Saturday, April 5, 2008

concert review: My Chemical Romance @ The Warfield

Thursday night I went to see My Chemical Romance at The Warfield and was pretty taken aback.

First of all, the opening act, Billy Talent, blew my mind away. They are that band who inspire you so much after hearing a couple of songs, you immediately want their entire discography and accompanying lyrics. They reminded me of all of that angst and rebelliousness I had in high school. I've become a lot more passive lately and seeing them brought me back to a better time. The same can be said of MCR.

Let's begin with the quality of sound that they displayed. Perfection. Frankie's rhythm worked so well with all of Ray's solos. Mikey and Bob gave some damn good backbone with their respective bass and drums.

Their stage presence: Mikey finally helped me understand why everyone is in lust with him. He embodied that sexy musician in an alternate universe look, with his hair in his face and such concentration to his bass that you'd think he was a robot.
Frank and Ray made out for a few seconds. Priceless.

Gerard and Frank both lit cigs onstage and just started smoking. Their complete lack of concern for CA state laws or getting in trouble with the Warfield people was brilliant.

GERARD IS NO LONGER BLOND! thank goodness. also, he had this constant hip thrust thing while he was singing that drove me cah-razy.He also jumped up and down and urged people to do the same.

Also, they incorporated Bob quite nicely (the drummer is usually forgotten) and Gerard told the audience it was up to him whether or not they finished their set.
Gerard's voice was strained, he seemed completely drained, but he still gave a great performance. Regardless, his voice was overpowered by the music and the audience's singing, because nearly everyone knew all of the lyrics to all of the songs and were singing along. Myself included. Twas brilliant.

The people at the show were what you would classify as "emo" or "outcasts" and I realized how MCR, and music in general, really is all that those people have. I mean I used to be kind of emo in high school. I understand how hard it is not to be accepted by your peers and not to be good enough for your parents. MCR indeed serves as a refuge for these guys.

The set list was amazing. Of course, they played what they told the audience was hailed as MTV's summer anthem of 2004, "I'm not ok (I promise)". Much to my surprise and pleasure, they played my favourite, "House of Wolves". Most of the songs came from their latest record, The Black Parade, a couple from their debut and a handful from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, including a song which I think is one of the sexiest things of all time: "You Know what they do to guys like us in prison". Oh what that song does to me...

The most moving song was, hands down, "Cancer". Their performed it superbly and the audience's reaction was chilling. It was really obvious how much the song meant to everyone, and to all of us in different ways. Most amazingly, everyone was quiet and attentive, and nobody was singing aloud in a way that overpowered the band. Everyone was in complete unison and harmony, twas beautiful.
They gave an encore with their immensely popular "Helena" which Gerard pronounced "Helayna". Finally, I was confused about how to pronounce that for ages.

So I am going to do what plenty of music mags have done before me without me fully understanding it, and hail My Chem as one of the greatest live acts of today. It wasn't so much about a superb sound (don't get me wrong, they were fucking brilliant but that's not the jest of it) but the atmosphere. They weren't pretentious at all, Frankie took time after the show to take pictures with fans and sign autographs (he was quite patient with my stupid temperamental camera that went off at the wrong time). They were fully involved with the audience without losing their grip as musicians. But most importantly, I know that seeing them perform was probably the highlight of a lot of people's lives. And that's what music is all about. Changing lives and inspiring people. Letting some misunderstood teenager know that someone else has been there and that there is an end to all of the misery which seems like it'll never cease. Gerard told us just to go out there and do what we love. I'm really thankful that he follows his own advice.


"if life aint just a joke, then why are we laughing?" yep, their lyrics kind of kick ass.

My Chemical Romance - House of Wolves [mp3]

Sunday, March 30, 2008

New Kooks album

It's titled "Konk" and is set for a April 14th, 2008 release

The Kooks will soon tour to support their new record:

5 Apr 2008 Elysee Montmartre Paris
16 Apr 2008 Le Printemps de Bourges festival @ Le Phenix De Bourges
19 Apr 2008 Magazzini Generali Milan
22 Apr 2008 Apollo Manchester
23 Apr 2008 Oasis Swindon
24 Apr 2008 Newport Centre Newport
25 Apr 2008 Arena Hull
27 Apr 2008 Academy Birmingham
28 Apr 2008 Academy Sheffield
29 Apr 2008 Corn Exchange Edinburgh
1 May 2008 Brixton Academy London
2 May 2008 Brixton Academy London
3 May 2008 Pavillion Plymouth
5 May 2008 Dublin Castle Dublin
18 May 2008 House Of Blues san Diego
18 May 2008 House of Blues San Diego, CA
19 May 2008 The Wiltern Los Angeles
19 May 2008 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
25 May 2008 George Sasquatch Festival George, Washington
25 May 2008 Sasquatch Festival George, WA
26 May 2008 Wonder Ballroom Portland
26 May 2008 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
29 May 2008 Ogden Theatre 16+ Denver
29 May 2008 Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
29 May 2008 Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
31 May 2008 Fine Line Music Café 18+ Minneapolis
31 May 2008 Fine Line Music Café Minneapolis, MN
1 Jun 2008 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee
2 Jun 2008 Vic Theatre Chicago
4 Jun 2008 Kool Haus Toronto
9 Jun 2008 Paradise Rock Club 18+ Boston
10 Jun 2008 Terminal 5 New York
11 Jun 2008 Terminal 5 New York
15 Jun 2008 Isle Of Wight Festival Isle Of Wight
18 Jun 2008 Columbiahalle Berlin
20 Jun 2008 Southside Festival Stuttgart
22 Jun 2008 Hurricane Festival Hamberg
24 Jun 2008 Hove Festival Arendal
5 Jul 2008 Main Square Festival Arras
6 Jul 2008 Rock Werchter Werchter
12 Jul 2008 T In The Park Kinross
16 Aug 2008 V Festivals Hylands Park Chelmsford

their new single is as catchy as ever and is out tomorrow:

The Kooks - Young folks (Peter Bjorn and John cover) [mp3-HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]