mon 17/06/2024

My Chemical Romance, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - caring, sharing emo kings holler to the heavens | reviews, news & interviews

My Chemical Romance, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - caring, sharing emo kings holler to the heavens

My Chemical Romance, OVO Hydro, Glasgow review - caring, sharing emo kings holler to the heavens

The reunited group sounded revitalised with a stripped-back set

Gerard Way, sweating for the causeChelsea Cochrane

It is a testament to the enduring appeal of My Chemical Romance that this show was credited with having sold the most tickets in the OVO Hydro’s history, and yet still formed one of the group’s smaller dates on the UK leg of their reunion tour.

Then again, it’s been over a decade since the group last toured here, and continual postponements had evidently only heightened anticipation. Every dimming of the lights or movement onstage prompting wild cheering from the Glasgow faithful, desperate to see their idols once again.

When they did arrive, it was in unflashy fashion, a theme that ran throughout the night. The stage backdrop might have been designed to resemble a devastated city, but there was little pyro or backing videos all evening, and the band were shorn of costumes or gimmicks. They opened with “The Foundations of Decay”, a melancholy tune with a melody that belies the title, and also the only evidence of new material. The remainder was a scattershot trip through expected big hitters and more surprising cuts.

This worked to the band’s advantage, albeit after a somewhat shaky start that buried Gerard Way’s vocals in the mix, leaving “Helena” subdued. Once the sound settled though, there was something thrilling about watching the group, up to a six-piece, simply batter their way through material the way a band seeking a reputation would, never mind one where thousands watched their frontman with an excitable awe, with fans sneaking their way from seated sections to the floor in a bid to get closer.

Way earns that reputation with a blend of onstage intensity, communal care and sheer goofiness. The first came when he hollered to the heavens while leading the cathartic sing-a-long of “Famous Last Words”, the unapologetic good time pop beat of “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" and the grand guignol theatrics of “Welcome to the Black Parade”, where the massive crowd seemed large in number but united in spirit.

That unity comes from his other qualities though, from stopping “Mama” early on to make sure a fan was OK, to thanking the security team and merrily taking a sweat-sodden shirt thrown from the crowd with childish enthusiasm. “We’re having a good time,” he yelled out at one point, and those words rang true, as the group truly appeared to be loving life onstage. Of course, there’s a lightness of touch underneath there, which is why we got a Batman impression before a sprint through “The Only Hope for Me Is You”. As an aside, he appeared to be channelling Christian Bale’s version.

Much like a comic book blockbuster, a surprisingly traditionalist nature lurked underneath the surface too, even for a band built on a rebellious nature. More than ever, some of their songs suggested the history of classic rock, and that My Chemical Romance are worthy joining that pantheon, with the bar-room blues lick of “Teenagers” powerful, “Make Room!!!!” a terrific 50s inspired greaser of a tune, and “Vampire Money” rattled through like it was a lost Ramones classic.

There were occasional missteps like a lukewarm “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back”, but the punk-funk ferocity of “DESTROYA", with totemic drumming from touring member Jarrod Alexander and a rollicking “Thank You for the Venom” ensured the gig never lost momentum. A fitting encore of “I’m Not Okay (I Promise”) ended the night in such a resounding, gleeful fashion that the Hydro’s size felt irrelevant. My Chemical Romance have returned, and to paraphrase from a Marvel Comics character, it feels like they could do this all day.

More than ever, some of their songs suggested the history of classic rock


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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