Honestly, what tour (this one deemed “The Breathing Bullets Tour,” man you got to love clichés) comes to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island? Is that really necessary? Not that I’m complaining, because on college budgets, the accessibility is quite the treat. Okay, enough stupid introduction shit.
‘Twas Murder by Death’s first night back on the tour since getting their precious (no, really, you know what they play) instruments back. According to a news post on their site, it was Alex from their Eyeball Records label that loaned his credit card for the band to buy all new equipment, yet each band member showed to be no stranger to their given weapon of choice. For comparison purposes only, the Cursive-like quintet ripped through several rocking numbers, with each member seeming emotionally dedicated to their contribution. Whether it be the cellist (yes, she’s gorgeous, we know) seeming almost sexually driven as she plucked the strings, the look of determination in the drummer’s face, or the closed-eyed keyboardist gently tapping the plastic keys to emit the organ sounds, all their instruments clashing together fueled the set vividly. The singer was poetically blunt the whole way through, either giving a short description of the song and diving right in (“this song, is about the devil, getting in a bar fight, and getting shot in the chest”) or checking to see if the crowd can hear everything alright. The near-ten minute medley that closed their set had almost each member screaming in symbolic agony, a furious rush of sounds that couldn’t open a show better (or close it for that matter, when they do).
The fog machine and strobe lights added one hell of an effect to Vaux’s set, the rock/hardcore outfit with an occasional third guitarist. They take the more chaotic, uptempo elements of punk but fuse them with a throat-ripping rock sensibility, and helped initiate the crowd into what my friend liked to call “Attack of the Kids in Tight Jeans and Hoodies!” The mosh was definitely building, as the band tore through a good chunk of There Must Be Some Way to Stop Them. I hear from a [sarcasm]very reliable[/sarcasm] source they signed to Atlantic. Good for them if the news holds true.
Every person at the small club/bar then proceeded to completely lose it as My Chemical Romance took the stage. As they will, the band riffed right into “Honey, This Mirror isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us.” Gerard’s eyes bulged with every scream, as in “Drowning Lessons,” “Demolition Lovers,” “Headfirst for Halos” (in which with everyone jumping I’m fairly sure loosened up a floor tile or two), and “This is the Best Day Ever.” They also played a new one off what the new record in which they said would have a spring release, called “I Never Told You What I Did for a Living.” It was about killing people (surprise!). Fortunately for the current fans like me, the song sounds like it could’ve came right from the I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love sessions. Though a little repetitive, it was more in the “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” sense and not in the “repeat the same fucking line over and over again so Hot 102.5 listeners will eventually remember it” sense. All in all, the set was extremely tight, closing with “Vampires…” and basically wearing out everyone a little too much for the headliner’s set. Or was it…?
A Static Lullaby, another punknews.org FAVORITE, wrapped things up very nicely. Interestingly enough, the band opened with “A Sip of Wine Chased With Cyanide,” the longest song on the record, and to little crowd response, likely due to the aforementioned lack of energy. However, by the middle of the next song (I'm almost positive it was “Annunciate While You Masticate”), things had picked up and just about everyone was singing, screaming, kicking, rolling, somersaulting, whatever. They apathetically claimed it was the band’s sloppiest night on the tour, but they didn’t seem too bad in playing “Withered,” “Love to Hate, Hate to Me,” “We Go to Eleven,” or “Charred Fields of Snow.” They also played “Radio Flyer’s Last Journey,” and even though it was on their Withered demo EP released a year ago , they called it a new song, likely because they re-recorded it for the Don’t Forget to Breathe re-release due out early next year. For the “Shooting Star That Destroyed Us All” closer (which the bassist Phil has admitted in an interview is their cheesiest/corniest song, to an extent of which I agree), Joe at one point was laying on his back on the floor, screaming into the mic as a small group formed an oval around him, leaning over and screaming right back into his face. Not exactly the magic that may have emulated from say, an early 90s San Diego screamo show, but a latter-day concert moment that I will indeed remember for a while.
This tour just wrapped up in Danbury, CT, and if you didn’t go even for just the two openers, trust me, you missed out. I’m glad I didn’t.