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By. Hayley S. 

When the Black Parade swept the globe, I was fortunate enough to attend four My Chemical Romance gigs. I saw them in packed arenas, theaters, amphitheaters, and high-profile festivals. However, I considered it a dream of mine to see them play in a small, more intimate venue such as the Showbox Sodo in Seattle. The venue is dark and stuffy and reeks of cigarette smoke and body odor, and it serves as the perfect setting for Killjoy contamination. The crowd was a sea of neon, its energy and adoration a weapon of mass hope and happiness. But of course, none shined brighter than the band. Each of them were smiling when they took the stage and appropriately began their set with “Na Na Na”, sending the crowd into a ridiculous hour and a half-long fit of dancing, fist pumping, crying, and singing it for the world. I used my photo pass as an opportunity to capture and take note of each band member as they performed. It’s always a pleasure to watch Ray Toro singing back-up, because he always looks like he’s having the time of his life. In the past, I can’t recall Mikey Way really standing out onstage,but tonight he was glowing. He was dancing and headbanging while he slapped the bass and he ended up being my favorite to photograph. When I watch Frank Iero perform, I can see that he feels the music the same way that the fans do. He is nearly impossible to photograph because he is constantly moving. Gerard Way jumped up and down and tapped his feet and shook his hips and never seemed to fall short of breath.Theatrical as ever, he commanded the crowd to ‘Carry On’ and it was every bit as magical as I remember it being on the Black Parade Tour. Only this time, it was joyous and uplifting. Fans laughed and danced together as they screamed “I’m not O-Fucking-Kay!” at the top of their lungs, that angst from the era of ‘Revenge’ still alive. As far as the set list goes, it was as if you took ‘Revenge’, ‘The Black Parade’ and ‘Danger Days’, threw them into a blender, and all the best pieces came pouring out. My Chemical Romance kicked off the night in post-apocalyptic 2019, with almost every track from the new album. And from there they threw us back into the second album with ‘Thank You for the Venom’ and ‘Hang ‘Em High’, then into the third with ‘Mama’ and ‘Famous Last Words.’ They ended their set with ‘Helena’ and returned for an encore to be remembered. ‘Cancer’ was heavy and tear-provoking as always.The piano was beautiful and Gerard’s vocals were heartbreaking and flawless. While I was taking photos, I had noticed that ‘Bulletproof Heart’ was the last song on the set list, so it took me by surprise when they changed it up and ended the most amazing night of my life with ‘Vampires Will Never Hurt You.’ It must have taken the other fans by surprise too, because it initiated a chorus of screams and two ginormous mosh pits.

Approximately three hours ago, I left my favorite music venue with my sweaty clothes sticking to my skin and all my bones aching. Yet, feeling like a million bucks, to say the least. As if the memory of the show itself wasn’t enough, I got to leave with about a hundred close-up photographs of my favorite band, one of which is a photo of me MEETING the band, (who by the way, are incredibly sweet, cool people.), a homemade Killjoy mask signed by the band, and lyrics written on my back by Gerard Way himself.(which I will be getting tattooed tomorrow!)..My expectations of this night were met beyond my wildest dreams. I would follow My Chemical Romance anywhere, any time to see them play a show and it would be worth every penny.

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