‘Welcome (back) to the Black Parade’

My Chemical Romance returns six years after their shocking breakup


Camille Schweppe

My Chemical Romance announces a reunion show in Los Angeles on Dec. 20 at Shrine Hall.

Camille Schweppe, Staff Reporter

My Chemical Romance isn’t a band – it’s an idea. 

Gerard Way tweeted similar words on March 22, 2013 signifying the end of an alternative, emo, punk rock era. The band, consisting of lead singer Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way and guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero and various drummers, was active from 2001 to 2013 and released four rock operas – albums composed to create stories. From Hellish lovers, cancer patients and futuristic rebels, MCR told stories rich with imagery. Although the flames of the band fizzled into embers, on Oct. 31 the band announced their reunion show. The fire of My Chemical Romance was ablaze once more. 

MCR, began with raspy vocals, gothic punk and garage punk influences in their 2002 debut album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.” Their second album, “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge,” released in 2004, was a rock opera about a man making a deal with the devil so he could be with his lover in the afterlife. The releases projected their sound as emo or edgy pop rock, springing MCR into the spotlight as well as landing them a shiny new record deal. “The Black Parade” was their third album, released in 2006. It was legendary, a worldwide phenomenon and is often labeled as a classic for the emo, alternative scene. This rock opera, about a dying cancer patient, brought MCR to new heights involving theatrics, new instrumentals and riffs as well as new vocals such as haunting harmonies, emotional screaming and lullaby broadway influences. Finishing off their discography, “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” was about futuristic rebel war heroes who fought for freedom and artistic expression. It ended the band’s streak of deathly, dark and “emo” themes and reflected light upon their message to the world. It was utterly moving and a breath of confidence and power. 

MCR broke up for multiple reasons. Although it’s known Gerard Way began slipping back into old habits, such as drinking and drug use, the band never disclosed reasons other than it was time for the band to break up. Fans, known as MCR-my or Killjoys, took the disbandment hard, and rumors of reunion would murmur throughout the following post-breakup years. Although false rumors have flared up in the six years since the disbandment, MCR has officially announced their reunion show. Happening on Dec. 20 in Los Angeles, the announcement of the show shook the media, celebrities and Killjoys alike, and it was sold out within 13 minutes.

I personally sobbed when I saw the news. I always wanted to believe they would return, but you can’t pin your hopes on something that may never happen. I discovered MCR years ago, but I never took the time to listen to their message, their screams, their guitar riffs derived from Ozzy Ozborne and Smashing Pumpkins, nor did I take the time to see how much I could learn and heal from their music. In late 2017, I sat desolate and crying one night, listening to their whole discography. I found a home in their lyrics, a light behind their pain and sorrows and a blinding reassurance in their carefully surrendered riffs and anecdotes. I was enamored and ever since then they have remained a beacon of life for me when I didn’t desire to have one. 

With MCR’s return, I would like to see a new tour and new music. I would love to hear their progression during their six year hiatus and it’s a dream of mine to see them live. However, I will not be disappointed if none of the above happens. To me, it’s enough that they are returning. “Like phantoms forever” MCR is a legendary band of the emo, alternative scene, and I am certain they will take the world by storm and rise to greatness once again in the coming months.