Part 13 of 14 in my My Chemical Romance live reviews series.
The second of the two Chicago dates I went to on My Chemical Romance's 2008 tour with Billy Talent, Drive By and (for Chicago exclusively) David Costa.
This review was written at the time of the show and has received only light editing.
So, let's go back to the middle of the night that started it all, shall we?
To catch you up, I left you, Oh my Reader- at the end of the first My Chemical Romance show in Chicago on April 17th. From there, our story continues...
Stumbling out of a venue after a show is always a fun experience: your clothes seem to fit a little more loosely, your body tends to be covered with more moisture than you ever thought it could hold, your legs are slightly dead, and you may or may not be throbbing from bruises and other bumps your body has collected through the course of the night. Oh, trust me – the night of April 17th was all of those things for my friends and me as we stumbled down the Chicago sidewalk, looking for a cab.
When we finally found that vehicle, we pretty much collapsed into it and began our adventure back to the hotel with our guru-like cab driver. He had a very philosophical vibe and gave us life information. He also explained to us what that oh-so-mysterious "Wirly Ball" at which Billy Talent apparently "beat [MCR's] asses" was. "It's the only place you can go in Chicago to feel young again," said he. Honestly, I can say by the time we stumbled back into the City Suites and boarded the elevator that I was feeling greatly like a kid who had been up way past his bedtime. Yet, I was still excited as I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. to restart the adventure the next day.
April 18th, 2008
I was up at the scheduled time, and – as usual - was setting and resetting my alarm, hoping everyone else would catch on: you know, stomping around and coughing and all. Finally, we were all up and in a cab on the way to the venue. Luckily, we got there MUCH earlier than we had the previous day and were only 8th in line (right behind the campers. I think we were the first ones to show up who had not arrived the night before).
The day started off very cold; so, Emily and Joey walked to the Walgreen's down the road and bought a blanket, but when they got back- the panic started- Joey had lost his ticket.
Grrreat! No, not so much.
We were desperate for a ticket and were going to call ticketmaster as soon as the box offices opened, were trying to negotiate with security about getting into the will-call place before the rest of the will-call line, and basically freaking out. Making friends with the security guard never gave my friend the will-call benefit, but he was kind enough to let me into the venue first thing in the morning to use the bathroom. It was CRAZY walking through empty venue. I saw MCR's equipment still set up from the previous night, the banner half hanging in the showroom as I passed its open doors. Very surreal.
Later, while we were all waiting in line, a MIRACLE seemed to happen- a scalper came by yelling the usual, "Anybody selling tickets," and as soon as a hand was raised, I jumped up and ran to the seller- Viola! A ticket for Joey! I'll probably never see that girl again, but if anyone knows who the REALLY tiny girl was who sold me the ticket, tell her that I am eternally grateful- if Joey hadn't gotten a ticket, we all would have had to sit out the concert.
The day went on and on and on, and I suppose they had heard how chaotic the show entrance was the previous night, because venue staff was outside all day keeping an eye on things and reinforcing rules. One of the people who worked for the venue was an awesome lady named Danielle. I think we talked to her more than anyone else that day. She thought all of us at the front of the line were crazy. The first thing she said to us all was: "I'm gonna ask you a serious question right now: How did y'all survive out here all night? *shakes head* I'm from here, and I don't even play." Taha! I guess the area of the venue wasn't so great.
Finally, the second day doors opened, and we went inside in a much more orderly manner, and instead of conglomerating in the lobby, we went straight to the main doors of the theatre. We were the first in line at the only door they had opened the previous night and had to struggle to keep those coming in behind us back, but we managed it, and when we were finally let in, the security guard tried to walk us all to the barricade, but when he saw that the security at the other doors had pretty much unleashed the kids at their doors, he said to my friends and me, "GO, GO!" and we set off!
I crashed into the barricade so hard that I thought I had cut open my knee. Emily was right beside me, but Joey still didn't manage to get front, but we were all set and together, so it was okay. I almost cried, though, because I swore my knee was cracked in half or something. I get a little desperate when I run to the barricade, you see. Haha! Emily said that she swore I was going to flip over it, I ran into the barricade so hard and my upper body lunged so far forward!
Same routine as the previous night; David Costa came out first, but it was even better this night for me, because I could actually see. The performance was just as good as it had been the previous night, but the issue I had was the set was basically identical, and even the things said between songs were the same- very predictable, but I guess not many people were assumed to be coming both nights. Still. Great tunes and great energy.
Drive By, I believe, played the same set, as well. It was exciting, because I could remember tiny parts of certain songs from the previous night, so I didn't look like such a doofus nodding my head at the same rate when the tempo changed in certain songs. Haha! The singer was giving my friends and I the strangest look through the set. Maybe there was someone behind us doing something crazy that he was watching, but it looked like he was looking at us all strangely and smirking every now and then.
BILLY TALENT! I still cannot get over how exciting it is to hear the beginning of "This is How it Goes" live at the start of their set. I didn't even know the song at that point, but it still made my heart race to hear those beginning chords repeated. It's such a perfect build-up. I think BT played the same set, as well- which I had no problem with, since it is such a great set. I don't know all of their song titles, but the ones I know they played are:
"This is How it Goes"
"Line and Sinker" (I was humming the chorus melody to this for days after the show)
… and some others. Ha!
The singer of Billy Talent kept looking in our direction, too. I'm convinced that someone around us was giving the singers sexy-faces or something. Haha!
Before MCR came out, the crowd was shoving epically, and somehow a lot more people than could really fit on the barricade had gotten there. I swear that my hips and ribs were misshapen- IT WAS AWESOME! Haha! Atop the hip problem, I was having really bad leg problems. The knee that had had an epic crash with the barricade at the beginning of the show was aching like hell, and I could hardly put pressure on that leg and be able to bear it. I thought for sure that I would have to end up getting out, but seriously, there was no way I would. They'd have to drag me out of there fully unconscious before I'd leave on my own will.
Aside from my problems with my legs, everything else was perfect. I hadn't noticed it the night before, but between bands, they were playing the best songs ever- TONS of Alkaline Trio, which is always a plus for me, AND "Sink, Florida, Sink," my favorite Against Me! song, AND Hot Water Music's cover of "Radio." Ha! I got a little more excited than I should have about the between-band music, I suppose.
The My Chemical Romance backdrop slid down from the sky, and the lights started flashing to the Karate Kid theme, and it was fucking TIME!
Being able to see works wonders on one's perception of the show and excitement level. Seeing Ray walk onto the stage first is one of the most exciting things at MCR shows, or seeing their lit cigarettes at the dark side of the stage and knowing they're getting ready to walk out- EEP!! And so, out they walked with that ever-exciting precursor of lit cigarettes in the darkness with the Karate Kid song playing to guide them.
I can't remember with what they opened or most of the set, for that matter, but I remember how I felt the whole time- a building excitement that wouldn't cease and the WHOLE TIME there was a knot in my throat, threatening tears.
I usually don't get too emotional at shows, but with everything that had been going on in my life before it, I was very much on the brink of crying most of the time, but it just set me off to see my heroes on that stage, playing their hearts out for us. The band that has always inspired me was inspiring me again. It was as if with every chord struck, every beat hit, every note sung they were telling me, "It's going to be okay." And I could not suppress my tears of joy, and sobbed like mad through the last four songs, which - I believe - were: "Famous Last Words," "Helena," "Desert Song," and –maybe- "Cancer." They weren't in that order, of course, but that's the gist of it, and I was crying like a pansy. One of their roadies was staring at me like I was crazy, too. LMFAO! Whatever. That same guy jumped off the stage and helped this girl out when the security was being ridiculous. It reminded me of when Schecter was standing in front of me in Canada helping people out (andIaccidentallypunchedhiminthenose*cough*).
What really got me, though- with the whole crying thing, is when the boys went off stage and James stayed on, playing this really gorgeous music on the piano that, little by little, became recognizable as "Desert Song." "Desert Song" is one of my favorite MCR songs, one that I relate to the most, and one that I definitely never thought I'd see them play live. As soon as Ray came out and started playing the song on the acoustic, I just lost it, then Gerard did not help at all when he came out and gave this little speech:
"I wrote this song about being in a band-- this band, and if this band means anything to you, has inspired you to do anything: helped you stand up for yourself, draw a picture, write a comic, join a fucking band, make a baby. Whatever- just get out there and fucking LIVE, this is for you"
I could hardly sing along because I was crying so hard, but it wasn't sadness: it was happiness that brought the tears- happiness and hope for the future, and a will that I could continue and be a stronger person than I have ever been in my life.
Thank you, My Chemical Romance.
I'm so glad I was able to endure my knee injury (it may have contributed a little to the crying) to make it through their entire set. It was well worth every contusion.
- Gerard's after-"Mama" quote: "I'm too young to die; too young, and much too pretty."
- Mikey's staring at me like I was crazy when I was crying and partially smiling.
- In the middle of "Headfirst For Halos," when the music stopped like it had the previous night, there was a skipping recording saying "What the hell is going on?" over and over.
- Always being the doofus who still did the "Mama" air bitchslap when Gerard didn't tell us to. LOL!
After the show, I could hardly walk, and we could hardly make it back to the merch table (I got the T.oro, Mikey Fuckin Way, and the Medusa shirt with the dates on the back), because there were so many people so compact in the lobby. I was thankful, though, that my knee did not have a bloody skin flap hanging from it, but merely was swollen, and I would later find was black and blue all over.
I cried all the way to the merch table, all the way out the door and was still crying when we were walking down the sidewalk- but it was one of those psychotic cries where I was grinning, my jaw was trembling, and I was sobbing. It was ridiculous. Limping, sobbing, and goofy grinning, I staggered after Emily and Joey until we found a cab. It was really amusing seeing me try to bend my knee to get in. HA!
I think that was the night we had legitimate Chicago Pizza… *passes out* After not having eaten for a few days, MY GOODNESS- was that heaven… It was heaven anyway. *melts*
2005 Taste of Chaos | Green Day & MCR | Warped Tour, Columbus | Warped Tour, Charlotte | 2005 Headlining tour, Columbus | 2005 Headlining Tour, Ypsilanti | Headlining tour, Atlanta | Headlining tour, Canada | The Black Parade tour 2007, Atlanta | Projekt Revolution- Tampa, FL | Projekt Revolution- Raleigh, NC | 2008 Tour, Chicago (Day 1) |
The reason behind this blog series