LIVE REVIEW: My Chemical Romance, Placebo, Barns Courtney, Cassyette, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, 21/05/2022
It’s been almost a decade since legends My Chemical Romance announced their split, one that would break the hearts of their legions of fans. When they finally came back for their reunion, Covid got in the way and delayed their re-emergence even further. This May at the Stadium MK, young fans and elder-emos came together to worship at the stage that may as well be their altar, for the return of their beloved MCR.
MCR had decided to bring as many different acts on the road with them as possible, meaning each date of this tour had a different line-up. For the Saturday show first up was Cassyette, if the support acts were in competition tonight then she would have won. Her performance was sublime, and her vocals were amazing. She has a kind of stage presence that is amazing to watch and comes across as completely natural and not over-rehearsed at all. She is definitely one to watch out for over the coming years. 9/10
Next up was Barns Courtney, who gave it his all throughout the six-song set. Although it was over as quickly as it started and faded into the background quite fast as far as memorable performances go. There was a lot of strutting around the stage and everyone on it seemed to be having the time of their life. It’s a shame that they did not connect with fans more but it may be the case that the audience was getting impatient and didn’t have much time for the other acts as they awaited their heroes. 7/10
The final support act was Placebo; another sort of legend, the iconic kind. They were on stage for about an hour with a set that was filled mainly with their new songs from Never Let Me Go. Although they kept a few classics in there for the die-hards and the older fans in the crowd. Closing the set with The Bitter End and Infra-Red and leaving fans fairly satisfied. The only downside is that Placebo didn’t seem to hype up the crowd ready for the headliners as you would expect. It’s probably a good thing that the headliners need no hype-men to get the crowd raring to go. 8/10
After a short break, the initials MCR appeared on the screens on each side of the stage and onlookers could almost hear the heartbeats of the audience members who stood in anticipation. Across the smoky stage, out walked the band and everyone in the seating area rose to their feet as the crowd in front of the stage surged forward, anxious to get the best view. The sound of the beginning of their latest single, and first new music in many years, fills the stadium. You can’t fault My Chemical Romance fans, who already know The Foundations of Decay as well as they do the classics.
Overwhelmed fans were sobbing already and it was very much the case that many of them had waited a very long time for this moment. This is when the band launched into what is possibly their most well-known hit, I’m Not Okay. The crowd sang along to every word so much so that it could almost drown out Gerard Way himself. “Thank you for being here tonight!” he screams over the noise of cheers. Some quick chat later and the boys are playing Give ‘Em Hell, Kid.
The next moment was a beautiful one, as MCR play their version of a ballad titled Summertime and the stadium is lit up by the lights on its guest phones. This Danger Days gem gives the crowd a moment to recuperate, take a breather and compose themselves. MCR went on to play many a brilliant hit including Bulletproof Heart, Na Na Na and Teenagers. The stage presence and chemistry of the band was on point, they put on a great show without a bunch of fancy bells and whistle or fireworks.
The band also took the time to protect the crowd on several occasions, telling the audience to take three steps backwards to avoid the usual crush at the front. A true highlight of the show was when a single spotlight hit the stage, and the sound hit the fan’s ears, yes indeed it was Welcome To The Black Parade. One more song later and it was apparently all over. By now it was dark outside and the crowd chanted for one more song, encouraged that there could be more by the lack of floodlights coming on.
Their hope was rewarded with two more songs, in fact, Boy Division and of course Helena. With that, it was over as the fans aptly sang back to the band “So Long and Goodnight” when the song finished the floodlights came on this time. They revealed a crowd full of so many conflicting emotions each fan there for a different reason, as part of their own unique journey and yet the same reason, simply because the boys they love were truly back! 10/10
Written by: Cat Wiltshire