My love for My Chemical Romance grew from being a punk/outcast/timid teenager. The opening riff from ‘Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us’ came howling out of my television set (I know, remember when we watched music videos!? ON TELEVISION!?) and I felt a punch to my stomach in the most pleasant of ways. Stirring up some emotion that was buried underneath the cover stories I had perfected, the fake smiling, and of course the general greetings and goodbyes. The hopping riff made me spin around in my chair and, glued to the screen, I was watching what felt like friends, performing in this video and I knew it was something special.
It was the first time I had seen someone around my age with the same sort of out-casted vibe, doing something they loved on television. As soon as I saw the name of the band and album, I rushed out (after asking my mom for a ride, of course) to the record store and bought their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. I couldn’t stop listening to it over and over, until the cover art on the album was worn down enough to see the reflective beams shining off the disk. Their next album was highly anticipated, not only from me but many others feeling that same guttural punch. They quickly gathered a strong base of fans, the MCRmy was beginning to grow. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge literally exploded in popularity and a sweeping cloak of “emo kids” flooded hallways, Hot Topic shops and record stores around the world.
The Black Parade came next, igniting a spark that still hasn’t gone out but after a four year gap and one more album release the band decided to call it a day. The collective sound of emo hearts breaking across the globe was almost audible. The fans constantly wonder if there will be one more tour, or even a reformation. But how would you feel if they came back?
2016 was the ten year anniversary of The Black Parade and a cryptic social media messaged aroused spectation of a tour but no, and you know something… I’m okay with that.
We stand now, twenty eighteen. The “emo revival” is moving into the rear view mirror rather than sitting next to us in the passenger seat like it was a few years ago. Although happy to see a reissue of The Black Parade, the fans would have to pack up the black fingerless gloves and eye liner in disappointment, but I have to imagine that there are a few others like me who have a sense a relief that there was no reuinion.
There’s a sense of closure with MCR, the stumbling beginnings, the triumph execution, the lull and eventual disbanding. With several members having side musical projects, and Gerard Way’s successful comic book career, they all seem happy with where they went and where they are going.
When bands break apart and glue themselves back together it often feels un-authentic. It’s like they are shouting at us, “hey remember we were a thing!? We used all our money, please give us more! Also we are touring at stadiums and large arenas! Thanks!” For me it feels like a ploy for money. With bands like Blink-182 (with a little change in the lineup), Dashboard Confessional and others are either continuing to record and release, or touring again after a break, it feels like something is missing. The 2000’s was the perfect period for the emo movement to take over. There was anger, uncertainty, and confusion in the air whereever you went and the music captured it spectacularly.
Now it feels like the stars would align, Warped Tour is ending after one last stretch of touring this year and everyone was anticipating big news with their favorite bands from the 2000’s joining the run for one last time. As of today, July 17th, we don’t know if MCR will rejoin the circus of Warped and make eyeliner and black clothing sales skyrocket again…but it’s looking unlikely.
In life, there are times when you can’t look back, you can’t dwell on previous experiences, you have to keep moving. My Chem have done this with grace, continuing their art projects in their own realms, and allowing creativity to continue to present itself through them without compromising their health or sanity. I am certain when I say I don’t want them to re-tour, re-release their material, and so on and so forth. We grew up with this band connecting with us on a level no one else could at the time, but now we are all different. We’re now thirty-somethings working and creating a future, still angry, still wearing our My Chemical Romance t-shirts (even if they are under button ups and ties), and sometimes even still wearing red eyeshadow and black eyeliner, but no matter how we, the listeners, or the band grows up, we all have that moment in time to reflect on, allowing nostalgia to swarm us and remind us that we all felt like a band. A band playing in a parade. A parade to celebrate.