My Chemical Romance @ Madison Square Garden

My Chemical RomanceNEW YORK, NY–Could there be no better way to end one’s tour at a venue that you had decided it would become a goal of yours to one day play? This is the exact situation that My Chemical Romance found themselves in on the last stop of their recent tour, which bid adieu to their alter ego, The Black Parade, at one of the most famous venues–Madison Square Garden.

They had brought along fellow New Jersey band, Drive By, and at this performance had Taking Back Sunday fill in for Billy Talent, who had been on the previous tour dates. To a relatively sold-out house, Drive By opened the night and warmed up the crowd with songs from their recent release, A Delicate Situation. If the audience was unfamiliar with them before the show, they certainly have a good idea of who this band is now.

Being an opener, Taking Back Sunday’s set was shorter than I’m normally use to and I wasn’t surprised that they packed it with all their most popular songs. They even premiered a new song that wasn’t too different from the pop rock sound they’ve developed. A large chunk of the set featured songs from their last album, Louder Now, but like any band who knows what their fans like, they slipped in tracks like “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team).”

TBS also saw the addition of their new guitarist, Matt Fazzi, who had played in the band Facing New York and comes in as a replacement for Fred Mascherino who left TBS last year. It felt as Fazzi had always been a part of the group as the same amount of energy given at past shows was brought.

If you attended MCR’s Black Parade Tour last year, you were treated to hearing them play the entire The Black Parade album. Even though they are releasing a CD/DVD called The Black Parade Is Dead, they once again fit the whole album in their hour and a half performance. While you could say this was a fond farewell to their other selves, I’m sure this won’t be the last time we’ll hear these songs.

The desire for older tracks was barely appeased and oddly, they only played “Headfirst for Halos,” from their first album instead of the standard “Our Lady of Sorrows.” What was quite impressive was during the slower tracks, almost the entire venue was lit with cell phones and just one or two lighters, swaying back and forth.

For a moment I thought they weren’t going to come back with an encore, but I was wrong and certainly they couldn’t leave without playing “Helena.” Before the ending, MCR treated fans with a B-side titled “My Way Home Is Through You,” which was refreshing to hear as I hadn’t heard it live before. What’s more is that they played a new song titled “Desert Song,” which was slower and theatrical like “Famous Last Words.” It was a good show overall and lead singer Gerard Way made sure to express how playing MSG was a dream of his and his brother’s. And with the response from fans, it most certainly had to be an unforgettable show for them.

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler