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Fan Tour Report: Grand Rapids


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By. Paige C.

Ever since I first heard “Welcome to the Black Parade” back in 8th grade, My Chemical Romance has had me hooked. From there, I discovered “I’m not Okay”, “Heaven Help Us”, and countless other tracks of theirs that I listened to on repeat, over and over. I bought every CD and downloaded every song I could, dreaming of the day when I could finally see them live. Unfortunately however, because I was in middle school at the time, my parents wouldn’t allow me to attend the Black Parade tour.

This time around, however, I was eighteen. I was finally going to be able to attend their show and I couldn’t wait. I bought tickets online and was planning on attending the Grand Rapids show with my best friend, Zakk. A couple days later, while on the My Chemical Romance fan site, I found the MCR Road Reporter contest and entered it on a whim, thinking of how awesome it would be to win, but never imagining it would happen. Then, however, I got an e-mail back saying that I was getting two free tickets, two backstage/meet-and-greet passes, and a photo pass. I was ecstatic! My excitement was barely containable. When I called Zakk to tell him, half of what I said weren’t even words—it was just me screaming in delight.

My evening was absolutely magical—it was better than anything I had ever imaged my first concert to be. Not only was I seeing my favorite band, but I got to photograph them live & up-close and I was able to meet them in person before the show. A few interesting things you fans might like to know: Frank has an incredibly firm handshake and Gee’s hands are softer than soft. They were all amazingly nice and I can’t wait to develop the photo of us together.

Up on stage, Gerard led the energized, passionate crowd in song after song, revisiting many of my old favorites and touching on some of the best songs from their new CD. Fans were crazy and energetic, all of us united by our common love for MCR. The hope, happiness, and energy radiating from us could barely be contained by the room; fans were jumping up and down, pumping their fists, screaming and singing along with every word and every magical guitar chord MCR played. Lights were flashing, people were dancing, stage fog filled the air.

Theatrical like always, Gerard was enchanting to watch. It was near impossible to take my eyes off him, but when I did, it was to watch Frankie bounce all over the stage, enthusiastically diving into his music. To me it seems that Mikey and Ray are near opposites; it’s a powerful thing to watch them— Mikey concentrates hard on his guitar and the power of the music, looking serious and somber the whole time, whereas Ray looks so happy and joyful while he plays. Combined together, the four make an amazing show. They are, without a doubt, one of the best bands out there. Perhaps one of the things that make them this is their ability to write songs and perform in such a way that connects with each and every fan individually, as if you are the only one in the room with them. They skillfully fill the room and their songs with hope, sorrow that can be overcome, happiness, and messages for people in all walks of life.

Thank you so much, My Chemical Romance, for always being here for me and for the rest of your fans. We will forever be grateful to you for everything you have taught us. And fans, never forget, “No matter what, just Keep Running”.

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