To be honest, Warrington isn’t the first place you would associate with a major American rock band who are making their first UK live appearances in over eleven years and you do get the feeling that My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way isn’t that sure where the latest stop on their hugely-anticipated tour is but that matters not one iota to the emo masses, young and old, who have turned out in force for the return of their heroes.

For Liverpool band Crawlers, the trip down the M62 is more familiar and when vocalist Holly Minto bounces onto the stage full of smiles and brimming with confidence, they look very happy to be performing in front of a home crowd. “I am absolutely shitting myself…” jokes the vocalist who wins over the hardcore following when she takes off her jacket to reveal an “I’m Not Okay” t-shirt. A whirlwind of energy on stage, the alt-rockers only have a short time on stage and, even with Minto’s chatter, manage to batter through a selection of tracks including the airing of a new number “I Don’t Want It.”

Next up are Hollywood garage rockers Starcrawler who also have a short time on stage so make sure to grab everyone’s attention. The main focal point is vocalist Arrow De Wilde who throws herself about the stage as the band smashes out their dirty garage rock. Mixing up their own material like the new single “Roadkill” with a couple of covers including a rendition of Ramones classic “Pet Sematary,” the vocalist ends their set in the crowd before disappearing off never to be seen again.

Punk rocker Frank Turner is in a playful mood for his 2,626th gig. “I know you’re here to see us but may I ask that, after our set, you stick around for a bit?” he jokes before adding, “there is another band on after us called My Chemical Romance and we’re going to let them play a few songs for you.”

Of course, he is joking but there are plenty of Frank Turner fans in the crowd who are ready to dance the night away with the punk rock favourite. Opening his set with “Four Simple Words,” as always, this is pure punk rock brilliance. “The Gathering,” “Photosynthesis,” and “Plain Sailing Weather”; a quick scan out over this rapidly filling field and you get the impression that it isn’t just Turner who has his dancing shoes on and, while he might not have been the obvious first choice to support the returning emo heroes, he certainly made sure to give Warrington one hell of a party.

Emo kids young and old have been counting the days until Gerard Way and Co. made their return to the UK for their first UK headline shows in eleven years. The release of new music from the band two weeks ago in the form of “The Fountains Of Decay” nearly brought the internet to its knees so, when the band walked out onto the stage and launched straight into the aforementioned new track, the atmosphere around Victoria Park was positively crackling with anticipation.

And what a glorious return it has been. Reports back from earlier shows on the tour have all been absolutely glowing and Warrington was no different. Hurtling straight into the raucous but stupidly infectious “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” the band had an entire field bouncing and singing along and with “Give ’Em Hell Kid” and “Tomorrow’s Money” continuing this fantastic display of alternative rock, you could almost forgive the frontman when he half-jokes “where the fuck even is Warrington?”

My Chemical Romance (w/ Frank Turner, Starcrawler, Crawlers) @ Victoria Park (Warrington, UK) on May 27th, 2022

Clearly enjoying the adoration their return has whipped up, the familiar tones of “The Black Parade” has fans racing towards the stage from all directions to scream the words to the hit anthem while “Teenagers” was dedicated to his daughter by the frontman. If you thought the band had hit their peak by this point, think again. The emo anthems keep coming as “The Ghost of You”, “Helena” and “Famous Last Words” send this crowd in hysteria. The main set closes with the emotional-charged “Cancer” before the band return for a run-through of “Mastas of Ravenkroft” leading into the final song of the night the emo anthem “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”.

Tonight was a night when the broken, the beaten and the damned welcomed their saviours back with open arms. My Chemical Romance made sure they repaid that faith and loyalty with an absolutely unforgettable night.

My Chemical Romance Set List:

1. The Foundations of Decay
2. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
3. Give ’Em Hell, Kid
4. Tomorrow’s Money
5. Thank You for the Venom
6. The Only Hope for Me Is You
7. Boy Division
8. House of Wolves
9. Welcome to the Black Parade
10. Teenagers
11. The Ghost of You
12. DESTROYA
13. Summertime
14. Vampire Money
15. Helena
16. Mama
17. S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W
18. Famous Last Words
19. Cancer
Encore:
20. Mastas of Ravenkroft
21. I’m Not Okay (I Promise)

Author

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.