“I’M NOT OKAY” after MCR’s reunion tour

My Chemical Romance performed at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 23.

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Miguel Beristain

Gerard Way sings during MCR’s show at the Bridgestone Arena, captured August 23, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Krisha Shah, Staff Writer

Sporting a green and white cheerleading outfit and an aura of authenticity, confidence and grandeur, Gerard Way led the My Chemical Romance (MCR) tour at the Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 23.

MCR had two opening acts: Turnstile, a hardcore punk band from Baltimore, Maryland and Dilly Dally, a Canadian grunge and alternative rock band. As I walked into Bridgestone Arena, I was right in time to see Turnstile’s opening performance. 

What stood out to me about Turnstile was that they had the most intoxicating energy I had ever witnessed on stage. Just looking at them dance, leap and caper around the stage made me question my fitness in the best way possible. With Brendon Yates on vocals, Daniel Fangs on percussion, Franz Lyons on bass guitar and Pat McCory on rhythm, Turnstile energized the crowd with hits like “Holiday,” “T.L.C” and “Mystery.” 

We’ve all felt the euphoria of complete contentment at a concert before, but at a My Chemical Romance concert, you get to dress the part. Yes, I will go on to talk about how creatively raw MCR’s show was, but I would like to take a couple of minutes to emphasize the beauty of the concert’s distinctive energy.

Everywhere you look, you get the feeling that you belong, whether you are being yourself or someone you’ve always wanted to be. I looked at men in backward baseball hats and shorts laughing heartily, then I turned around to see others in fishnet stockings, displaying exquisite makeup and eyeshadow skills a thousand times better than mine. The crowd was diverse: teenagers with their hair dyed seven different colors and nostalgia-driven oldies who had waited for this concert for way too long. The only common element was that all of the audience lacked judgment, and a space where anyone can fit in without trying was a wonderful one to be in.

The crowd, completely electrified after Dilly Dally and Turnstile and buzzing in anticipation for a band they’ve waited a decade for, could do nothing except chant MCR at the top of their lungs until the band finally arrived. A six-person team composed of Gerard Way, in his iconic outfit, with his brother Mikey Way on bass guitar, followed by Ray Toro on lead guitar, Frank Lero on rhythm and Jamey Muhoberac on keys opened with their new single, “Foundations of Decay.”

As the show continued, they played emo-rock anthems like “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” and “House of Wolves.” Right after dedicating “Summertime” to Mikey Way’s wife and daughters, who were both in attendance, MCR lovers young and old got to experience the entirety of Bridgestone screaming “Teenagers” at the top of their lungs. 

He didn’t need to win the crowd at that point, but Gerard Way completely enamored everyone as “Welcome to the Black Parade” played. The slow heartfelt beginning to the hardcore, energetic build-up to the track’s iconic breakdown caused everyone to experience such a roller coaster of emotions that the crowd had to take a moment of silence after the song before erupting in applause.

My Chemical Romance delivered an ambitious, unique and—of course—angsty performance as they delved into their post 9/11 tribute, “I’m Not Okay (I promise),” their popular anthem, “Na Na Na,” their first ever time playing a beautiful reality check, “The World is Ugly,” their high-powered war composition, “Mama” and the tear-jerking “Helena” where the crowd emotionally sang “so long and goodbye.” 

 After the band exited the stage after “Helena,” they returned for another power-filled encore, playing “Vampire Money,” “Hang ‘Em High” and finally, “The Kids from Yesterday,” their power ballad from the album “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.”

“When we were young, we used to say that you could only hear music when your heart begins to break,” Way sang as he reminded the crowd to reflect on their lives. 

MCR, aided by Dilly Dally and Turnstile, delivered the most energetically soulful and powerful 90-minute sonic performance I have been to, so much so that I forgot about my disappointment of not experiencing a live performance of “This is How I Disappear.” Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another decade before Gerard Way cures all the world’s problems with another tour!