My Chemical Romance - Academy 3 - 11..9.04

You know the middle eight of Alice Cooper's "Schools Out" where the children's choir kicks in with the refrain of "no more teachers, no more pens". Imagine that stretched out for a full live show with the band leading the audience along with each and every song. A show which sees the frontman stretching out to the sky, keeping his balance as he teeters on the edge of the monitors conducting the audience as they sing along every single word to the new album ""Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge". Never before have the lines between audience and band been blurred so much. You can stick your Sing-A-Longa Abba, Rocky Horror Picture Shows and the Sound Of Music because in My Chemical Romance we have a band which brings us stronger melodies and more meaning than the rest of those shows combined.

My Chemical Romance's vocalist Gerard is the sort of frontman that icons are made of. Looking like melange of icons from the past 20 years there are elements of Jack White meets Chucky meets Johnny Depp in a Edward Scissorhands / Pirates Of The Caribbean cross pollination with touches of Robert Smith's gothic cherub look. The most engaging frontman we've seen in 20 years you get the impression that if Gerard wasn't in a band he'd be leading a cult into the wilderness, much to the surprise of his neighbours who would naturally admit that he always seemed like such a nice quiet lad. The rest of My Chemical Romance may be less aesthetically arresting characters, but musically they're a tour de force. The dual guitars sound as if they're entering the Guinness book of records for the most guitars played at once, they really do sound that big and in the confines of the Academy 3 there's the feeling that they've already outgrown these venues long ago. In their minds they're already playing Wembley Stadium and they might as well be.

"You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison" with it's inoffensive chirpy choppy guitar riff in the verse which leads up to the explosive chorus. "Helena" with the insistent guitar riff underpinned by the bish bosh drum patterns which all breaks down in the dramatic refrain "What's the worst thing I can say? Things are better if I stay". And then of course there's the anthem "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)", song of the year by a mile. After just 40 minutes in the company of My Chemical Romance its over all too quickly. If they'd have came back for another encore and delivered the same set in replica we'd have gratefully lapped it up again just as passionately. If these guys aren't playing stadiums in a few years time then this generation is seriously f**ked!!!

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride -


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