing the crowd, he says: "We didn’t know if this was ever going to happen again, so we really appreciate you guys showing up."
The business end of the set is pure, unadulterated euphoria. ‘Teenagers’, ‘Famous Last Words’ and ‘Helena’ all feel very inch the scene-busting anthems they’d always been, and are felt more passionately and keenly tonight than perhaps any other, before the second of two encores hits, and ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ brings MCR home in the most iconic, heart-swelling way imaginable.
It's taken almost seven long years, but tonight, here in front of us on stage, but also packed into the venue from wall to wall, was irrefutable proof that My Chemical Romance never did die. Not really. In the way they make people feel, the art they've made, the bonds they've helped create and the stories fans will tell for a lifetime, they'll live forever.
But it sure is fucking good to have them back.
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE SETLIST - THE SHRINE, LOS ANGELES
DECEMBER 20, 2019
'I'M NOT OKAY (I PROMISE)'
'THANK YOU FOR THE VENOM'
'GIVE 'EM HELL, KID'
'HOUSE OF WOLVES'
‘YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DO TO GUYS LIKE US IN PRISON’ (with YOUTH CODE’s SARA TAYLOR)
‘MAKE ROOM!!!’ (FIRST EVER LIVE PERFORMANCE)
‘OUR LADY OF SORROWS’
‘NA NA NA’
‘I DON’T LOVE YOU’
‘FAMOUS LAST WORDS’
‘THE KIDS FROM YESTERDAY’
‘WELCOME TO THE BLACK PARADE’