I took my first steps into an absolutely packed arena on Tuesday night and headed straight for the photo pit. I never thought this many emo kids existed around here, but it looked like everyone came through for this show. Understandably so, My Chemical Romance was a reunion that nobody expected to experience in their lifetime. And here we are—the band is headlining festivals and tours, playing shows around the world like they never left.
I stepped into a photo pit that was also absolutely packed—with security guards. Chatting with them, they were expecting a rowdy night. You’re either a die-hard passionate My Chem fan, or you’re not; there’s no in-between. Fans excitedly spoke with me—one had been camping outside MVP Arena here in Albany since Sunday and was the first to arrive for the show. They had the number “1” in sharpie on their hand, indicating that they were the first in line. Another group had flown in from London. It was at that point in the evening that I knew if fans were travelling from that far away—we were in for a treat. And I wasn’t wrong.
Playing an absolutely insane 20-song set, MCR opened with their newest single, “The Foundations of Decay,” and followed it with a banger (“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”). These two really set the mood for the night—and from there, it was hit after hit after hit. A flawless setlist, really.
Their stage set-up and lighting were simple but effective. They had a crazy 3D-looking cityscape behind them, falling apart and decaying. Tall thin white opaque banners hung from each side of the stage, the middle of them displaying the letters “MCR.” The lighting matched that vibe—eerie, simple, and not overdone—a mix of mostly white and pale yellow.
The setlist consisted of a wonderful mix of many albums—The Black Parade, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, and even some songs from the Conventional Weapons collection. And then, every emo kid’s dream came true—they played “Welcome to the Black Parade.” Fans took in every minute of it, screaming and dancing from the seats and crowd surfing like mad on the floor section.
My Chem closed the night with “Famous Last Words,” and tears were shed. The band made their exit, and the venue went dark. Would the band do an encore? It was almost expected; however, they didn’t come back on the stage. It appeared as though the night was over. But then, the notes to “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” began to ring out through the building, and fans excitedly waited for the lights to illuminate the venue once more. The band sold this encore unbelievably well. Finishing the night with one last song off The Black Parade—“Sleep,” the final moments of an unforgettable night set the tone for the adrenaline-filled car ride home. MCR is back, and no one in the scene will not forget it.