My Chemical Romance at Nikon at Jones Beach, 8/7/11

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Reviews

My Chemical Romance rock Jones Beach (picture by Eli Kaminsky)

“Hello We’re My F**king Chemical Romance,” singer Gerard way shouted at the crowd, sounding extremely excited as he and his band-mates stepped onto the stage of the “Nikon at Jones Beach” theater on August 7, 2011.  The sun had just recently set on the third night of the 2011 Honda Civic Tour, as My Chemical Romance blasted into a classic stadium set filled with chanting, clapping and yelling at the crowd

Though MCR are supposedly co-headlining the tour with Blink 182, they seemed more like a second opening band, and played an equally long set to the “special guest”, The Alkaline Trio.  However, the quartet, consisting of singer Gerard Way, lead guitarist Ray Toro, rhythm guitarist Frank Iero and bassist Mikey Way (accompanied by keyboardist James Dewees and drummer Michael Pedicone), played at least one song off almost all of their records. After the rip-roaring opener, “House of Wolves,” from 2006’s The Black Parade, the band played various hits off their three most recent records including the funky, Depeche Mode inspired “Planetary (GO)” from the newest record, “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Helena (So Long and Goodnight)” from their sophomore release and “Teenagers,” and “Mama” from Black Parade.  The band should be commended for their indescribably powerful closing performance of Black Parade’s “Famous Last Words,” which was fueled by a lengthy jam in the middle of the song.

The Way brothers and Michael Pedicone (from the Honda Civic Tour Facebook Page – I do not own this image)

However, as the band finished the short set and walked off without returning for an encore, the MCR fans in the audience felt the set-list could have been better.  Where was their big hit, “Welcome to the Black Parade?” where was “SING?” and where was “Na Na Na? The band had indeed been playing these chart toppers on their previous tour.  Many fans probably appreciated that the band played the most songs from Black Parade, the band’s most successful album.  Perhaps Gerard Way should have cut down on his desperate attempts to excite the more uninterested members of the crowd.  The less than momentary failure of the PA System did not help the performance either.

Nonetheless, MCR was commendably enthusiastic from the first song, despite the majority of the crowd clearly preferring Blink 182.  A group in a corner section even began to chant “WE WANT BLINK, WE WANT BLINK!”  Nonetheless, Gerard Way continuously complimented the crowd for it’s “great vibes,” claiming “the second night is always better!”  Mikey Way may be one of the most energetic bassists in modern rock music and marched across the stage throughout the show whereas the guitarists, who also sing background vocals, were unable to do so.  However, Iero and Toro, like the Way brothers, still seemed to be enjoying themselves as they smiled during every song and constantly threw their fists in the air. A show is always better when the audience can tell that the band is having fun.

Frank Iero celebrates (from the Honda Civi Tour facebook page I do not own this image)

Though the group displayed a solid, energy-filled performance, their overall set-list left much to be desired.  Like many older groups, My Chemical Romance seem to have leaned away from performing their hits, at least on this tour, which may not be the wisest maneuver for a such a young band.

Set List

  1. House of Wolves
  2. Give ‘Em Hell, Kid
  3. Planetary (GO)
  4. Helena (So Long and Goodnight)
  5. The Kids From Yesterday
  6. Mama
  7. Teenagers
  8. I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
  9. Famous Last Words

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