“The Black Parade is Dead!” – review

8 Jul

I’m a big My Chemical Romance fan.

I just realized two weeks ago that I was ordering my sixth My Chemical Romance T-shirt. And I would have seven, but there is really nowhere in Tupelo that you can wear a “Mikey ****in Way” shirt. *sigh*

So, I’ll admit, I’m doing into the band’s live CD-DVD set “The Black Parade is Dead!” with a bit of a bias. But “The Black Parade is Dead!” is a set made for fans like me, so I think I can review it as objectively as a fan can.

Click “keep reading” to find out what I think about MCR’s latest release.

A grand concept album deserves a grand live show.

After My Chemical Romance released its epic album “The Black Parade,” the band went on a worldwide tour performing as its alter-ego, The Black Parade. The band tore through “The Black Parade” song-for-song, decked out in black Sgt. Pepper’s-esque band outfits. The show was huge – big stages, fireworks, spinning drumsets, confetti and thousands of screaming fans.

MCR’s last performance as The Black Parade was in Mexico City, and that show is what you get with “The Black parade is Dead!”

The thing I like most about MCR is that the members are obviously big rock ‘n’ roll fans. They know exactly who they’re borrowing from musically – Bowie, Queen and T-Rex, for starters – and borrow from big rock shows to put on “The Black Parade” tour.

The show starts off with lead singer Gerard Way being wheeled out on a gurney as the heart monitor beeps from “The End” start. Talk about an entrance. Then the band tears into “Dead!” and the show stays energetic through to the end.

The band members – bassist Mikey Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro and drummer Bob Bryar – are all in top form. Even though they’ve been performing these songs in this exact order for probably hundreds of shows, they never seem bored or tired. That’s another thing I like about this band – at every show, the band members give 110 percent.

With all that moving around, Gerard Way seems to struggle with singing the first few songs, but by the time “Welcome to the Black Parade” is performed, he’s hit his stride, and the rest of the show swims along.

“Welcome to the Black Parade” is easily the best song live. It was written for a huge arena and thousands of screaming fans, so it’s wonderful to see here.

I also really liked “Sleep” live, as well as “Dead!” and “Mama.”

My only huge complaint here is that the shots are way too short. Once you get a handle on what you’re seeing, it cuts away to something else. That gets old pretty quickly.

The other concert on the DVD is a charity show the guys performed in their home state of New Jersey.

They performed in a tiny club in front of 200 fans. The set list included favorites from “The Black Parade” and “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” (unfortunately, they didn’t play anything off MCR’s debut, “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love”).

This is what you’d imagine an old-school MCR show was like: the band rocking on an impossibly-tiny stage with fans headbanging in their faces. It’s a long set, and even you get exhausted just watching them.

The best part about this show is that My Chem performed a new song. The band wouldn’t announce the song’s name, so it remains untitled (although some fans have unofficially given it a title). Still, it’s awesome and definitely a throwback to their old days but with a slick sound.

“Teenagers” sounds incredible live in the Jersey set. The band has turned it into a really dirty Southern rock romp, and it sounds great.

This concert was filmed with cameras on stage and in the audience, so you really get the feeling like you were there. I probably like the Jersey show better, just because it feels more raw and natural.

So, is this set for you? If you’re from NeMiss, I’d say so.

My Chem has mostly ignored the South in its tours. The closest date for the “Sweet Revenge” tour was Birmingham, Ala., and for “The Black Parade” it was Pensacola, Fla. I give them points for playing Memphis in May (especially in that rain), but I think they’re missing out on an incredibly huge fanbase here.

So, if you’re a huge MCR fan and you haven’t had the chance to see the band live, get “The Black Parade is Dead!” Like I said, this band gives its all during a concert, so these two shows are definitely worth seeing.

The set also includes a CD of the Mexico City set. I’m weird about live CDs — I almost never put them on my iPod. But there are a few choice cuts on this disc that are definitely iPod-worthy.

There is a limited edition set that comes in a large wooden coffin with a death mask and death certificate. Each band member designed his own mask, and you get one at random (I got Frank’s). This set is for die-hard fans only – even I’m a die-hard and I really have no idea what to do with it now that I’ve got it. 🙂

Click here to see a trailer for “The Black Parade is Dead!”

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