Skulls and heartthrobs

My Chemical Romance, Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH, February 22, 2007
By ELLEE DEAN  |  February 23, 2007

DEAD HOT: Gerard Way is sick nasty.

There were a lot of eyelinered pre-teens at My Chemical Romance’s show last night, and when the pyrotechnics went off during “Famous Last Words” — My Chem’s pre-teen anthem — the arena stank of B.O.

The line of kids and New Hampshire punks — waiting to see MCR’s only in-state show on the Black Parade tour — wrapped around the outside of the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, like a half-mile long black parade would, in black eye shadow and mini-skirts from Hot Topic. One of the Carhartt-clad dads/chaperones rolled his eyes as we walked past him to the end of the line, as if to say, “I’m with the My Chem groupie.” But the groupie looked happy, even with raccoon eyes.

We stood in the drizzle with dads and Art Kinsman — a 43 year old fan sans kid who compared My Chem to Queen — for 45 minutes until finally they let us in. (Even the hardcore  New Hampshire punk teens missed Rise Against’s opening act).

Cue the screaming parade! Lead singer Gerard Way rose from beneath a white sheet on a prop hospital bed. “I want your body! I want your heart!” a teen screamed. And Way opens with “Dead” in a low rattle. “Welcome to the Black Parade Mother Fuckers!” he screams, and we scream. Mini blow-up balloons bob above the stage. And the Black Parade starts to feel like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. MCR looks like cute little skeleton dolls, dancing just like their skeleton cartoons do. Except, Way doesn’t think it’s cute because he flicks us off. And then he shimmy shimmies like my grandma, which is sort of confusing. But fuck yeah! It’s MCR’s first show back in the states! And they start setting off fucking firecrackers! (Right after Way sips some tea.)

Somewhere between “Cancer” and “The Ghost of You,” the parade got serious. Fans shrouded their faces beneath hoodies.  When Way told us to raise our lighters, we raised our cell phones and he whispered to us softly. “If I died, we’d be together.” At this point, though, we can’t stop looking at Way’s legs! They are pumping and shaking, a little like Elvis, before they start doing jumping jacks — and a fan in a black T-shirt, with “This is an EMO shirt” written across the chest in white puffy paint, faints a little. Those legs. And Way  does a couple more high-knees for us in his tuxedo hot-pants, shaking his head like a wet dog. Gush.

But then it’s over. And despite the f-bombs, and the skulls and bones, the aftermath feels like a family gathering. The black and white confetti settles in the purple light, and Way tucks us in like good little motherfuckers — so long and good night. And sweet dreams of long rock star legs.

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