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Apr 18, 2011

REVIEW: The World Contamination Tour 04/10/11 - Val Air Ballroom - Des Moines, IA

Before the day even started, fans were lining up at the doors of the Val Air Ballroom to secure their front-and-center spots for The World Contamination tour. Four in the morning might seem a bit excessive to some, but Killjoys (My Chemical Romance diehards) were camping out at the venue well before the sun rose over the fields of Iowa. Headliners My Chemical Romance spent the last two weeks on the road with Neon Trees and The Architects thus far, with much of the tour left ahead of them. Selling out venues across the country, The World Contamination Tour is sweeping across North America all spring long.
Kicking the night off was Kansas City punk rockers, The Architects. Despite definite genre differences between each of the three bands on the bill, The Architects roared through their set, winning over the crowd with ease. Pounding out an old school, straight shooting rock-n-roll sound, the band ran through tracks from their catalog, gaining momentum quickly. Feeding off the crowd’s response to more popular tracks such as “Bastards at the Gate” and “Daddy Wore Black”, The Architects became increasingly animated in their stage presence, playing with an intensity that kept everyone’s blood pumping.  Still riding hard off of their 2009 release, The Hard Way, many fans were familiar with The Architects material; both new and old. Reminiscent of other punk rock legends such as Rancid or Social Distortion (both of whom they have previously toured with), their harsh and frenzied sound combined with impassioned antics provided for an entertaining and enjoyable start to the night, setting the bar high for pop all-stars Neon Trees.
Neon Trees spent the last year tearing through the charts with heavy hitting singles such as “Animal” and “1983” off of their 2010 album Habits. With the power of Habits behind them, Neon Trees pulled their own weight on The World Contamination tour.  Lead singer Tyler Glenn rocked a Mohawk and a diverse portfolio of dance moves that, combined with the band’s poppy hooks, quickly impressed the sold-out crowd. The opening chords of chart-topper “Animal” resulted in an eruption of cheers throughout the venue, and turned into an all-out sing-along. A seven song set was rounded off with “Farther Down”, and the general consensus was that Neon Trees certainly wasn’t just a ‘studio band’, and that the band’s live show was just arresting as their catchy radio hits.
Since recording and scrapping an album as a follow up to 2006’s The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance has had to refrain from touring most of the country over the past few years.  Last November, the band released their second attempt at a new album, entitled Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. The long-awaited album made a huge splash amongst new and old My Chemical Romance fans alike. On their first North American tour since the album’s release last fall, many fans have been eager to witness the new material performed live.  Iowa’s date of The World Contamination Tour was no exception. A packed venue was electric as smoke gave way to the members of My Chemical Romance, as they broke into their first single from Danger Days; “Na Na Na.” Lead singer Gerard Way’s between song banter, and the band’s creative interludes between songs kept things interesting between songs, while showcasing his ever-improving voice with soaring vocals. The set list contained a considerable amount of new material, but kept a number of fan favorites and timeless tracks from the band’s discography.  The anthem of rebellious kids everywhere, “Teenagers” resulted in a deafening response from the crowd. The band’s wildly successful singles from 2004’s Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge; “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Helena”, were met with equal amounts of excitement. Gerard Way and his band mates orchestrated a blast from the past; playing “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”, much to the excitement of their older fans, who are more familiar with their first release in 2002. Despite negative remarks and press towards the band in the past, My Chemical Romance often outwardly expresses a positive message through their music and words. With a knack for inspiring and reminding fans to never lose hope, the band’s messages has spread loud and clear amongst the world’s Killjoys, and many fans credit the band as life savers, bringing them back from dark times. Before breaking into the night’s final song, “Bulletproof Love”, Gerard Way left the room packed with thousands of Killjoys one final piece of advice; “never stop running.”

CREDIT: Matt Vogel -

1 comment:

  1. "Bulletproof Heart" - not "Bulletproof Love" and he didn't say "never stop running"; he said "love each other and never stop running"