I seriously don't understand how I'm awake already. I got back to my apartment at like 2am yesterday, and internetted in my usual post-show haze for a while (well, I dozed too) and didn't get to sleep properly until about 6am. But here I am, up and at 'em. But sore. Really, really sore.
My Chemical Romance fans are scary. Like, I 'd heard about them before, that during the show they get really pushy and zealous, but no amount of words could have prepared me for 1/ having to struggle to keep a straight face while I was finding my people in line (SO MUCH GOTH-TOPIC GOING ON. AND BAD HAIR.) and 2/ getting packed so tight on the floor that there where times when I could barely breath, caught in a roller-coaster of shoving fangirls who all apparently thought that they could somehow bend the laws of physics and make their way to the front. Like, there were people shoving their way through that when I threw an elbow, glared, and said "Seriously, you're trying to push forward in this?" answered back "I'm just getting pushed from the back!!1" No. You weren't. I'm managing to hold my ground. Stop lying.
I've been to a bunch of shows in my time. I don't think I'd call myself a veteran or anything, and I certainly don't LIKE moshing so I tend to stay around the edges when I'm on the floor, but I have NEVER been in a crowd so pushy and rude (even at high school battle of the bands shows with hardcore kids). I nearly fell three times, and had to scramble to get my footing. My bra somehow got unhooked during The Architects' set (I DON'T EVEN KNOW) and that was before the serious shoving got started. I think I hip-checked somebody at one point, and was getting so pissed off I can't even. I know there aren't like official rules to seeing shows or anything, but anyone with sense should know that you can't all be in front. If you didn't stand in line, tough. look_alive, zolac_no_miko and regonym had been in line since early afternoon (I joined them later because I was working on my portfolio) and we were about five rows back to start. Apparently the need to see Gerard Way makes people lose their sanity, or something.
During MCR's second song (Thank You for the Venom, which I wish I could have actually paid attention to) I tapped Daria (more like swatted/grabbed her hair, tho) and we shoved our way back to the 21+ balcony, where we got a spot at the rail. Best decision ever. We could see really well (except there was a giant pole that blocked my view of Gerard when he was at the microphone, but whatevs), there was no shoving (except for the weird lady who was pushing Daria at one point) and I could focus on the music instead of on staying alive.
The crowd in the balcony was great, filled with older people and metal-looking dudes (seriously, the best metal hair) and hipster-types all rocking out and singing and getting into it.
I'm actually kind of glad I was down on the floor when they first came out, because I got to see firsthand how INTENSE Gerard is. When he came out and looked over the crowd the first time, it was like his eyes were these weird blue lasers. Hypnotic, maybe. I can totally see why they've gotten as far as they did, because if somebody turned a stare like that at me, I'm pretty sure I would do whatever they wanted. And I'm not saying that I think G. started people into giving him record contracts, I just understand now the intensity of their live show and just how magnetic G. is when he's on stage. It's weird to contrast with his offstage, total dork personality that you see in interviews. So yeah, stage presence coupled with actually good music and lyrics, I get it.
Mikey is the most inwardly-focused guy I think I've ever seen. Even onstage, it was like everything in a three-foot radius of him got sucked into his brain. Like, anti-charisma. He was rocking out and everything, not wandering around looking bored, but he was so intensely in his head. Almost the exact opposite of his brother. He looks even more like my grandpa in person. I think it's the jawline and the haircut (which is so feathery and moves really gracefully when he flips his head around) and the not talking and the "I'm only listening to you because I can't leave" look.
Ray kept falling over. I think he fell over before one of the songs even started, just tripping over an amp. He kept trying to dance, too, all awkward and imprecise and all over the place, and getting his guitar cord wrapped around him.
Frank kept spitting. He would periodically spew water everywhere, but wasn't as as pretzel-y and thrashy and bugnuts as I was hoping/expecting. I think he's calmed down a lot performance-wise since he got old and married and had some kids, but he was still pretty cool to watch. Very focused inward, too. Instead of doing his "Trust me" callback in I'm Not Okay, he spit at the mic. It was glorious.
They played an awesome set. Only Hope for Me is You! Famous Last Words! VAMPIRES WILL NEVER HURT YOU! (Seriously, I was SO HAPPY they played it, I screamed like a little girl and then proceeded to dance and headbang and sing at the top of my lungs for the entire song. Most of the crowd had no idea what it was though. Compared to the volume of singing for, say, Famous Last Words, you could barely hear the crowd during Vampires. SADFACE.) I still kinda wish I could have seen S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W or Save Yourself I'll Hold Them Back (or Sleep!) live, but oh well. The live version of The Black Parade was interesting, really pared down and sparse. It wasn't as EPIC and SWEEPING as the record version. I mean, that's totally fine, and it worked well, it was just an interesting take on what I consider one of the best songs ever, with the way it's constructed. They were missing the counter-melody at the end (the part that goes with "I'm just a man, I'm not a hero" that comes in on guitar before G. starts singing it) for a lot of it, which is what threw it off, I think.
Of course the two songs I can't really deal with from The Black Parade, Mama and House of Wolves, were on the setlist. Mama was really intense live, everybody was getting into it, but I took a step back (mentally) and prayed for a while. It was weird, like I was at the show and not at the same time, but kind of nice because it really brought me back to myself and what I love, and I lost some of the pissy attitude. And then they played Only Hope, which is basically a praying song for me anyway. I may have shed a few tears. I seriously want to live in that song. It's like being underwater, or in space, all floating and ethereal.
They did Cancer for the first encore, and while I'm not the biggest fan of the song (cancer is so overrated, y'all) and it's kind of maudlin, the quietness and wistful (?) energy added a really intimate feel to the show and helped calm things down a lot. And a lot of people were really getting into it.
Oh, I almost forgot Pedicone. He is like a giant smiley face back there on drums. Most of the time when I looked at him he had the biggest grin on his face. Seriously, so happy. And adorable.
I didn't really look at DeWees any. He was all hidden in the back corner. :/
Neon Trees is the douchiest band I have ever seen. EVER. The lead singer looked like he was trying for Jared Leto (seriously, man had a flat, tiny mohawk strip on the top of his head), but without the legion of adoring cult fans. His shirt was unbuttoned by three buttons, with a necklace, and he had this awful jacket on, and was prancing (LITERALLY PRANCING) around like he was the best thing ever (which, no). Apparently he threw his shoes/socks into the crowd and one point, and ~bestowed~ his necklace on one fan. And his raptor hands were OUT OF CONTROL. He almost won me over with his stupid little dances, and his windmilling raptor hands, but no. Douche. The bassist (who admittedly could play a mean bass) had a popped-collar short-sleeve chambray shirt (JUST, NO) and this greasy lookin faux pompadour thing going on with his hair. And the music wasn't even that great, just a bunch of popular MTV 80s-revival stuff. But the crowd, girls especially, was going NUTS. I don't get it, honestly.
The Architects were pretty good. They could play the strings off their guitars, and the non-singing guitarist kept putting his right hand up in the air, with one finger raised. It was pretty endearing. They rocked hard, but a lot of their songs sounded like I'd heard parts of them before from other bands. I'd go see them again, not sure if I'd buy an album.
Afterwards we went up the the Roxy for iced tea and food (I got their corned beef hash again, SO GOOD) and my stomach was all cramped up because I think my internal organs tense up when I'm stressed. On our way back to the car we stopped by to see if any of the guys were out (so Daria could give them the latest Mikey Way: Unicorn Warrior drawing), but the buses were already pulling out. We saw an awesome hoopty parked across the street in front of Ground Kontrol, with gimungus rims.
I am so completely useless today, and I'm already hungry, and we're going to see the Sgt Schleppers Who Needs Hearts Club Band tour tonight (Travie! Black Cards!) and I really hope it's mellow. Because I want a glass of wine (or a beer, not too picky) and some awesome dance music and a sane crowd. And did I mention I'm sore? But it was totally worth it.