Review & Photography Jeff Kunze
It has been over a decade since fans last saw My Chemical Romance perform in Minnesota. The band disbanded in 2013 and it seemed the black parade had packed up all its floats for good.
What we have found out about modern day musical entities, nothing ever truly goes away, it just momentarily fades away until the right moment hits for a reunion.
In 2019 it was announced the band would reunite and tour but covid kept the brake pedal down until now, 2022, and once again it was time to strike up the band and bring the parade to arenas across the country. People packed the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota to welcome back one of the most influential bands of the 2000s.
The anticipation and energy could be felt throughout the arena, this was a big deal to a whole lot of people, and when the lights dropped the screams echoed in a frenzy of excitement.
Things were kept very simple as there was no pyro or laser lights cutting through the darkness, the stage was pretty simple with a red curtain draped down as backdrop that later opened to reveal a destroyed city. This was a night about the music and the connection between the band and its devoted fans.
They opened with the latest single “The Foundation of Decay” which really came to life in the live setting. It’s a song like no other in the catalog and showcased that this unit has always been a band that could offer more musically than the emo label they have aways been tagged with.
They didn’t leave the fans waiting for long to hit with the song that exploded on the scene back on September 13, 2004, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise). If there was a moment the roof lifted off the arena, that was it, every single person was singing every lyric of that song as loud as they could. It was as fun and fresh as it was when it was released and has become a timeless classic of the era.
The band still maintains its core nucleus that catapulted My Chemical Romance to commercial success. Singer Gerard Way is still the ring leader on stage and vocally hasn’t lost a thing on his voice.
The energy of the band has always come from the duo-guitar players Ray Toro and Frank Lero. Both are fun to watch and the intensity in which they approach their craft plays right along with the music they play. Holding the low-end down is Mikey Way on bass.
The band utilized a couple of touring musicians on drums and keyboards. Overall, it sounded like they never left although during many of songs like “Teenagers” and “Welcome to the Black Parade” the crowd just about over took the band in volume.
What has been interesting about this tour is how they are not sticking to the same set-list each show. While most bands never change things up from night to night, My Chemical Romance has taken its own liberties with song selections and the order in which they are played.
Some of the highlights for me in St. Paul were “Famous Last Words,” “Vampire Money,” “Give ‘Em Hell Kid” and “Helena.”
It was a magical night for thousands of My Chemical Romance fans. Many got emotional with tears streaking down their face as the band roared through the set.
When they finally closed with “Desert Song” fans had given everything they had. People left the arena feeling good about the band and the show they just saw but it is already being asked, when will see the My Chemical Romance again? That answer remains to be seen.