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May 29, 2011

REVIEW: My Chemical Romance stirs a frenzy at the Palladium

Friday night, in its first of two sold-out shows this weekend at the Hollywood Palladium, My Chemical Romance proved worth the wait in a line that nearly circled an entire block. Surely those who got there early enough to secure a spot in front of the stage would agree.
Singing current and older hits such as -- from "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" and "Vampires Will Never Hurt You" (the only first-album selection of the night) to Black Parade material like "Teenagers" and "Mama" and new favorites from its well-received fourth album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys -- the New Jersey natives kept the faithful crowd of moshers, crowd-surfers and screamers in a fixated frenzy throughout their 90-minute set.
“This is a real f***ing L.A. show now!” vocalist Gerard Way shouted to anxious, eager-to-rock followers.
These days the red-haired frontman's style has become ever more Bowie-esque, adopting a new persona (Party Poison) as part of another concept guise that gives the entire band alter egos. Whatever he calls himself, however, Way remains commanding, capable of stirring up a sea of wanna-be Killjoys who were as entertaining to watch as the show itself -- especially the random guy next to me with spiky hair, fist-pumping while bouncing off the walls, or the few girls who got sprinkled into the mix of shirtless teenage boys in raging mosh pits.
Amid all that intense energy swirling inside the Palladium, Way managed to show a more tender side when dedicating “Summertime” to his wife, LynZ, bassist for Mindless Self Indulgence, who he called “the love of his life.” (The 34-year-old married the former Ms. Ballato at the end of the Projekt Revolution Tour in 2007.)
Initially ending with “Helena,” written in memory of the Way brothers' late grandmother, he returned for a melancholic interpretation of “Cancer,” after chants of “MCR, MCR, MCR!” surged out of the crowd, and was then joined by the rest of the band for the final hurrah, “Bulletproof Heart.” Bidding his minions goodnight, he admonished them: “Whatever you do, don’t stop running.”
Philly fivesome Circa Survive also received love from the crowd, who took to Anthony Green’s screeching, high-pitched voice as it flared, even when he held the mic well away from his mouth. “What I like most about shows like this is how ready you are to party,” he told the crowd, though they caused more of a roar at the mere mention of the headliner.
The Architects, seven years strong since the Phillips brothers formed the group out of the ashes of the Gadjits, deserve to be more than an opening act; the Kansas City band was anything but filler to kill time. From the get-go they exploded, enamoring an already packed room with songs like “Pill,” “Don’t Call It a Ghetto” and my favorite, “Year of the Rat,” presenting a perfect mix of old-school punk-rock influences to kick off the night right.
But Friday's crowd was also treated to a tour first, when MCR guitarist Ray Toro was invited out to join the Architects for a rip through AC/DC’s “Sin City.” “How f***ing cool was that?” yelled one of the Phillips boys.

My Chemical Romance will return in fall, co-headlining the 10th anniversary of the Honda Civic Tour, with stops planned for Oct. 1 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Oct. 8 at the Hollywood Bowl and Oct. 15 at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.
Setlist: My Chemical Romance at the Hollywood Palladium, May 27, 2011
Main set: Look Alive, Sunshine / Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) / Give 'Em Hell, Kid / Planetary (Go!) / Hang 'Em High / Mama / The Only Hope for Me Is You / House of Wolves / Summertime / I'm Not Okay (I Promise) / Vampire Money / DESTROYA / Welcome to the Black Parade / SING / Teenagers / Vampires Will Never Hurt You / Helena Encore: Cancer / Bulletproof Heart CREDIT:

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