I can still remember the first time I ever heard My Chemical Romance play live. I wasn't at a concert and I wasn't watching them on a live TV show. I was only in the seventh grade. I barely knew anything about what concerts were or what the big deal about them was. It was a hot summer day, and I can remember sitting on my bike on the corner of my street, most likely drinking a blue slush puppy from the store down the street. An older friend of mine who had a collection of MCR t-shirts and merch had been anticipating their show for months and called my cell phone. I couldn't hear what he was talking about, all I could hear was the distorted sound of screaming and yelling and I wondered to myself what the point of listening to this was. But then through all the noise and commotion, I could hear the music. I did know a few My Chemical Romance songs, (“Cemetery Drive” was probably my favorite back then. I had a thing where I'd always listen to it whenever we drove by a cemetery.), but the names Gerard, Mikey, Ray, and Frank meant nothing significant to me in those days. I knew they were kind of dark and they weren't like any other bands I saw on FUSE. I didn't know they would one day consume my life.
After seeing them in May at the House of Blues and having a dream come true by passing my art to Gerard, I thought that was it. Nothing could possibly be better than this and I'd have to wait another three years before they even considered touring again. Only a few weeks later they announced the Honda Civic Tour and they would be coming to the Boston area on August 9th. I found out at night when I was playing a video game with a friend of mine who still rolls his eyes at the obsession I have with My Chem. I quite literally started to act hysterically while he watched in disbelief at how I could be this excited over a band coming.
It seemed as though through all these years, I had a curse on me. No matter what I did, I could never get anywhere near my favorite band, My Chemical Romance, especially at venues where there is assigned seating like the seating is on the Honda Civic Tour. People I knew, who were only casual fans, always came to school the day after one of their shows bragging about how close they were, while I always had the last row. Being able to win this contest, and being in front of the entire crowd with no barricades restraining me in a pile of other sweaty teenagers, and taking pictures of them was something I was determined to do. After I submitted my story to the contest, I had been glancing at the phone all day, constantly making sure the ringer was on loud just in case there was the slim chance that I won. I got nervous each time another person entered for the same day as me. But then it happened. I can remember my heart skipping a beat when I saw a strange number calling my cell phone and when I picked up I found out that I would be photographing them in just ten days.
The next ten days went by unimaginably slow. When the day finally came, I couldn't wait to leave. I wore my homemade shirt that is based off of Gerard's yellow and black one from their last tour, and hurried to the box office to obtain my tickets. When I arrived, there were some technical difficulties obtaining my tickets since I was the first fan reporter on the tour, but at the very last minute they guided me into the photo pit. I can recall being able to literally touch the stage and thinking that in a matter of minutes, My Chemical Romance would be standing there. I waited patiently surrounded by a bunch of professional photographers. Then the lights lowered, and the screams began. They walked out, each taking their places on stage. I did my best to take as many photos as possible which proved to be quite challenging when you’re taking pictures of a band as energetic as My Chem. The dedication that My Chem fans possess never ceases to amaze me. If Gerard jumped around, the crowd jumped around on command. When he clapped, everyone else clapped in unison. Seeing as there was such a diverse mix of My Chem fans and blink-182 fans, when I turned and looked at the crowd, the dedicated MCR fans definitely stood out amongst the rest. They wore their killjoy masks and jackets proudly. Although I think some of the people who were there for blink may have been confused by the attire and intensity of the MCR fans, it didn't restrain them from displaying their passion.
I laugh when I think that all those years ago, I had no idea who they really were. And now here I was standing in front of them, being able to see the imperfections along the stage floor and the details on the mic stand. Because of them, I'm in art school, with bright red hair, wearing a black shirt with two yellow stripes and the numbers “05” in the corner of it, traveling from New York City to see them perform a couple of songs on the Jimmy Fallon show one night, only to drive home to watch them in Boston the next.
Once you see MCR for the first time, It doesn't matter how many times you see them. You'll never have the same experience twice. No matter what, you always get this feeling of wanting to see them again.
P.S. - They played mostly Danger Days songs, but of course they didn't forget the classics we love from Three Cheers and Black Parade!