This past Wednesday night, I had to opportunity to see ex-My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way perform as a solo artist for the first time!
I believe that night was the first time he’s been to Toronto as a solo artist, and it was just great. He announced to us that he’ll be making a second record so that’s also very exciting! So here it is my evening with Gerard Way…
Just a quick statement before I get into my review of the night, I just need to say that atmosphere is everything when you go to a show. I didn’t think there would be a lot of teens at the show, I figured it would be a mature audience, and looking back now I don’t even know why I thought that because I was their age when I got into My Chemical Romance. Just now that I’m older it’s weird to see how I once was, a huge fangirl ha!
Okay my mini rant is over.
An Evening With Gerard Way
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The Danforth Music Hall
There is no shortage of people in the crowd. Before the show even starts people are lined up wrapping around two streets just to get in to see the notable Gerard Way. Everyone is decked out in either Gerard Way t-shirts, or their My Chemical Romance gear, either way it’s great to see the MCR merch seeing the light of day after disbanding two years ago. Is it time for the reunion tour yet?
The stage is set and the opening act has warmed up the crowd. People are pushing in every direction to try and get a glimpse of Gerard. People are chanting his name; the girls around me are trying to coax him on stage. Give him five minutes and sure enough he does appear looking dashing in a black suit and red tie. It almost reminds me of his Revenge days.
The set opens with The Bureau, the perfect opening track. I venture farther into the crowd as Action Cat begins. The crowd has been pretty relaxed up until this point. Gerard thanks everyone for coming out, and that if it wasn’t for us, he wouldn’t be able to do what he does. That’s when he launches into Zero Zero, my favourite song off the album. This is the pivotal part of the show. Things get very crazy, the girls behind me are crying, everyone is loosing their shit. Oh it was great.
He sang the famous song, Millions, and then the stage got dark. Once the lights shot back on there was Gerard, hands in the hair, holding a tambourine, it was time for Juarez. The jazz hands came out for this song as he made everyone put their hands in the hair and shake them, as he did that while shaking his hips. Classic.
Gerard, between songs, would go into these interludes of piano driven songs that would move the audience. Most seemed to be improvised based off the night, but one song seems to be a popular crowd pleaser called Piano Jam, it’s a piano driven song (obviously) sung with a lot of heartfelt emotions, it truly is beautiful.
Continuing on with the set he sings a song about leaving home, Drugstore Perfume. From where I’m standing all I can see Gerard’s shadow against the west wall. He’s moving across the stage from left to right; I can see him running his hands through his hair, which seems to be habit of his.
He then sings a song about all the TV Japan watches called Television All the Time. At one point Gerard takes a minute to give support to all the transgenders out there; mentioning if we known someone who is, to be there for them because that’s all they really need. It was very touching.
Just before the next song, he asks if it’s all right if he takes a photo of us for Lola in which we all cram together for this photo, I doubt you can even see me. As soon as that’s done with he tells us to stop, and if we know the words to sing along to a song that was written about his brother, Brother. Then came Get the Gang Together, and How It’s Going to Be.
He introduces the next song Maya the Psychic as a song about hearing voices, and that he was hearing voices. He first asks us if we have great healthcare here in Canada, in which the crowd screams, because you know free healthcare for the win. He then goes on to say that we must have millions of therapists to go and see, and he encourages us to seek help if we need it.
The show ends with No Shows, almost an ironic way to end it all. Everyone just does their thing. Gerard shakes his hips on stage; girls go nuts. Everyone is sad that the night is coming to a close. It only felt like a few minutes ago that Gerard Way was stepping out onto the stage. Now it was all ending. The band has left the stage, but the lights haven’t come on, people started to move so others move forward.
That’s when the encore starts, and believe it or not, the band comes back; Gerard claiming that one of them had to go to the bathroom. They play a song called Don’t Try. None of us know the words, but we all sway in unison, just living in the moment of this one last song.
Gerard thanks the crowd and tells us he’ll be outside afterwards. I never found him, plus there were give or take a thousand other people in the venue waiting for the same thing. I just know that it wasn’t my time to meet him yet. He was only giving autographs, not photos, and you know that would have been super quick, it didn’t seem worth it to wait hours for. I will go back to counting the years until I get to meet him, because one day it will happen… or you know that reunion MCR tour, I’m also waiting for that.
Overall, to wrap up this review of the night, it was fun, it was a little rowdy brit-pop music was enjoyed, and I think everyone in the room got a kick out of seeing Gerard Way, even if they didn’t know all the words. (I need to classify myself in this category, I know choruses on his album not the versus, but a lot of the girls around me didn’t even sing along so you know I knew more than them.) It was just really good to see him even if he’s a solo artist; it works for him very well. Gerard is a very creative person, that nothing could hold him back. That’s what he puts into his performances, and that’s why even if you don’t know the words, you still have a blast. Gerard is such an amazing guy, especially to see live.