(Much love to Rock Sound for publishing photos from last night!)
I never realised how much I hated phones at shows until they weren't there. A secret pre-Reading Festival show announced on Monday, taking place just two days later, phones were banned at the Wedgewood Rooms last night for Gerard Way's first ever solo show, and I must say, it was a refreshing change.
A huge MCR fan 'back in the day' (weren't we all?), I was ecstatic when I managed to snag a ticket 9am Tuesday morning, especially when they'd sold out just twenty seconds into going on sale. An omen for Gerard's future career, or just extremely exuberant ex-emos trying to recapture their recently-finished teenage years? I must admit, I did ask myself a few times in the build up to the show 'Am I going because of a band that I used to love, or going to see a man perform brand new music?', but if it started like that, it definitely was not how I felt afterwards.
First things first: this is definitely not MCR Part II. If you're hoping that Gerard performs his ex-band's songs at any point during a show, you'll go home disappointed (though apparently he's open to playing a few if it 'feels right' at the time). Does that make it a disappointing show? Oh my, no.
The songs I saw last night (personal highlights being 'Brother' and 'Maya the Psychic') are a big departure from MCR's 'classic' sound, though similar in theme and vibe to Danger Days era. It's easy to see where the band would be now musically if they had stayed together, and in fact, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, especially if you didn't like that album. However, Gerard isn't haunted by the influences of his bandmates by any means. The songs I heard were more raw and more mature than four years ago, and I felt like Gerard had way more freedom with these songs than some of the ones produced under the MCR aesthetic.
In terms of the crowd and the show itself, Gerard should be proud of himself. Despite not knowing the songs, the crowd were fairly responsive and excited, though each side of the crowd tended to become quite passive when Gerard was on the opposite side of the stage. When the album's released and people have had to a chance to get to know, I'm sure everything will be much livelier. However, Mr. Way and his fluro-orange mop should be proud.
In summary: Ace. Go see him if/when he tours the UK fo' real.
PS. More no-phone shows like this please? Not having to crane over people's hands to see is a real lifesaver on the ol' neck.
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