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Fan Tour Report: Philadelphia


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By. Emily O.

Seven years ago I found my best friend after we bonded over My Chemical Romance’s music. We promised that, someday, we’d go see one of their concerts together, but there was one minor problem: I lived in New Jersey and she lived in Mexico. Over the years we put that idea on the backburner, until one afternoon when I got an email offering me the position of “Road Reporter” for the Philadelphia show of the World Contamination Tour. Adriana was the first person I told, and by the next day she had booked a flight to the United States so she could join me as my guest and she could see her first MCR concert in order to finally make our dream come true.

The intense traffic coming into the Philadelphia area almost made us miss the meet and greet, but we ended up making it in the nick of time and we had the opportunity to chat with and take pictures with the band members for a little bit. Since Adriana and I first met through an art organization, we decided to draw and present them with portraits of their respective killjoys, which they very graciously accepted. The guys were very sweet and happy to talk to us, and the opportunity to meet them started out the night on an excellent note.

The Architects and Thursday opened the show and both put on excellent sets. As soon as the second set ended, however, there was a palpable excitement in the air as everyone waited anxiously for My Chemical Romance to take the stage. Every time a person went out to mark the floor or test an instrument, a great cheer went up from the crowd and the energy in the building swelled. The set changes were some of the quickest and most efficient I have ever seen (props to the crew), so the crowd didn’t have to wait long before the house lights dimmed and the music kicked in. The band came out and everyone went crazy; NaNaNa was the first song that they played and it had the perfect energy to get everyone moving. Even in a theater with no general admission, people managed to physically show their enthusiasm and excitement as they danced and cheered from the rows in front of their seats until they practically spilled into the aisles. The band followed NaNaNa with a balanced mix of songs from Danger Days, The Black Parade, and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, and they even threw in Vampires Will Never Hurt You for the I Brought You My Bullets (You Brought Me Your Love) fans. When the band performed Helena and Cancer, I saw people around me crying, and for good reason – the music was so powerful and moving that it was hard to keep a dry eye!

Gerard’s singing throughout the night was impeccable; by far the best that I’ve ever heard from him over the past three times that I have seen My Chemical Romance in concert. Mikey, Ray, and Frank all played with so much energy and finesse that I was blown away by the strength of the music. I could really hear their skills come through in each song, and they seemed so connected to their instruments that photographing them playing was like photographing them in their natural environment. The whole band and the guest musicians played together as an extremely cohesive group and everyone seemed to be having a great time on stage; especially Gerard, who danced and pranced around the stage and even leaned over to give some lucky fans high fives and sign something while he performed. Gerard also encouraged Philadelphia to stand up to anyone or anything that may try to change them, telling the crowd not to throw bricks or punches but to sing. And sing we did, along with every song and from the bottom of our very hearts. Amid chanting and cheering, the band came out for an encore and raised our spirits with Bulletproof Heart after Gerard brought us all to tears with a solo version of Cancer. When the band finally did make their permanent exit, they left the crowd dancing out the doors and infecting the streets of Upper Darby with killjoy pride and power.

This show was no doubt the best My Chemical Romance concert I’ve had the opportunity to attend. While I have great memories from each show I’ve seen before, every aspect of this one topped the chart – from the fans to the sound to the mix of music; not even mentioning the personal opportunity I had to meet the band and take photos. The band played so well and just seemed so happy to be up on stage that I practically had to be dragged out of the theater; I didn’t want it to end! Adriana and I were able to fulfill one of our dreams, and we met some awesome people and had a great time in the process! It is a night neither of us will ever forget and I’m sure we won’t stop talking about how wonderful everything was… until next time we see My Chemical Romance together, of course!

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