10 Years, 10 Days: Introducing the Most Dangerous Band in the World

Let’s kick off with a look at the guys in MCR, since they’re pretty vital to the whole operation. We’ll start with Mikey, because it’s his birthday today (thirty-one, for those of you who don’t have freakishly good memories for people’s birthdays and ages).

Mikey

Everyone knows Mikeyway as the ‘quiet’ member, but we all know that’s because Gerard didn’t used to let him speak. He does nowdays though, because G’s realised that he can’t look after a dude in his thirties, even if he is everyone’s little brother. With pretty awesome knees, Mikey made the poker face cool way before Lady Gaga and – wait for it – doesn’t actually have a thing for unicorns. He reminds us all to rock our glasses and has frequently put video links on his Twitter that have made my day. Like The Bangles’ Manic Monday.

Fun fact #1: he came up with My Chem’s name, but has never quite gotten the recognition he deserves for it. I was thinking some sort of knighthood?

Fun fact #2: you aren’t an MCR fan until you know the name of Gerard Way’s younger brother (I honestly think I saw this written by a fangirl once, I’ve never worked out if she was being serious or not).

Fun fact #3: he has, in his life, smiled.

Frank

  I was genuinely upset when I found out recently that Frank isn’t, as I was previously led to believe, five foot four. It was really nice thinking that there was a full-grown man as vertically stunted as me (I’m five one). Apparently he’s more normal-sized… Anyway, that’s irrelevant. Let’s find some fun facts.

#1: he’s, like, been on TV.

#2: his signature is almost completely incomprehensible, and you only realise it’s his via process of elimination.

 

 Frank’s usually the one who writes blog posts detailing line-up changes, poor dude. But without Frank, the live shows wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to watch… If he’s not kissing Gerard, he’s seriously injuring him.

Ray

  Ray doesn’t get as much fangirling as the rest of the band, because he’s not ‘sooo fucking prettttyyyy’, or whatever – but seriously, who cares? He masterminded #SINGItForJapan and his hair resembles a nuclear explosion even more than mine. He also never. Stops. Playing. Thus, he is a genius. Ray is an excellent example of why you should work really hard at something you care about: people will respect you for it. To everyone who’s ever said anything rude about his face: check out that smile when they played with Brian May. He can also cook, so he can come round mine any time.

Fun fact: he rarely washes his hair. I envy him.

Gerard

  How to describe Gerard Way? The voice of a generation? The Queen of Sass? A really good artist? A mix of them all, I think.  He’s the only frontman of a rock band I can think of that can get away with wearing a poncho onstage… And the only person who could ever sing for My Chemical Romance. Without his imagination, our lives would be empty of violent hair colours, epic lyrics and absurd concert singalongs.

Fun fact #1: he once had a gun held to his head.

#2: G and I use the same hair dye brand… He’s definitely making money with this music deal, that shit’s expensive.

The Touring Keyboard Dude (James Dewees)

My main memory of seeing Dewees play when I first saw the band last October was that he was completely mad for wearing a jumper. I can’t remember if he took it off partway through the set, but after one song I was drenched in sweat. Looking over at him, and noticing layers, I decided he hadn’t yet recovered from jet lag. However, when someone had the bright idea to give James a Twitter, @shitdeweessays, I realised that in actual fact he’s one of those dudes who says and does inexplicable things for inexplicable reasons – and as a result is hilarious. Without him, we would not have any piano-based live music… so Black Parade would be in trouble and there wouldn’t be any awesome interludes. His other musical work includes Reggie and the Full Effect and LeATHERMØUTH.

The Previous Drummers

Matt Pelissier: the guy whose name no one can pronounce. He left before my time as a fan, all I know is that he had a beardy thing going on (it’s a trend with My Chem’s drummers, I think) and they call him ‘Otter’. It’s rumoured he’s now a mechanic… It’s also rumoured he set the van on fire and that’s why he’s no longer a member – so do some checking if you ever come across him in the Yellow Pages.

Bob Bryar: in the five years Bob drummed with the band, we got to know what my nan would most likely call a ‘proper bloke’. He played through burnt legs and screwy wrists, loved his dog and put up with Frank’s abuse. If the rumour that he’s now a tech for LMFAO is true, I hope he’s very happy shufflin’.

Michael Pedicone: my first My Chem show was his first My Chem show. His last, thankfully, wasn’t mine. My initial reaction about his departure was “Well, shit. I liked him.” I really did. He seemed like a nice guy. Too bad he’s also an idiot who’s messed up his entire life.

Fun fact: during Life on the Murder Scene, when the camera’s annoying Bob, someone turns it around and you get a face full of Pedicone. Oh, the irony.

So there you have it. The most dangerous band in the world… a group of normal men with extraordinary talent… and some really distinctive names.

Contaminated: London (for the second time)

There are some events which never get old, no matter how many times you experience them. For example, you’re sitting with your cousins in Wembley Arena, laughing at different outfits people have turned up in and doing a Mexican Wave with 10,000 other people.

The crowd starts to get restless after the fifth wave, and is only briefly distracted by the YMCA and Macerena, all of which were instigated by three very crazy but brave girls sitting at the back of the pit. Everyone has had enough of looking at Killjoys’ outfits and cheering every time a band member’s photo crops up on the PowerPoint screen… They want the band they paid to see.

The lights go out. For a split second, everything is silent. Then the screaming starts. Quietly at first – a gentle hum. As Look Alive, Sunshine fills the stadium, people get out of their seats and turn to face the stage.  As Na Na Na starts, the hum has turned into – oh, just watch:

That isn’t my recording, but we were on that side of the arena – just a bit further up and closer to the stage.

Last night was my second time seeing My Chemical Romance live (read about the first here) and the second the lights go out will always be my favourite part of the show. My favourite part of any show, in fact. That heart-stopping moment when you and thousands of other people can’t quite believe if This Is It.

I’m not going to talk about the actual performance… Too many other people will do it for me. Kerrang! will discuss Gerard’s messy haircut, Mikey’s brief bass change when he broke a string and his version of an ‘I ❤ UK’ t-shirt. Fans will go on forums and point out Mohawk Girl, who made a brief appearance at the Hammersmith Apollo show last year. People will ask, “What did Gerard put on before Teenagers?” and someone’ll reply, “This girl’s jacket which she had just bought.” “Did she get it back?”

Would you want a jacket Gerard Way had sweated all over?

There will be discussion over songs – personally I wanted to see Bulletproof Heart and another rendition of Prison – but there will be acclaim for the encore track, Vampires Will Never Hurt You… I’d place money on jokes about the whole of Wembley Arena simultaneously orgasming during DESTROYA.

For the benefit of my fellow Killjoys, Toxic Waste (Isobel) and Radioactive Raccoon (Ellen) – and my long-suffering dad, who filmed almost every song, here are the videos from my camera. The bad singing is almost entirely mine. Unless it was 9,999 other people or Gerard.

Check out pictures on my new shiny Photobucket page.

Thank You Boys!

    Once upon a time, there were three young girls named Francesca, Ellen and Elizabeth who shared, amongst other defining qualities, a deep love of a rock band named My Chemical Romance.

  When this rock band decided to tour after two years absence from the rock and roll scene, the girls jumped at the chance to see them play live at the Hammersmith Apollo, London (well, two of them did. One needed gentle persuasion that if she didn’t see them now, they would have died before they next came to England). After trawling the Internet and various websites looking for tickets that were less than a hundred pounds, they – well, the one doing the Googling, Francesca – found a website called www.getmein.com.

  Francesca phoned her friends and it was decided that they would each pay the extortionate amount of eighty-five pounds to see the band they so admired. The tickets were purchased from the website, but did not appear for several weeks. After many phone calls and stressed-out conversations, it emerged that the tickets resided at the Apollo box office. This meant that the girls would travel to London with only a slim hope that they weren’t being ripped off.

  However, they made the long and perilous journey up the A127, playing Spot the White Person in London to pass the time. For the record, once they got into Hackney, the game was pointless. No one won. When the sat-nav directed them to their destination, the girls were amused to find a rather odd collection of people queuing up. There were girls dressed as pandas, girls with crosses over their eyes, girls obvious with insecurity complexes as they were wearing the whole of Boots’ makeup counter and a bottle of hairspray each. Also a man who was playing the oh-so-popular game How Many People Mistake Me For Gerard Way Then Realise I’m a Poser, and quite a lot of Killjoys.

  After spending time in a slightly odd cafe that prompted the game Make Fun of the Polish and Russians When They Serve/Stare At Us, the girls and their chaperone, Laurence, made their way into a queue for the box office. Where this video was shot:

 

  Thankfully, the group was allowed inside to collect their tickets eventually. Said tickets were, surprisingly, legitimate. Cue lots of shrieking, hugging, declarations of love for god, etc. Sadly, the people on the door weren’t in such a good mood and threw Elizabeth’s water in the bin.

  Like they are a band are important enough to throw things at.

   Time for this video:

 

  After more queuing, for both the toilet and the merchandise stand, in which more money was handed over to various already-rich corporations, MCR took to the stage.

  This was when the world exploded.

  Gerard, with red hair and rips in his t-shirt, demanded that every man in the room took off his top and swung it around their head if it was their first My Chem show – thankfully Laurence refrained – during You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison. Frank only looked up from his confusing guitar pedals twice; once when Gerard talked to him and once when two girls took to the stage during Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For the Two Of Us. One wore stripy trousers and the other had a two-foot (no exaggeration) blond mohawk. They were twins.

  

  Mikey, hair dyed a newly apocalyptic shade of platinum, was glued to his, quote, “Rocket-shaped and shiny” bass and Ray actually didn’t stop playing. At all. Well, maybe when the twins attacked him with a ‘hug’. James Dewees, who played the keyboard, made his insanity public by wearing a jumper onstage and the drummer (who may or may not be a permanent addition to the group) seemed relatively talented. Well, they played songs from Bullets which hadn’t been played in five years – according to Gerard.

  Here are the first twenty-five seconds of Welcome to the Black Parade. There are only twenty-five seconds because it was much more fun to mosh to the music than hold a camera – and no one needs to hear Francesca’s singing for five minutes. Plus, you know, you can’t see anything except strobe lights…

 

  The show, unlike most other My Chem shows, didn’t end with Helena, but with a new one called The Kids From Yesterday (or something like that). There were the usual hits as well as maybe twelve other songs. Here is a well-recorded version of The Only Hope For Me Is You, where you can get an eyeful of the band’s outfits.

 

  May it be noted that the nicest thing to hear (other than Mikey’s solo at the end) was Gerard saying, “Here’s to the next ten years of this band.” He frequently said other things too, but Elizabeth felt the need to talk over him and discuss how gay he sounded with Ellen.

  Which was quite gay. Especially when he did the shirt thing. There will be a song about that up here soon.

  Did you get to see them this weekend? Are you seeing them in Europe? Are you American and only going to see them when they tour your country?