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Aug 27, 2011

REVIEW: Reading 2011: My Chemical Romance, Main Stage

Loud, proud and anthemic. This is where My Chemical Romance belong.

It's approaching the witching hour, and admittedly, we're a bit tipsy, but isn't that Brain bloody May on stage with My Chemical Romance? And aren't they playing 'We Will Rock You?'

 There's a trend amongst festival headliners - a need to bring the big guns if they're given top billing. From Muse rolling out The Edge at Glastonbury to everyone expecting Jay-Z a year later for Beyonce's set, if you can pull in a name for the encore, it will keep the crowd happy.

MCR's headline slot is an odd one - a return to the site where they met the traditional Reading bottling in 2006. Like the majority of the festival's top acts, they're a band who appeared lower down the bill elsewhere earlier this summer. If that's down to contract issues or just a general feeling they're not actually ready for the headline set is open to debate, but it's one Gerard Way, clad in leather and sporting his bright red barnet, seems to want settled on the stage. With an opening salvo of 'Na Na Na' and 'I'm Not Okay', there's no shortage of hits in their back pocket to do so.

Indeed, it seems like every trick in the book has been loaded up, ready to dazzle. Fireworks, balloons and the afore mentioned man with the curly hair all add to a set largely taken from most recent album 'Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys'. 'Planetary (Go!)' may not have quite the elastic bounce-back-ability it has on record, but still more than holds it's own, while 'Famous Last Words', 'S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W' and 'Sing' possess all the theatrics needed to fill a big stage.

It's closer 'Welcome To The Black Parade' that really proves beyond any doubt that this is where My Chemical Romance belong. Loud, proud and anthemic, with or without a Queen guitarist added for good measure, a band with this much bravado demand to sit at the top of the pile. There'll be no bottles thrown in 2011.

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