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Apr 9, 2011

Review: My Chemical Romance pours it on

As My Chemical Romance walked onto the stage, there were no large curtains shielding them from view.
Frontman Gerard Way was not wheeled out on a gurney, clad in a hospital gown with an IV in his arm.
In fact, no member of the band was in a costume.
Instead, the band was shorn of most of the theatrics that adorned them during their last tour, The Black Parade Tour.
On Friday night at In The Venue in Salt Lake City, the New Jersey-bred rock band signaled that they were going back to basics, ready to reclaim their status as one of the most dynamic rock bands in North America.
And they did.

Headlining the sold-out venue, the red-headed Way and his cohorts delivered a blazing set that showed that they did not need to use bells and whistles to put on an entertaining show. All they needed were solid, sing-along anthems about outcasts that the young audience identified with, along with a healthy dose of star power.
Besides strobe lights and four large V’s that were lit up behind them, the stage was bare except for an oversized American flag that was marked with the image of a menacing insect, identical to the one that adorns the band’s most recent album, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.”
Despite the long title, the album is not a concept album like “The Black Parade,” and the band seemed liberated from the constraints of any high concept they had to adhere to. Rather, the band reached back into its entire catalog to offer rarities as well its bigger hits, such as “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” and “Sing.”
Guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero and bass player Mikey Way were augmented by two additional musicians, most notably touring drummer Michael Pedicone, who replaced the departed Bob Bryar. Touring drummers can often seem out of sync with the rest of the band, but Pedicone and Mikey Way were a solid rhythm section, allowing Toro and Iero to unleash power chords that grooved and pulsated.
It was a night for frontmen to shine, as Provo rock band Neon Trees opened, with mohawked lead singer Tyler Glenn showing the charismatic stage presence of an experienced rocker, swinging the mic like Roger Daltrey and openly emoting on his knees. Unfortunately, as Glenn explained from the stage, the band was late getting to the show because they had just flown in. As a result, they were limited to a five-song, 20-minute set. The quartet played “Sins of My Youth,” “1983,” “In the Next Room,” “Your Surrender” and closed with their 2010 radio hit “Animal.”
But both Gerard Way and Glenn illustrated that when you have good hair and unbridled energy, who needs pyrotechnics?


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