Columbus, OH, Promowest Pavilion, September 15, 2005


Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

For My Chemical Romance, the road to Promowest Pavilion was not paved in gold and silver. In fact, the band spent years on the road as a cult-favorite and independent success story. And a few years ago, the band opened for The Used and Finch at the Newport Music Hall with little more than a van, some leather jackets and a touch of make-up. But add a major label that can distribute in mass numbers, a successful emo it in Helena and the attitude to match, and My Chemical Romance has found their stardom and niche in the industry packed with followers.

 

My Chemical Romance is a band that although has struck a chord with the masses, is still a bit unsure of their role as icons and heroes. When taking the stage, Gerard Way comes across as a fan of his music first, and a performer second. Although his stage presence is grand, it is when he closes his eyes and reflects on the lyrics while singing that make his performance such a spectacle to watch. Not to throw comparisons around, but Eddie Vedder comes to mind in the sense that both seem to only be truly happy when singing their songs, and whether it would be in the shower by themselves or on stage in front on thousands, the inner-peace with these two singers is of the utmost importance.

 

For the rest of the band, it seemed business as usual, as the performance on stage seemed to be meant for those on stage. Not that My Chemical Romance doesn't or isn't concerned about its fans, but rather the band seems very comfortable within themselves personally and as a band, so the members seem more than appreciative when fans come to the show, but at the same time, the band is not trying to go out of their norm to win new fans.

 

It was several years ago that the band, then on Eyeball records, released the both critically acclaimed and underground-acclaimed I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. And for those several years, the band toured feverishly and hones their on-stage performance in small clubs across the US. And it seems that playing those dives in front of minimal crowds is still how the band plays today. If night after night a band is playing in front of a hundred or so kids, maybe less, then the band members learn to look inside themselves for the energy to get through show after show. And for My Chemical Romance, every night is like an off night as far as attendance is concerned because the band still seems to get the energy and enthusiasm for each show from themselves and each other.

However, none of that kept the crowd from doing their part to generate and produce mass amounts of youthful energy as bodies soared over the barricade into the security pit, arms pumped high in the air and the middle finger become the sign language of choice. For Gerard Way and My Chemical Romance, the band's struggle with identity may have never been an issue, but their struggle with success still seems to be a constant. And only time can tell whether this band can brave the storm like labelmates Green Day or if mass success is the beginning of the end for a band that never set out to be music for the masses. My Chemical Romance only wanted to make music; period. And now that MCR has a huge-selling record in Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, is being featured on video games and becoming a household name, star status is being thrust upon the band, like it or not

Gerard Way
Frank Iero & Gerard Way
Mikey Way
Gerard Way
Gerard Way
Gerard Way