The Meaning of Life.

Last night my friends and I had the wonderfully scarring experience of seeing Mindless Self Indulgence play at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town. We’ve put together a list of everything we learnt:

  1. Queueing is wonderful when you have a black Sharpie and meet people who love Queen, and stand next to the door from which band members occasionally emerge (see #3).
  2. Never half-arse something. Always do it full-arse.
  3. Steve, is the most beautiful man in the world, but only appears when Hollie leaves, prompting insane picture-taking.
  4. The worst thing that can happen is that we won’t be able to sit down for a week.
  5. Jimmy’s grandpa has a thoughtful grandson.
  6. Mindless are a Christian band…
  7. …But LynZ’s a witch.
  8. It’s one thousand pounds to discuss our feelings, but three thousand to discuss Jimmy’s.
  9. We will never, ever, ever be famous. Neither will Hollie.
  10. We all have AIDS.
  11. Jimmy might have started World War III. Watch this space.
  12. Steve may one day host his own chat show. It’ll centre around teaching audience members Mindless songs and grooving along to Queen singalongs.
  13. When Jimmy appears, short people get crushed, so they run for the stairs and take pictures of other people getting crushed instead.
  14. I’m going to have to cough up for that damn new record, because it turns out they’re actually pretty good.

More pictures and videos to come, especially if Jimmy uploads what he took.

10 Years, 10 Days: “You gotta promise me, you gotta fuckin’ dance.”

Everyone’s noticed that My Chem quite enjoy playing live shows, and that people quite enjoy going to them. Having seen them twice, on their first show back in London last October and at Wembley Area in February – read the reviews/blogs here and here – I can tell you that there’s a reason for the excitement.

In short, they are brilliant. I realise I’m biased, and haven’t been to that many rock shows – but it’s not hard to understand the fuss.

Before that song had ended, we knew the words. We hadn’t stopped dancing. And every time I hear it, I smile.

When people tell me they aren’t really familiar with My Chem, I want to send them a playlist of live songs. I always think, “Choose what you want to listen to that’s been recorded in a studio, but to get the essence of the band, you need to hear this.” Then I think of Mama,  Prison and DESTROYA. They’re all completely different songs, but they’re all really good examples of the way MCR work live. Heard those songs and still need convincing? Look no further than this handy Why You Should See My Chemical Romance Live list:

Gerard’s sass. Everyone’s fifth favourite member of the band (or is that Mikey’s knees? I forget). If you know someone who’s in danger of becoming a homophobe, take them to a show. Whether they liked guys before seeing it or not, they will after. Reason being, Gerard. He can make the crowd do what he wants them to, when he wants them to, before they realise they might not want to do it. Good thing he’s a nice bloke. To the few people who bitch about his vocals live: you do what he does, then complain.

Frank’s insane. He was voted fifth greatest rockstar in the world by Kerrang! this year, because he’s “My Chemical Romance’s heart. He’s the guts.” Each member quite obviously gives his all, but I know where the writers were coming from for once: it doesn’t matter how big the show is, Frank will be on fire. He’s fallen into the drums, tackled Gerard and given him serious injuries and pushed Mikey over. And yet…

Ray Toro is totally epic, yeah. In the seats I’ve been in at shows, I’ve never had that great a view of Ray – mostly it’s just a flash of fro here and there. But when I have been able to see him, he’s been playing. All the time. In every review I’ve read, everyone’s said the same thing. It doesn’t matter what stupid thing Gerard and Frank are doing, or who’s climbing up onstage, or whether he’s got two working feet or not; Ray plays guitar like his life depends on it. Maybe it does, I don’t know… He does have ‘SL’ tattooed on his arm, for ‘stage left’, his position… Perhaps he made a deal with the devil: “I will put up with being the dude the fangirls ignore if you let me play all the time.” Sounds like a pretty sweet agreement to me.

Mikey’s a cool, awesome (in the old meaning of the word) presence. He doesn’t always get the mic, but when he does, he discusses Darth Vader. Sometimes he falls over, and sometimes it’s during a performance of Cemetery Drive. He played with glasses on every night for years, when there’s a reason most people opt not to. Most importantly: his bass looks like Edward Cullen got a makeover.

If you’re still unsure about how fun My Chem are to watch live, how much blood and sweat goes into playing, book tickets to see them next time they’re in town. The worst that can happen is that you’ll come out with ringing ears and a question mark over your sexuality…