My Chemical Romance - Manchester Apollo -24.10.10

My Chemical Romance Saves Lives has been banded around for years as to show the gravitas of importance the musical output of Gerard Way and Co. Its a slogan that may have to change in light of the new album "Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys" with its uptempo calling card "Na Na Na" which see's the band throw all their cares away for the most retarded stomp since Blurs Song 2. Where once there were songs like "Cancer" now its calls to give me drugs over a speeded up Zutons song.

The audience remains the same. 14yr old girls with a splattering of older folk who jumped on board during "The Black Parade" and tonight at the 2nd of only 2 intimate UK dates we get to hear what will be the next years soundtrack. With a new Alter Ego named Party Poison, this isnt the half dead alter-ego in the Black Parade, but a manga-esque hero with bright red hair peaking out above the obligatory all black regalia.

"Planetary (Go!) sounds like Blur's Parklife on speed with half-spoken / half-rapped verse by Way before launching into a euphoric hands punching the air chorus. "The Only Hope For Me Is You" is part future-retro synth stabs before launching into a chorus that is a classic My Chemical Romance anthemic chorus, And closer "The Kids From Yesterday" sounds like primetime U2 with Way doing Bono better than Bono's done himself in years.

The rest of the set is made up mainly from "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge", an album which many regard as their definitive body of work, and the more commercial "Black Parade" album. Way says little to the crowd bar brief introductions to the rest of the band, but the songs say it all. Its hard to imagine a band with such a strong back-catalogue as they rattle through over 20 songs, all of them classics. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise) the ultimate teen angst anthem an obvious highlight as is "Helena" and "The Ghost Of You". A particularly poignant moment comes with the ballad "Cancer", sometimes derided by those anti -emo naysayers but a very touching moment.

My Chemical Romance are a band who came out as just a good rock band, got lumped with the emo scene and outgrew it to become one of this generations most important bands and now even in what will be considered their pop album they prove why they're still more relevant than most bands around them. In live shows like tonight they do away with the polish of the record and deliver a punk rock show parexcellence.

Words: Alex McCann


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