Rock is Not Dead or World Contamination by My Chemical Romance.

January was endless and depressing and freezing and I was ill and so was Mr. F. I decided I needed something to cheer me up; I booked tickets for another gig – to go and see My Chemical Romance.
“Na, na, na” is the first of their songs I’ve properly noticed, though back in November when I first heard it, I misheard the DJ, and thought it was the Chemical Brothers: “It’s a new direction for them,” I said to Mr. F. I was mortified to discover it was MCR; horrific images filled my mind of an overwrought Gerard Way in full “Black Parade” regalia being yelled at by an army of pre-pubescent girls. My musical taste really is regressing! I thought. I was slightly mollified when I heard them perform “Sing” by accident on You Tube and though it was even better than “Na, na, na…”
From then on I harboured a guilty secret – to see them live, and after eventually buying tickets to see them live, finally confessed what I’d done to Mr. F. He laughed heartily and pronounced them “a sort of slightly rockier Mc Fly!” and warned “You’ll be there with the teenagers and perverts.”
Which was partly true: The arena was stuffed to the gills with tons of hyper- active teenagers, though no perverts that I could see: the guys necking lager next to me looked to be about twelve, the girls behind me had Gerard’s name scribbled on various parts of their body; whilst the girls next to Mr. F. seemed to spend the whole concert filming; there however, were a few older folks, like us. I was still nervous though – not knowing what to expect. For Mr. F. to be proved right and to feel silly and too old? Some “Danger Days” fandangoism perhaps?
Their stage was stripped down, there wasn’t much by way of props, the light show whilst good, was nothing special, they weren’t even wearing all their cartoon character costumes, though Gerard’s black jeans/biker boots/scruffy red haired persona, is inspired, it makes him look more down to earth and one hundred per cent cooler in a mussed and duffed up, dusty old rocker sort of way.
My main reaction was one of surprise. I didn’t really know much of their stuff before I went, apart from a handful of songs from “Black Parade” and “Danger Days.” Their range is astonishing – there was loads of hard, thrash metal type stuff like “Our Lady of Sorrows”- the last thing I’d expected, but there were also tender, low key moments, such as “Summertime” and “The Ghost of You,” and punked up, high octane, straight out rock n’ roll like the dazzling,“Planetary Go” and bonkers,“Vampire Money.”
It’s a shame they have a teeny image because it puts non teenagers off and gets in the way of appreciating what is actually, a beautiful body of work.

Similar to when I went to see Muse at Wembley back in September and was seated far away from the band, the lack of gloss/pyrotechnics didn’t matter, it was the music that made it and their flamboyant, lazer sharp intent. MCR are an incredibly raw and powerful live act, extraordinary even, wrenching every last meaning from their songs as though it may well be their last – they certainly deserve a wider audience than have at present. They could (and should) be up there playing stadiums with the likes of The Foo’s and Muse.
Is rock dead? Is it, heck! It’s just a bandwagon journalists have jumped on to create headlines. It might be true for the crappy singles charts, maybe. But singles sales are sharply in decline – live music is where it’s really at. It’s the by far the best way of sorting the men from the boys.
We’re damn fortunate – some of the best rock music last forty or so years is being made now – when else have we seen such incredible output of which the Foo Fighters, Muse, Biffy Clyro have released recently – and I’m surprised to hear myself saying this – My Chemical Romance. It’s a grand rocking age we’re living in, make no mistake!

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