The band pulled out some rare gems on the first night of their two-show stand
Last night, My Chemical Romance returned home to New Jersey. The emo heroes kicked off a two-night stand at the Prudential Center in Newark with a sold out show alongside special guests Thursday and The Homeless Gospel Choir. It was their first appearance in their home state since the final Bamboozle Festival in 2012 in Asbury Park. While every show of the group’s highly anticipated reunion tour has been noteworthy, their triumphant return home last night was truly one of the most significant moments in recent music history.
The Homeless Gospel Choir got things off to a running start. The Derek Zanetti-led quartet tore through a quick 8-song set. The wrapped up their time with “Ripoff” which saw Zanetti lay his guitar down on the stage sending screeching feedback directly into the audience’s ears.
Thursday came up to bad next, and the fellow New Jersey band was warmly greeted by their hometown fans. The opened with “The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out (of Control).” Four songs in, the crowd exploded as My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way came on stage to join the band for “Jet Black New Year.” The collaboration was a telling sign that it was going to be a special night. Later, Circa Survive’s Anthony Green joined Thursday for “Understanding in a Car Crash.” They ended their set with “War All the Time.”
The Jersey roots were running deep last night, indeed.
After the tour crew was done changing this over, the lights began flickering for a good five minutes – which felt like an eternity for the crowd as the anticipation built to a near volcanic eruption. Fans in the front row had signs that simply read, “Welcome Back.” The energy in the room as palpable with some 17,000 Killjoys chanting “MCR! MCR! MCR!” The crowd was comprised of fans that have been waiting for nearly a decade for their favorite band to come back around, and others that have spent those years listening to MCR hoping that one day they might get a chance to experience them live. Finally, the building went black and the wait was over.
“We’ve been looking forward to this [night] all tour,” frontman Gerard Way said to the crowd.
The band took the stage and kicked things off with their latest piece of music “The Foundations of Decay” which surprised fans back in May. A few minutes into the track, the stage opened up revealing a massive cityscape in rubble and ruin. It was an excellent visual for the show’s opening number. The weighty tune is saturated with MCR’s signature sound, making it the perfect way to start the show.
From there, they launched into their seminal song “I’m Not Okay (I Promise).” They followed that up with their fist-pumping anthem “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” with sent the crowd into a frenzy. Many MCR songs have dynamic range, but this one rips with pure punk fury.
My Chemical Romance treated the hometown crowd to a few rare gems. Two songs made their tour debut last night, and both tracks had a a lot of dust on them. The band performed “I Never Told You What I Do for a Living” from their sophomore outing for the first time since 2008, and “Demolition Lovers” from there debut album which hadn’t seen the light of day since 2004.
The capacity crowd was treated to a balanced setlist that spanned their entire career. While they performed songs from each of their albums, it was their debut LP that got the most attention. They nearly performed the record in full.
Some of the night’s biggest moments included “Famous Last Words,” “Thank You for the Venom,” “Vampire Money,” and “The Ghost of You,” among others. Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly returned to the stage to accompany MCR on “This Is the Best Day Ever,” returning Gerard Way’s favor from earlier in the night. “Come out and do this fucking song with us that you taught me how to sing in the studio because I didn’t know anything about dynamics,” Way said emphatically with love.
During “The World Is Ugly,” cell phone lights lit up the entire arena.
The band wrapped things up with two tremendous cuts – their watershed effort “Welcome to the Black Parade” and the fan-favorite “Helena.” The former was perhaps the crown jewel of the night, despite being tucked in just before the end of the show. MCR was not about to let the home town crowd go back to their Jersey abodes without a proper encore. The group returned to the stage for “Demolition Lovers” and “The Kids from Yesterday”, which served as an ode to long-time fans who had waited all these long years to see the band on stage again.
One line from “The Kids from Yesterday” is particularly poignant: “Here we are and we won’t stop breathing / Yell it out, ’til your heart stops beating.” Over the last few years, rock music has lost some torchbearers like Chester Bennington (Linking Park), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) far too soon. Their passings are a painful reminder that forever is often a myth. Thankfully, with My Chemical Romance back on stage, we’ll carry on.
My Chemical Romance return to the Prudential Center tonight for a second show.
Tickets for the rest of their reunion tour are on sale now HERE.