The entrance way to Sound Academy was littered with discarded blankets, sleeping bags and fast food containers, testament to the unwavering devotion of My Chemical Romance fans. In this era of immediacy and electronic instant gratification, it was reassuring to know that music fans still believe in the payoff of waiting outside in line, even in below freezing temperatures.
Inside, the atmosphere was buzzing as opener Dearly Beloved finished their set and radio host Fearless Fred from 102.1 The Edge appeared to announce the imminent appearance of My Chemical Romance. Security stood at the ready knowing full well this crowd was brimming with anticipation and ready to party. The band appeared moments later and launched into “Look Alive, Sunshine” followed by “Na Na Na”, two tracks from the band’s recently released Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, inciting the crowd into wild jumping and fever-pitched cheering. Front man Gerard Way decked in black leather and a raging fire hair style expressed his appreciation for their enthusiasm but showed great character by taking a moment to remind the crowd to watch out for one another and help fellow fans should they fall down. This concern was mirrored by the excellent work of the venue’s security as they acted with amazing efficiency and care to ensure everyone was cleared out of harm’s way, hydrated with water and having a good time.
My Chemical Romance gave it their all with performances of old and new including fan-favourite “I’m Not OK (I Promise)”, “Sing”, the Dylan cover of “Desolation Row” and “Teenagers”, encouraging fans to clap and sing along throughout the entire set. The guitar efforts of Ray Toro, Frank Iero and bassist Mikey Way were spirited, complimenting the moody synths of James Deweez and tight drumming of Mike Pedicone, making the entire stage show a lot of fun to watch. The near 90-minute set concluded with the single encore performance of “Vampire Money” and left fans cheering and delighted with the solid performance. Before leaving, My Chemical Romance promised to return to Toronto in the spring. From the response of fans, they may need a bigger venue.