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Apr 21, 2011

REVIEW: Emo rockers Romance fans in Toronto

New Jersey rock band My Chemical Romance would never be accused of sounding like fellow native Bruce Springsteen.
Yet the group led by Gerard Way has sustained a career that is often waist deep in “emo” and punk while still touching on ‘70s rock bands like KISS and Queen to get their songs across.
It was that mixture which made the band’s roughly 90-minute show at Toronto’s Kool Haus Tuesday night a decent evening out for the primarily teenaged crowd (and some of their parents).
Touring on the World Contamination Tour behind the wordy Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, My Chemical Romance had plenty of strobe lighting as Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) kicked off the often high-octane set (note: the “Na” tally in the title stops at 12).
Stating tonight was “going to be a hot one,” Way and guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero drove songs such as the frenetic Give ‘Em Hell, Kid and later a cover of The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. But the sextet also had a lot of payoff during Planetary (GO!), a very danceable nugget that seemed to be a twin of Franz Ferdinand’s Do You Want To. Here the crowd pogo-ed almost as much as Way did onstage.
With a backdrop consisting of an American flag with a spider on it, the word Exterminate on drummer Michael Pedicone’s kick drum and a motorcycle helmet perched atop an amplifier, My Chemical Romance tore through the rampant, galloping punk tune Hang ‘Em High. Following a strong Vampire Money, the group’s second big highlight was Mama, a polka-ish tune that comes off like a demented nursery rhyme that fans lapped up.
The middle portion had the group taking a proverbial breather with the radio-friendly, mid-tempo Summertime being dedicated to a girl they met earlier in the day and The Only Hope For Me Is You which seemed to sink quite quickly as did DESTROYA moments later.
Wasting little time between songs, My Chemical Romance tossed out their signatures near the homestretch starting with the dramatic, Queen-influenced Welcome To The Black Parade as Way let the fans belt out the lyrics. Thanking the “old fans for being nice to the new ones,” Way and company definitely got a great response to the set-closing Helena and especially Teenagers, a quirky little jewel most of the audience instantly related to.
Overall the group put on a good show considering they had just performed in Toronto at the Sound Academy during the Christmas holidays.
Earlier in the evening, Pittsburgh punk group Anti-Flag pulled out some surprises, including a quick cameo by Billy Talent bassist Jon Gallant for one number. The group also covered The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go for “the parents” in the crowd before moving drummer Pat Thetic’s entire kit into the audience for the closer.

CREDIT: Toronto Sun

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