We were at London Hammersmith Apollo last weekend to watch My Chemical Romance play an intimate show to 5,000 screaming girls. The main intention was to hear MCR play some new songs, which they did. They played four of them.
In a 22-song set, four new tracks is perfectly reasonable, especially as they walked onstage in their new Varsity-inspired look (which is sure to revitalise sales at American Apparel over the coming months) to sing ‘Na Na Na’. Retro ice hockey shirts FTW, etc etc.
It just so happened that the particularly spicy meatball pasta dish we ate beforehand led to some particularly spicy flatulence. Sorry to the four teenage behind us. Pretty sure there was an audible mid-scream gag as one fart hit the back of one of their throats. Shit happens. Sorry, girls.
There was a pleasing amount of songs from 2002’s vampire-obsessed debut, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love as well as from their 2004 breakthrough, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and their all-conquering 2006 album, The Black Parade. It made you realise, once again, that My Chemical Romance have made three distinctly different but still absolutely MCR-ish albums. Make that four.
We can say this because yesterday we sat down in a secret central London location to listen to Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys along with some beer and food. The evil major label was plying us with booze and dinner in the hope that we would LOVE THE RECORD? NEVER! Or they were just being nice. Anyway…
My Chemical Romance
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Look Alive, Sunshine
This is the crackly faux-radio intro to ‘Na Na Na’. It worked for Queens of the Stone Age on Songs for the Deaf…
Na Na Na
You know all about this song already. You even know when to do the jazz hands. I know you do. The rest of the album sounds nothing like this.
After beer #2 finished fizzing up and making me look like I wet myself, this resolutely emo song appears. Drums by the former The Bled drummer, Michael Pedicone snatched straight from Andrew W.K.‘s ‘Party Hard’. Not a bad beat to steal at all. The song doesn’t really rise up to any sort of climax but those drums keep thumping.
This is a slower, smouldering effort which jangles in a Depeche Mode style while Gerard Way murmurs his way through. There are U2-ish moments but despite that, it’s probably not going to be a radio hit. Watch it go straight onto the Radio 1 A list now.
We heard this song at the show and it’s just as astonishing on record. Synth-led with sirens running through, it’s even more 80s indie dance than some 80s indie dance. Obviously all the R&B and hip hop stars are turning to dance music these days so maybe rock is to follow? Maybe.
The Only Hope for Me Is You
This sounded like more Eurotrash from first listens but everyone was getting pissed and chatting so we couldn’t actually hear the music very well. Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how their fans react to another wild swing in their musical direction.
Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report
It’s just a spoken word intro similar to the opening track.
This is a more straightforward pop punk rock song which sounds like a great mix between ‘Na Na Na’ and ‘I’m Not Ok (I Promise)’. Suitably, I opened beer #3 at this point. That’s three beers for sweet revenge. Right? Right?? Anyway…
Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back
It’s funny that I mentioned QotSA earlier because with its slow classic rocking guitars, this has almost got a deserty vibe about it.
This sounds like ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. It’s a big ballad with a bigger chorus. I think. Kind of lost track of what number song this was by then.
This sounds like every massive radio song from the last 20 years which makes it difficult to pin down the exact influences but Smashing Pumpkins is a really good starting point.
Firstly, this is a nice title and there is a nice rattling build-up to this song, reminiscent to some of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ blander, more successful output. Can MCR be that big? It’s very, very possible.
The Kids from Yesterday
This starts a bit like a Kelly Clarkson song but the drums change that again. This might just be because the bass was up so high on the sound system though. Gerard’s vocals are almost pleading but there are hooks aplenty in this.
Goodnite, Dr. Death
This is another spoken word intro. Blah. Blah. Blah.
This sounds a lot like The Cure. I can’t read the rest of my notes because I was a bit drunk at this point. Hooray!
Some or most of the song title are probably off-kilter so don’t go mental if this is wrong. I didn’t have a tracklisting at the playback so I’ve tried to make an educated guess with what I’ve got. Good luck x
My Chemical Romance @ London Hammersmith Apollo setlist
Na Na Na
Thank You For The Venom
I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
Give ’em Hell Kid
Our Lady Of Sorrows
I Don’t Love You
You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison
The Only Hope For Me Is You
Honey This Mirror Ain’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us
This Is How I Disappear
Welcome To The Black Parade
The Ghost Of You
Famous Last Words
The Kids From Yesterday
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the new album from My Chemical Romance is set to be released on 22 November 2010 via Warner Brothers. There will probably be a proper review closer to the time.