Gerard Way, lead screamer of My Chemical Romance, is keeping a watchful eye out for the misfit boys and junior Suicide Girls that brave the pit that churns in front of his band of Jersey boys. As they performed miniature teen operas with gargantuan passion, he stopped the show at least twice to give the rockin’ wounded a chance to breathe.
His band started their show Saturday night at the Reliant Arena, with a nod to the rich theatrical blood line they have been tapping into lately. A gurney was wheeled out onto the darkened stage, illuminated partially by a gaggle of feeble cell-phone lights. Way sang a few bars from “Dead!” the lead-off track on their latest album, The Black Parade. Way quickly lept from the sick bed, clad in the same Sgt.-Pepper-rom-Hell uniform as his cohorts, to stalk the flame-bathed stage. My Chem did not disappoint those looking for face-melting pyrotechnics in front of a neo-gothic landscape. They subsequently hammered away at the bulk of the new record. A quick set-change later, coming out in the universal uniform of 21st century hipster boys, black Converse and tight jeans, they gave the crowd the hits that exploded them out of internet message-board obscurity. Gone were the fireworks and intermittent towers of flames, replaced the vibe of a small club show, albeit with a sing-along crowd of thousands.
Way makes no bones about his admiration for the band’s audience. It’s a twisted Jersey hospitality we get precious little of around here. Say what you will about the Clairol Midnight Black drenched mobs, morbid lyrics bordering on hilarity, and the profound sense of mortality that abounds, those kids in that pit are genuinely loved by this band. - Craig Hlavaty