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.

Music Teaches People… I Know What the American National Anthem Sounds Like.

  The steady hum of my laptop ripping Danger Days is incredibly comforting. Almost as much as listening to it in bed at six in the morning is…

  I have a cold, okay, and it’s my alarm.

  There’s no point in reviewing the album, because a) most people reading this already have and love it, and b) everyone else in the universe did when it went on YouTube. Instead, I have some questions for the band:

  • What’s up with the titchy lyrics in the booklet? I have to hold it up to the light when I want to check I’m not mishearing Gerard’s screaming.
  • Is the case supposed to break within a day of owning it? Actually, its record is better than Bullets’, that one fell apart ten minutes after I bought it.
  • Does Bob get royalties for the songs he’s credited as writing?
  • Who decided to sell it for ten quid starting price? Not that anyone’s complaining or anything. Only this is the first time I’ve ever paid full price for a CD and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t £15.99.
  • Can you translate the Japanese on Party Poison for us uneducated people who can only speak English? Please?!

  You know, I remember when Party Poison was called Death Before Disco, when it got put on the Internet after MCR’s shows at The Roxy. I’d try to make that sound all sentimental, but it was summer 2009…

  I also don’t get to reminisce about being one of the 5000 people at the Hammersmith Apollo to hear Planetary (GO!) before everyone else, because it was only a month ago.

  Can I gloat about the irony of wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I ♥ Steve, Righ?’ to the show instead?

 

                                                                               

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?