The Set List
While the vastly growing music scene of Northwest Arkansas offers several local bands who offer promise and talent, as well as the few national headliners we get passing through here each year, there are still a great number of bands who rarely, or have never, played in the area. Luckily for the residents of NWA, many areas within a short driving distance offer the luxury of choosing from a spectrum of concerts: Tulsa, Kansas City, Little Rock, St. Louis, and Dallas.
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to see arguably one of the world’s biggest rock bands of the modern rock scene era storm through St. Louis. New Jersey’s (and now the nation’s) My Chemical Romance blew through the Gateway City and amazed the sold-out crowd at The Pageant.
After coming off their extensive tour as their alter-egos The Black Parade (the gimmick they put on for their album of the same name), MCR vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, bassist Mikey Way and drummer Bob Bryar, walked onto stage around 9 p.m. dressed in “street clothes,” if you would call it that — jean jackets, tight pants, black band shirts. But even with different clothing, the quintet brought the same attitude.
The band opened with the track “This Is How I Disappear” from The Black Parade album. Even though the band had been touring in support of that album for quite some time, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd still seemed to go nuts with the opening guitar riff.
The crowd, which consisted of three layers (the general admission floor, the second tier who did not come to the venue early enough and the bar vultures watching the band while having a drink), bolted with energy during the first songs and kept the level up through the entire concert. The band knows how to keep a crowd jumping, moshing, moving through an entire set.
The set consisted of mostly Black Parade songs with a few songs from their break-out sophomore album “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” and one song from their debut, “I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love.” This set did not consist of the pyrotechnics the band has engaged over the past year, nor did the concert take place in an enormous arena, where MCR have been previously playing. This concert was simply a stripped down, straight-up rock show; no gimmicks, costumes, make-up or theatrics included.
MCR’s set lasted nearly an hour before they retreated off stage to smoke a cigarette and listen to the crowd scream for an encore. The band obliged and came back on stage and played a rarity, their acoustic B-side “Desert Song.” Gerard Way gave some rather bad news for MCR fans everywhere. The band would be going on a break for over a year to take some time off and write a little bit for their next album.
After this was announced, and the crowd seemed a bit down, but the band brought them right back up with two old favorites, including closing with their first mega-hit “Helena.”
Love them or hate them, the boys in My Chemical Romance can put on a straight-forward, heavy-hitting rock show. The live show holds the power to possibly turn a hater into a believer if they give the band the chance to ditch the baggage.
When they come back from their break, they might be rocking out into their Mick Jagger days.
Here’s the Set List: “This is How I Disappear,” “Dead,” “Cemetery Drive,” “House of Wolves,” “Welcome to the Black Parade,” “I Don’t Love You,” “New Song,” “The Jetset Life Is Gonna Kill You,” “I’m Not Okay,” “Kill,” “Mama,” “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison,” “Headfirst For Halos,” “Teenagers,” “Famous Last Words.” Encore: “Cancer,” “Desert Song,” “Give ’em Hell Kid,” “Helena.”
The Set List