“The Black Parade is Dead” My Chemical Romance (Warners)

My Chemical Romance The Black Parade is Dead

My Chemical Romance The Black Parade is Dead

A live CD and DVD set confirming My Chemical Romance as simply a great live band. The CD features My Chemical Romance in Mexico City and the DVD reprises Mexico City and throws in the New Jersey show as a bonus. “The End”, ironically, is a perfect mood-setter, kicking off the Mexico City set. The mood is fast and furious through “Dead!”, “This is how I Disappear”, “The Sharpest Lives”, “The Black Parade” with its “just a man, not a hero” aphorism, “I Don’t Love You” and “House of Wolves”, until the piano-led “Interlude” gives everyone a breather. Refreshingly, this isn’t the band recorded through the sound desk with the crowd filtered out. My Chemical Romance encourage their audiences to sing along and that’s captured. “Cancer” (which is what “The Black Parade” is about, contrary to views elsewhere) ups the tempo again and My Chemical Romance maintain it through “Mama” and “Sleep”. “Teenagers” is a great singalong. Powered up, the band keep the pace through “Disenchanted”, “Famous Last Words” with it’s anthemic “I am not afraid to keep on living” refrain and ends on “Blood”. If you don’t come away sore throated and worn, then you’re an android.

The DVD starts with Mexico City. The New Jersey show largely features “The Black Parade” plus some crowd-pleasing favourites. “Thank You for the Venom” is superb live, Gerard Way’s vocals growl out the sarcasm and who can disagree when he comments, “still my favourite song to play live,” of “You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison”. Good too to hear the sleazy guitars will come back from their “The Black Parade” hiatus. Gerard Way’s charisma shines and he uses his stage presence wisely, repeatedly thanking the audience and, at one point, asking them to move back when he realises the front row are in danger of getting crushed. The blistering version of “Helena” is almost worth the price alone.

Ultimately, the size of venue – stadium or bar back room – is irrelevant for My Chemical Romance. They bring along their own intimate atmosphere and the audience join in. The live DVD is the next best thing to My Chemical Romance playing in your living room. “The Black Parade is Dead”, but My Chemical Romance are alive, lively and on form.

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