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Face To Face / My Chemical Romance: live in Denverlive in Denver (2004)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Maybe I am just getting way way older. After more than a quarter century of life, I have realized one thing: you may age, but the scene is ageless. And it is true. After you turn 21 (or get a fake ID), shows become about boozing with your friends a little bit. You don't push up to the front and scream along every word. It's kinda sad, but it just don't look like fun to me anymore. Maybe that is way this show was almost a bust for me.
Face to Face is/was one of my favorite bands, especially when I was younger and listened to more SoCal style 'Epifat' bands. I tried to keep up with them, but their last few records were a bit of a disappointment, if only because my own personal music taste had grown a bit. I still enjoy seeing them live, and of course, this is their last tour (or so they say), so I was pretty pumped to see them. An added bonus was My Chemical Romance. I had previously hated this band, thinking singer Gerard Way was super annoying live and frustrated by what I thought was an album rife with great parts, but lacking in tying them together. With some reluctance I heard their new record 'Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge', and was sucked in. It is super produced, sometimes cheesy, and borrows liberally from bands like AFI and The Blood Brothers, but goddamn if it isn't a great album. Total fun stuff. Really surprising, and I was stoked to see them play these songs live.
After a few pre-show cocktails, we headed into the show, missing whoever the first band was, and being subjected to a terrible band called Seconds To Go. Sorry, I just don't get it. The singer had all these hardcore stances, but was singing crappy. There was just no power behind it. This is where the age thing comes into play; I'm sure I would be way into this band if I hadnt been around for awhile and seen so much. Anyway there was millions of bands better than these kids to play on such a big show like this, but whatever. When they said they had one more song there was a loud cheer from the balcony (? i think). Funny.
So My Chemical Romance came out and set up; no sign of the singer. Of course. People were already doing the "wooo!" when the guitar player was setting up his stuff anyway. They were finally ready, and here comes this guy, super showman. Running out from the stage saying "way more vocals up front", followed by "are you ready denver" or some shit. It was kind of annoying. They ripped through three old songs before some newer stuff, and opened with some song that really was a poor opener. Not a lot of power, but the kids liked it. The entire set the vocals were completely different than the record (thanks protools/autotune), but he kept having the crowd sing all the time. That is so fucking annoying! I want to hear him sing it, not a bunch of kids. The sound was weird too. Halfway through I started to get bummed, and wished I was still sitting around drinking at the pre-party bar. Then, abruptly, they were done. I was right about my judgements the first two times I saw them play; good live show if you have only been to a few.
And Face to Face salvaged the show. There were lots of young kids, plus lots of older dudes, and everyone went nuts. They opened with "You've Done Nothing", still rocking as a three-piece, and proceeded to play all the hits. Fucking great. They played a lot of songs off the self-titled record, which still is probably their most solid record to date. 'Don't Turn Away' is the number one in my heart, but the songwriting is a little better on the S/T. Trevor kept great rapport with the crowd, and surprised a lot of people by playing 'Disconnected' five songs in (prompting someone to call for it later, only to be berated "did you come in later? cos we played that like a half hour ago"). They also did a little shit-talking on the Warped Tour, which they knew fucking sucks ALWAYS. After like an hour and half they finally called it a night (after a rockstar encore..so annoying). It was a sold out show, like the tour has been all across the country I am sure.
Face to Face represents so much nostalgia for me, yet presented old and new material in a way that was very fresh and crisp. Even a friend who went told me even though he didn't know any of Face to Face's material, they still held him captive while they played. Kind of a bummer they are leaving us, but...you gotta do what you gotta do. Gentleman, salud. It was nice to know you. You restored my faith in punk rock.
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