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Fierce weather no roadblock for My Chemical Romance faithful

April 12th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

Review by Max Parker Dahl, photo by Ben Hansen

SALT LAKE CITY — The line started at 5 a.m. Heather Graham stood through snow and sleet and hail for 14 hours, watching endless heads bob and shuffle behind her, topped with red and green and blue and black hair. The line stretched down one block, took a right turn, sprawled down another, took another right turn, and fanned out before the doors opened at 7.

As is common with every concert hosted by In the Venue, the diehards rushed the stage and the balcony to secure their spots, mentally preparing themselves for a fight if any fan had the audacity to challenge them for it. They can expect bruised ribs, a collection of other people’s sweat, and the best view in the house.

My Chemical Romance drew a diverse crowd, but the majority of 18-35 demographic came prepared to buy and to sing.

The opening band, The Architects from Kansas City, opened with a hard hitting selection of their four albums. The band is composed of three Phillips brothers: Brandon, Adam, and Zach, as well as guitarist Keenan Nichols. They were hand-selected by MCR guitarist Frank Iero at one of their shows and asked to join them on the trans-nation tour. The Architects were able to get a crowd of disbelieving teens to bounce, lean, push, and dance to the music; no small feat in the Utah concert scene.

“We play two songs,” lead vocalist, guitarist, and oldest brother Brandon Phillips said. “Songs about drugs, and songs about law enforcement. This song is about one of the two. Or both.”

Neon Trees took close to a half hour before taking the stage, having landed moments before and rushing to the venue to play. The crowd maintained their enthusiasm by extemporaneously breaking into Teenagers by MCR and singing along to American Idiot being looped over conversation by the P.A.

The emanating electricity of Neon Trees seemed muted, as Tyler Glenn wasn’t able to dance and cabaret-kick his usual routine. Perhaps he hadn’t had enough time to stretch before taking the stage. Locals enjoyed singing along with favorites 1984and throwing up their claws for Animalas they played selections from their album, Habits.

Emotions flared as stage lighting illuminated an American flag with a MCR spider painted thereon.

My Chemical Romance took the stage around 9:35, and played non-stop for more than an hour, up to 11. Opening with their first single off of the new album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) allowed the crowd to release their stored angst and bounce around.

Various hits from their four albums provided many opportunities to fist pump and sing along. Gerard Way’s voice was as velvety as his skin, and as brazen as his rose-red dyed hair. He was like a little Peter Pan on stage; a boy that would never grow up, but keep doing what he loved with unpredictable passion. Musically flawless on stage, the band looked clean and together two weeks into their tour, which sold out in Salt Lake moments after being available online.

An impressive moment came at the end of the set, when Way leveled with the crowd

“We are going to play all the songs right now,” he said. “This is where we walk off stage before we play the encore, but we always play more songs, because you guys rock. I would have to walk outside right now, and do you know what that means? Instant pneumonia. So let’s keep rockin’.”

The crowd was incredible throughout the night; no extra person could have fit into the venue, they sang every note and sang it well, they hoisted a man who used hand crutches for a dystrophic disease and he crowd-surfed from back to front of the venue, another took on the entire security staff after crowd-surfing. They had a great time collectively.

The North American tour continues for another two months, after which MCR will pond skip for a European jaunt.

NW

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