My Chemical Romance, are they emo, pop-punk, alternative rock, gothic rock, post-hardcore? No one really knows and everyone has their own opinion. Regardless of what genre bucket anyone thinks My Chemical Romance falls into the thirty-three-date arena shows prove that they are adored by the masses.
Written by Jessica Trail
It had been eleven long, painful years since the last My Chemical Romance show in Detroit. The audience at the sold-out show at Little Caesar’s Arena got the show everyone hoped it would be. The lights dimmed and out walked nurse Gerard Way along with bandmates Frank Iero, Ray Toro, Mikey Way, Jarrod Alexander, and Jamie Muhoberac.
Racing hearts, happy tears, goosebumps, and butterflies were just a few of the emotional reactions the audience experienced that night. They started the set off with the newest single, and Mikey Way’s favorite song, “Fountains of Decay.” The rise of readily available setlists has changed the way people experience shows and a nightly change-up to the setlist gave fans an extra sense of nostalgia since it was a surprise each night. Without knowing which songs were next the crowd stayed just as enthusiastic for the start of the first song as they were for the start of the nineteenth song.
When they announced the band was breaking up in 2013 no one thought they would ever get to see “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” live again, but that changed for Detroiters with set’s second song of the night. The 2004 song, was popular enough to be featured on the soundtrack for the video game “Burnout 3: Takedown.” With over 312 million plays on Spotify, it is easily a staple in their catalog. They continued by playing another song from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, “Give ‘Em Hell Kid.”
The next songs included “Bury Me in Black,” “Summertime,” “Our Lady of Sorrows,” followed by the much anticipated first song of the evening from The Black Parade, “House of Wolves.” No matter when fans of My Chemical Romance found them and fell in love The Black Parade holds a special place in the hearts of many of the fans. It is their most popular album, with over 4.5 million copies sold. Up next was “Boy Division,” “DESTROYA,” then the song that makes the heart flutter with a single piano note, “Welcome to the Black Parade.” This song is one of Ray Toro’s two favorite songs and is likely to give the fans chills the next time they hear it on their stereo or in the car. It was a moving song that brought the show and audience to a new high of the night. Just as the crowd stopped dancing from the immensely emotional rush of the previous song the band turned the energy level right back up to ‘to eleven’ with another quintessential song, “Teenagers.” Everybody in the building was dancing and waving their arms in the air. Another fan favorite came up next, “Mama.” However rather than dance their hearts out nearly everyone in the arena turned on their phone’s camera light. The thousands of phone lights turned on lit up the arena as though the overhead lights had been turned on as people sang loud and moved around to the pace of the song; this was truly a marvelous moment to experience.
After playing twelve songs with minimal breaks Gerard took a moment to check on the audience and asked security to hand out water. He reminisced about their first show in Detroit at the Shelter in 2003 This pause gave both the band and audience a needed and well-earned break. When the show resumed, they played “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”, “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W”, “The World is Ugly”, and “Famous Last Words.”
In an interview from 2021 with Travis Mills for a podcast on Apple Music 1, Gerard discussed The Black Parade for the fifteenth-year anniversary. In the interview he was asked which song is his favorite. He listed a few before landing on “Sleep” being his favorite. So, it was appropriate to close out the set with Gerard’s favorite song. In proper arena tour fashion, the band took a breather but then returned for a two-song encore. Up first was “Vampires Will Never Hurt You.” While the crowd would have let them play all night, however the set had to eventually come to an end. To finish off the night they chose “Helena” for Detroit. It is the fundamental song that led to the band’s rise before The Black Parade era. This song felt like the perfect ending to a delightful night that kept the adrenaline pumping long after the show was over.
With the Detroit show being the half-way point of the arena portion of the tour there are still many dates left, though tickets are not always easy to obtain. If you are one of the lucky ones who will see them know it will vary each night with different outfits and different set lists. This only enhances the pleasure of reminiscing in the element of surprise.
After the arena dates are completed, they are wrapping up the United States portion of the tour with 3 dates for When We Were Young festival. In this historic lineup My Chemical Romance will be playing alongside many, many others, including Paramore, Bring Me the Horizon, A Day to Remember, Avril Lavigne, Bright Eyes, Jimmy Eat World, and The Used just to name a few. The first date will be October 22nd in Las Vegas, Nevada followed by October 23rd and October 29th. – If you’re attending send me a message or come find me to say “Hello!” I’ll be there for Day 1!!
Remaining Tour Dates:
16 – September – Riot Fest 2022 – Douglas Park Cultural & Community Center – Chicago, IL, US*
18 – September – Ameris Bank Amphitheater – Alpharetta, GA, US
20 – September – Prudential Center – Newark, NJ, US
21 – September – Prudential Center – Newark, NJ, US
23 – September – Firefly Music Festival – The Woodlands, Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE, US*
24 – September – FLA Live Arena – Sunrise, FL, US
27 – September – Toyota Center – Houston, TX, US
28 – September – American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX, US
30 – September – Ball Arena – Denver, CO, US
02 – October – Moda Center – Portland, OR, US
03 – October – Tacoma Dome – Tacoma, WA, US
05 – October – Oakland Arena – Oakland, CA, US
06-09 – October – Monster Energy Aftershock – Discovery Park – Sacramento, CA, US*
07 – October – T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, NV, US
11 – October – Kia Forum – Inglewood, CA, US
12 – October – Kia Forum – Inglewood, CA, US
14 – October – Kia Forum – Inglewood, CA, US
15 – October – Kia Forum – Inglewood, CA, US
17 – October – Kia Forum – Inglewood, CA, US
22-23 – October / 29 – When We Were Young – Las Vegas Festival Grounds – Las Vegas, NV, US*
18-20 – November – Festival Corona Capital – Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez – Mexico City, Mexico*
All Rights Reserved by Jessica Trail / JETRAIL Photography, LLC