My Chemical Romance: The Kings Are Back
Ladies and gentlemen, cry no more! Your prayers have been answered! My Chemical Romance, the kings of the 2000s, are back. The boys will be reclaiming their throne in Los Angeles’ Shrine Expo Hall on December 20th.
Born in New Jersey following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, My Chemical Romance has always been akin to a phoenix. They rise from the ashes, shaking soot off their wings to reveal power and splendor like no other.
Their albums are all known for dark and dystopian imagery and have gained a reputation for being a beacon of light to those going through a hard time. In exchange for the support and inspiration the music provides, they return it with undying love and loyalty with fervent passion reminiscent of Beatlemania.
Following the release of Conventional Weapons, the scraped album that was supposed to be Danger Days, My Chemical Romance announced to the world that the band was no more. Fans were devastated. Years later, the pain hadn’t seemed to wane, with phrases like ‘I’ve got some March 22 in my eye’ or ‘I’m MCRying’ becoming popular forms of expressing sadness among the fanbase. Even something as simple as a G note was enough to send a room into a frenzy.
While some grieved, others refused to give up hope. Hairbrained theories egan to spring up right and left. Had the band broke up because of conflict within? Were they trying to cover up a sinister problem with one of the members? Or was it all just a hoax? It did happen close to April 1st, after all. Or perhaps it’s a hiatus, similar to the one Fall Out Boy took years prior. A personal favorite was based off Gerard Way’s love for the Smashing Pumpkins.
Huge fans since childhood, Gerard and Mikey Way (vocals and bass) grew up on the Smashing Pumpkins, swapping cassettes and imitating songs whenever they could. Gerard in particular was a huge admirer of Billy Corgan and his craft (some would say he looked similar enough to be a long lost son, a resemblance Corgan himself has acknowledged). Both brothers have expressed love for the Pumpkins’ work and trajectory, often saying they’d love to emulate the band. Now, if we were to take these words literally, you get the basis for a theory. The Smashing Pumpkins were a band for 12 years, breaking up in December. After a 6 year hiatus, they get back together. My Chem was an active band from 2001 to 2013. This made some fans believe they would reunite in 6 years to honor S.P. Not enough proof? Let’s talk about Danger Days.
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys was the final studio album by My Chemical Romance. A concept album, it is set in a dystopian universe where the U.S. has become a nuclear wasteland, save for select government-run cities. In order to benefit from a life close to what it was before the nukes within a city, one must agree to conform and suppress all thought or emotion not government-approved through homogeneous dress and lifestyle, aided by emotion-altering pills. Some rebel, and roam the deserts with colorful clothes and free thought, becoming stronger, biding their time. The story takes place in 2019. The album was released before the breakup, set 6 years after.
Of course, the band continued to deny these rumors had any base in reality. Comments on theories pertaining to a reunion began getting shut down online. No, there wouldn’t be a reunion. The boys were happier and healthier on their own. No more stress from touring, no more drugs or booze, better metal health. They had families. Gerard went back to writing comics, though he found time to make music and produce a Netflix series on the side. Ray made and produced music. Frank dived completely into his own band. Mikey formed Electric Century, fully flexing his creativity in a way that was hard with 3 other band members. They’d moved on. They didn’t need MCR anymore.
2019 rolled around. Fans joke about a reunion, glints of hope still present under sarcasm. News outlets write fluff pieces and speculations based off tiny signs, easily written off by fans tired of getting their hopes up. Anger swells particularly high after Joe Jonas says My Chem was using the rehearsal space next to the Jonas Brothers in New York while on KISS FM in June. This was a rumor Frank Iero was quick to squash. Fans were sick of false alarms. After the frenzy a teaser trailer for the 10th anniversary of The Black Parade caused in 2014, fans were less eager to believe any rumors, especially from a pop artist.
As the year wound to a close, fans silently began to drop their hopes of a reunion. Life goes on. It’s not all bad. After all, Emo Christmas was just around the corner.
And boy, did Santa come early.
At 2 p.m. central, My Chemical Romance announced a return through twitter. ‘Like Phantoms Forever,” the banner read, accompanied by a black and white photo of two angelic statues in an embrace. Currently, all official pages display the image couples with a black candle logo. Within hours, other members of MCR would make their own announcements via social media, notably making matching posts on Instagram. Word traveled like wildfire. Major news outlets like CNN raced to break the news. The band and it’s members quickly shot to trending across social media. It was happening.
Halloween of 2019 will be forever immortalized as the day the music rose from the dead (thanks to a stroke of genius from the marketing department). Tickets are listed as $149.50. Although it’s a steeper price than most tours (assuming in will be GA), I fully expect it to sell out, especially since no other dates have been announced.
“…So long and goodnight.” These were the parting words of a band that defined a generation, concluding their 2012 Bamboozle set with “Helena,” their staple closer. After the breakup, Gerard Way would go on to write a farewell and explanation to fans via TwitterLonger, ending it by saying “My Chemical Romance is done. But it can never die. It’s alive in me, in the guys, and it is alive inside of all of you. I always knew that, and I think you did too. Because it is not a band- it is an idea.”
The idea lived on. And like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the idea had become a band again.
“We are My Chemical Romance, and we always will be.”
Bet. I’ll see you in December.