Anticipation for My Chemical Romance’s return to Denver had been building for two and a half years by the time the band finally took the stage at Ball Arena on Friday night. After multiple postponed and rescheduled shows due to the global pandemic, it came as no surprise to find fans literally wrapped around the building, lining up long before the doors opened. The die-hards were donning homemade Helena-themed dresses, Party Poison and Fun Ghoul jackets, X’s across their eyes or even just classic red eye shadow, proving that, even nine years since their breakup, My Chem still has the same impact that they’ve had on fans since 2004, 2007, or 2010. And there was really no questioning whether or not they’d live up to the hype.
The fact of the matter is, the time off clearly did MCR – vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Frank Iero and Ray Toro and bassist Mikey Way – some good. Their set was quite possibly the best Ball Arena has ever sounded; from Gerard’s guttural growls to Ray’s flawless guitar tone. The band were also all smiles from the moment that they stepped on stage until the second that the last notes of the final song, “The Kids From Yesterday” rang out. Six months into their world tour, their performance in Denver could have easily been mistaken for their first show back, if the energy from both the band and the fans was anything to go by. It was clear that the entire band is putting their all into every single performance, even this far into their rigorous touring schedule.
For those who never had the chance to see MCR before their breakup in 2013, the show was the perfect sampler of what they missed out on. The band opened with their new single, “Foundations Of Decay” before quickly launching into The Black Parade’s “House Of Wolves” and fan-favorite, “I’m Not Okay.” After playing “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”, Gerard spoke candidly with the crowd, mentioning that the song, released on their 2001 debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, has become his favorite song to play once more, much to the joy of long-time fans. Then, showcasing the band’s versatility, they quickly launched into the much newer song, “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W”.
Unlike most artists in 2022, who play the same set every night to pre-programmed production, My Chemical Romance has been changing their setlist with each show, much to the joy of fans who have made it to multiple dates of the tour. The magic of not knowing what was coming next took me (a long-time fan, and someone who admittedly checks setlist.fm frequently to plan bathroom and drink breaks accordingly) back to when I was an excited fifteen-year-old, trying to shove my way to the front of the crowd at their Black Parade tour. It was obvious, as the band jumped from deep cuts to fan-favorites throughout the night, that they weren’t just coming back for a cash grab, only to go back into hibernation once more when the tour is over. No, if anything, this show proved that My Chemical Romance are here to stay, and they’re certainly happy about it.
The Foundations of Decay
House of Wolves
I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
Give ‘Em Hell, Kid
The Ghost of You
Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Fucking Deathwish
Welcome to the Black Parade
Vampires Will Never Hurt You
Famous Last Words
Headfirst for Halos
The Kids From Yesterday