My Chemical Romance / Alkaline Trio - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

My Chemical Romance / Alkaline Trio

live in Chicago (2005)

live show

"A Mixed Set to a Mixed Crowd"

It seems almost a rule of nature; the more a band gets played on MTV, the dumber and less loyal their fans become. This was evident Sunday night at the UIC Pavilion. My Chemical Romance played to a packed crowd with hometown heroes, Alkaline Trio.

After the always-fun opening act of Reggie & the Full Effect, the Trio ripped through a 45-minute set, not wasting much time with talking or theatrics. The crowd loved it as they played Chicago-themed "Mercy Me" from their new album Crimson, along with favorites such as "Stupid Kid" before closing with "This Could Be Love."

During the break, the crowd started to thin, as many of the older fans filed out. Maybe disgusted by mainstream punk, maybe just not fans; either way, they were about to miss the best MCR set I've seen to date.

Singer Gerard Way came out dressed in the garbs of a priest, complimented by the backdrop of stain-glass projector screens. He welcomed us to "the new church." Later in the evening, confession was even offered.

They opened surprisingly weak, with the "Interlude" from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. Actually, the whole first half of their set wasn't that great, but I wouldn't want to be the one to break that to the thousands of adolescents who sounded something like a disgruntled, Sesame Street sing-along.

Then something cool happened. Gerard had been failing to get the place moving. He finally called for a big hole to be opened on the floor. They informed us that the next song was called "Our Lady of Sorrows," and one-third of a basketball court immediately turned into a circle pit. At this point, something seemed to click, and the rest of the set was tight and simply rocked.

Strangely, this is when people started to leave. Whenever they busted out something from their first album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, the crowd just stopped. A girl next to me even looked bored while they played what was probably the best song of the night, "Headfirst for Halos." It's really sad, because the second half was truly the heart of their show for anyone who has known them before "I'm Not Okay" ever hit the airwaves.

Also, the second half featured a new song in which Gerard showed a range of beautiful, clear vocals I didn't even know he had in him.

Of course, while anticipating the encore, the arena was deafening with the shrill screams of teenage angst. They closed with the previously mentioned radio hit. Cue confetti drop.

My Chemical Romance played a very great show September 18th, but most of the fans missed it.