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Sep 3, 2011

REVIEW: Fan recap - Seattle 09/01/11

by brynnmck

SO THERE WAS THIS CONCERT LAST NIGHT. IT WAS KIND OF PERFECT. We (me, [info]zabira, [info]sadiane, and [info]me_maneuver) were also far enough away that I did not get a ton of detail, plus I was doing a lot of dancing and shouting, so I may this may not end up quite as insane as my usual concert reports (ETA: LOL JUST KIDDING), but I have said that before and then proceeded to ramble forever (ETA: SELF-KNOWLEDGE: IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER), so WE SHALL SEE (SPOILER: I HAD A LOT TO SAY).

But first: a couple of pictures, courtesy of [info]me_maneuver:

YEAH. Noise Jam was GOOD TIMES.

Here's my approximation of the set list (though I'm not at all sure of the order in the middle):

Na Na Na
I'm Not Okay
Planetary (GO!)
Give 'Em Hell, Kid
Famous Last Words
Welcome To the Black Parade
There was also Noise Jam in there somewhere, though I can't remember exactly where, but like I said: GOOD TIMES.
Getting there was pretty much no problem; it's a long, narrow road getting to the venue (which is basically out in farmland), but once we ditched a lot of the casino traffic, it was pretty smooth sailing. It was a BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL night, sunny but not hot, the smell of grass (ACTUAL grass, not THAT kind of grass) everywhere and Mount Rainier clear as a bell against the blue sky. It was GORGEOUS. And the venue was awesome—it was actually a lot smaller than I expected, so even in the second tier we were closer to the stage than I'd expected, and the sound was fantastic. And we had SEATS, which—though if I ever go back to that venue for a band I like, I will probably go for the pit—was really KIND OF AMAZING; just the freedom and lack of stress about angling for a good spot was really nice change from most of the shows I go to. We were like, "I think I'm going to go to the bathroom. Do you know why I can do that? BECAUSE WE HAVE SEATS." It was excellent.

We got to our seats probably a little before 7, early enough to catch the last few songs of Rancid's set, which there were a few people who were REALLY INTO. It was kind of adorable, ngl. (There was a woman rocking out to them who was wearing a Social D shirt. OF COURSE SHE WAS.) I enjoyed them a lot, actually, and then we hung out and watched the set-change videos, which were alternately strange and adorable.

And then around 7:30 the BLI intro started, which startled the hell out of me because I was expecting MCR to go around 8, so I immediately got REALLY REALLY REALLY excited. I have to say, our section was pretty damn empty; there were people right next to us and right behind us and right in front of us, but the section as a whole was probably at least half-empty, so that was kind of weird, and it was still light out by the time they hit the stage, which meant that the stage lights were conflicting kind of oddly with the natural light and it was kind of hard to see sometimes. HOWEVER, that said, I DID NOT ULTIMATELY CARE ABOUT ANY OF THESE THINGS, and as soon as they came out we stood up and started shouting along to "Na Na Na" as loud as we could.

Some things:

- Gerard's hair looked freshly-dyed and also INSANE; it was sticking waaaay up (because it was CLEAN, probably—hee) and it was adorable. Totally the Insane Chicken look. <3333 He was also wearing the bee shirt, and Frankie had on a black t-shirt and the dark librarian sweater and light-colored jeans, Mikey was wearing his MCR tank top and new light and VERY tight pants that made it look (as has been noted elsewhere) like he was not wearing any pants at all, and Ray had his typical dark jeans and Black Widow t-shirt. And Dewees' hair is still blue but fading a bit, and Pedicone was wearing SHOULDERS. I mean a tank top. (SHOULDERSSSSSS.) All of which you can probably see in pictures, but WHATEVER.

- During Na Na Na, Gerard shouted "you fucking animals" instead of "kiss me, you animal." THIS MAKES ME HAPPY. Also the "right here, right now, all the way in the city of Auburn" thing made me LOL, because seriously, if the post-apocalyptic dystopian futuristic pirate radio revolution is localized in AUBURN, WASHINGTON, I want my money back. HEEE. It was great. ALSO I'm pretty sure he said "What will save us, Ray?" (or it is possible I just want that to be true, but I swear I heard it), which made me REALLY happy. And then at the end of the song, Gerard got up on Pedicone's riser with his back to us and his arms and legs spread out, as he does, and then proceeded to shake his hips back and forth for a good ten seconds, while the rest of the band gathered around him. GOOD SHOW, GERARD WAY. GOOD SHOW.

- Frank was VERY MOBILE last night, especially early on—he spent QUITE a bit of time rolling around on the floor during I'm Not Okay, which was REALLY REALLY GOOD TIMES. Mikeyway was ALSO very mobile—it seems like he's in most of the pictures that M took, standing there with his awkward knees. ADORABLE. And at one point during one of the last songs, Ray was all the way over with Frankie, which made me make heart-eyes like YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE. (THEY NEVER GET TO HANG OUT ONSTAGE, OKAY, AND I LOVE THEM.)

- Also during INOK, Gerard made his way over to Frank to share his mic for the "TRUST ME" bit, and the lights were such that I did not actually see what happened when they got close to each other, but I did not hear Frank say anything so I can only assume they were making out. WHAT. I'M SURE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED. ALSO Frank had a VERY VEHEMENT middle finger up during the "I'm not o-FUCKING-kay" part, which never ceases to make me adore him even more. Oh Frankie. <333

- Planetary ballooooooons! Were so pretty! Gerard popped a couple of them and there was glitter confetti everywhere and if ever a man was meant to generate and then be covered in glitter confetti, it is Gerard Way. <3 And we DANCED and SHOUTED (I love the "YEAH/I'm unbelievable, YEAH/I'm undefeatable" part SO MUCH, and then BLAST IT TO THE BACK ROW, ugh, I have been waiting ALL SUMMER to shout that back to them) and it was awesome.

- Gerard dedicated "Give 'Em Hell, Kid" to "our really good friends" Rancid, and talked about how great they were and how glad MCR was to see them again, which was AWWWWWW. He also had VERY sweet things to say about the Blink guys, in the same vein. AWWWWWWWWWWWW. Also when they last played that song here in April I barely knew it, so being able to holler it right back to them this time was pretty fantastic. There was a guy and (I assume) his girlfriend sitting next to us and I'm pretty sure they were there for MCR—he had bought a t-shirt—and they were not nearly as insane about the whole thing as we were but here I could see him start bobbing his head and it was gratifying. YOU KNOW YOU LOVE THIS SONG, DUDE. YOU KNOW YOU DO.

- MAMA. I really love the crazy red LIGHTS OF HELLFIRE they've got going for this song, by the way. And at the beginning, during the xylophone part, Gerard was telling us to put our hands up and he was like, "TRUST ME. TRUST ME, YOU'RE GOING TO WANT THEM UP." Oh GERARD. I fucking love you, you giant dweeb. <3333 This song is so insane but I can't believe how well it WORKS in a live setting, I just love it. (We'd also spent half the night going, "Mama?" to each other in the RIDICULOUS YET AMAZING Little Orphan Gerard way that Gerard does at the beginning of that song in the iTunes Festival show, so that added some extra glee to this song. It also came in handy later when we were having trouble finding my car, because really, what better way is there to find your car than to wander around going, "Mama? Mama?" very plaintively. Heee.)

- At some point between songs, Gerard was like, "I like all these hands I'm seeing! But I want to see MORE. I want to see TWICE AS MANY HANDS." I ONLY HAVE TWO HANDS, GERARD, OKAY, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME. I'M GIVING HER ALL SHE'S GOT, CAPTAIN. It was adorable. (Gerard was actually SHOCKINGLY NON-PROFANE during this show, or so it seemed to me. Were there children present? Would that have stopped him? Did he leave all his swears in the UK? I DO NOT KNOW.)

- Heleeeeenaaaaaaaaaaaa. I kind of had a heart attack when they started this, because I know they've been ending with it quite a bit and I was like WAIT THEY CANNOT POSSIBLY BE DONE YET and it was a little frightening. Hee. Gerard went through his usual "who's been here before, who hasn't, the great thing about MCR fans is…" bit at the beginning, it was very cute. It was starting to get dark at this point, and I don't know if it was just me or what, but I really felt like the darker it got, the more the crowd dialed into them; it was really interesting. (VAMPIRIC POWERS PERHAPS? Someone is ALWAYS a vampire!) By the end of the set, the whole pit was swaying in perfect unison and it was really kind of magical, actually. Anyway, this was another song I barely knew the last time I saw them, so I appreciated it in a whole different way this time; something about the "can you hear me, are you near me" part, the way Gerard does that melody live, just gives me chills, and it felt like this incredibly powerful connection, even from the second tier, IDK, I loved it.

- SORROWS OMFG. I WAS SO HAPPY. (I think this was also when Dude Next To Us finally stood up, like, HELL YES YOU FUCKING STAND UP, THANK YOU. It was actually kind of delightful, watching him gradually get sucked in as the show went along.) Just SHOUTING this ("oh how wrong we were to think that immortality meant never dying" is one of my favorite MCR lyrics ever, srsly) and then Gerard had the microphone IN HIS MOUTH, IN. HIS. MOUTH. for the screaming at the end, which was of course unintelligible but it's always unintelligible ANYWAY so it actually WORKED REALLY WELL so it was both FUNCTIONAL and EXTREMELY AESTHETICALLY PLEASING, THANK YOU, GERARD, YOUR BLOWJOB SKILLS ARE VERY CLEAR ONCE AGAIN. Unf.

- At some point—possibly here? IDK—Noise Jam happened, and Gerard crawled around for a while and then did spread-eagled pushups and just WHAT. IS. YOUR LIFE, GEE WAY. I DO NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY ABOUT YOU. I LOVE YOU. (Gerard spent a LOT of time on his knees at this show. It was GREAT.)

- Okay, S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W. This is the one song on Danger Days that I regularly skip and then I saw it at Reading and was just like *_* WHAAAAAT. My conclusion is that this song was MADE to be played outside, in a field, and it was PERFECT in that setting. (It is also the only song in this entire set that was remotely mellow, so it was a nice breather before the sprint to the end.) I looooove the lights for this, all the burnt-out yellows and greens, and they have spiral light projections that catch the smoke and IDK, it's just all so trippy and cool. And Mikey clearly LOVES this song, AWWWW. And Ray's solo in it is SO BEAUTIFUL, and "we're all in love tonight" is EXACTLY how I feel when I watch this band, so. WAY TO MAKE ME LIKE SONGS I DON’T EVEN LIKE, MCR. (And this is why I don't really care about setlists with this band, because seriously, whatever they play, they make it fucking awesome, and I'm just happy to be along for the ride.)

- Famous Last Words. AAAAAAAAAGH I LOVE THIS SONG AND I AM SO HAPPY THEY PLAYED IT. I was totally that person screaming the words to this with WAAAAY TOO MANY FEELINGS, but seriously, I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS SONG AND I WAS FEELING THEM ALL LAST NIGHT. Also, Gerard knelt in front of Mikey for quite a while during this song, and I also had A LOT OF FEELINGS about that, some of which were appropriate and some of which were not. Just. GAH. THIS SONG.

- DESTROYA. THIS was another song I was really waiting for, actually; that primal beat and the lights and everything about this is meant to be played OUTSIDE, while dancing, and it was fucking TRANSCENDENT. It was also adorable; at the beginning Gerard was like, "So I've seen some good mosh pits tonight… one here, and one kind of sprang up over here at one point, but I want to see if we can get THREE going, one, two, three," with gestures to where he wanted them. And I guess someone was maybe not that into that idea because Gerard was like, "That's okay!" all reassuringly, HEEE. And then he said something to the effect that this was the most considerate mosh pit he'd seen on the whole tour, "and you can ask other crowds, I don't just say that shit, it's true." LOL. WELCOME TO WASHINGTON: WE HAVE CONSIDERATE MOSH PITS. So his rules were like, "The first rule is don't be an asshole… which you guys won't have a problem with… the second rule is that if somebody falls down, you pick them up… which you've already been doing a great job of…" HEEEE. Oh GERARD. And then "Come fuck me, Destroya," which. NGGGGGGH. OKAY. IF YOU INSIST. A;sjf;alsjf;aslfj a;slfjk;aslkj f;alsjkf a;slkdfj a and also LOL at the complete 180 I have done on this song in the past six months, it's gone from being "meh" to being MUST HEAR for me. Come fuck me INDEED. Oh, and speaking of fucking, the thing Frank does with his hands on the frets at the end of this song is just fucking DIRTY AS HELL and he should do it on my bedroom ceiling ALL THE TIME, kthx.

- And then, while I was still flailing to Z over the previous song, Dewees hit the first note of WTTBP and I immediately turned back to the stage and went "AWWWWWWWW." As much as I don't care about setlists, this song is so representative of MCR for me that I can't imagine seeing one of their shows without it, so it was the PERFECT note to end on. There were tears. And I love this fucking band. And I did not even wish for Brian May AT ALL. Hee.

And then Gerard told us all that we were SPECIAL ("THANK YOU! YOU'RE SPECIAL!" he said, and I fucking love him), and it was over. And even though it was a (relatively) short set, it actually didn't FEEL short at all—I mean, I could easily have listened to them play for FIVE MORE HOURS, of course, but I was just so SATISFIED and exhilarated that I didn't need anything else, honestly. Going to see them back in April, when I was just starting to fall in love with them and I didn't really know what to expect—from the setlist, from the band, from ANYTHING—was AMAZING and stunning, like getting caught up in a perfect storm of bright colors and charisma and earnestness, and I loved that experience IMMENSELY. And then going to see them last night, when I am SOOOOO much more (over-)invested in them, and I know every word to all the songs, and I know all the intros and all of Gerard's little speeches and where to watch who (inasmuch as it is possible to separate it out—and inasmuch as it is possible to look away from Gerard, which is always a challenge—but you know what I mean) and where they started and where they just came from and where they ARE now, as a band, as a family, at the height of their powers (though not even yet at the apogee, I don't think; they're setting the bar higher all the time and I love them for it), and it was amazing and stunning in a whole different way. So those two shows were pretty fucking spectacular bookends to my summer, and I'm SO SO glad I got to be a part of them.

Afterwards, we waited foreeeever in the merch line (I got one of the grey "My Chemical Romance" t-shirts with the stars and red stripes, and I LOVE IT), so that was all we really heard of Blink, the snatches of a few songs and a LOT of really excited cheering, which was delightful, actually—I'd gotten mine, and I wanted everyone else there to get theirs, too, you know? I love a happy crowd and a happy band in front of them.

And then we made our way out of the extremely confusing parking lot, stopped briefly at my house to liberate the puppydog, and then went on to Shari's (it's like Denny's, basically, only less disgusting) to get some food because we were DYING OF HUNGER OMG. And over many fried things, we debriefed on the show, played the "X is my Y tribute band" game a lot (Sadiane is AWESOME at this game, FYI) and discussed plots of AUs ("Okay, they're VAMPIRES. And one of them turns into a kitten sometimes. And they're under a werewolf curse, but they're in high school, and one of them is a ghost. And then they start a band. But it's a REALLY GOOD STORY." Seriously, discussing plots of AUs is my FAVORITE PASTIME OF ALL, and they ARE usually good stories—EXCELLENT stories, some of my very favorites—it's just the descriptions are SO GODDAMN HILARIOUS) until I was crying with laughter. (Our waitress was actually inexplicably CHARMED by us, which was AWESOME, because I was afraid we were being HELLA ANNOYING.) And then we went back to my house and looked at M's pictures from the show and UNFed and NRRRGHed and laughed MORE (oh man, M has these two pictures where if you flip back and forth between them really fast, it looks like Mikey and Ray are headbanging, and I swear to you it is the most fucking hilarious thing I have ever seen in my entire life, I was ON THE FLOOR WEEPING WITH LAUGHTER, POSSIBLY I WAS A LITTLE HIGH FROM THE SHOW, IDK), and it was the perfect end to a perfect night. Seriously, as much as I enjoy these shows—which is a LOT, clearly—they would not be half as much fun without awesome people to share them with, so today I am exceedingly grateful for great bands and great friends and I love you all (ALL of you, not just the people I've been to shows with) in a sloppy, heartfelt, Frankie-like fashion. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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