MK Shows Prove My Chemical Romance Are Still The Best Band On Earth
iTunes Festival - My Chemical Romance
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 09: Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance performs on stage during the iTunes Festival at The Roundhouse on July 9, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Brigitte Engl/Redferns)

MK Shows Prove My Chemical Romance Are Still The Best Band On Earth

Vincent Ralph May 23, 2022

Twenty-eight months! That’s how long it was between buying the tickets and seeing My Chemical Romance finally take to the stage in Milton Keynes.

‘Was it worth the wait?’ Gerard Way asked near the end of an epic set. The answer was an emphatic ‘Yes!!!’

Before 2020, I regularly dreamt of the day MCR would return. I had a theory, like so many others, that, despite evidence to the contrary, they weren’t gone forever.

Fake Your Death

For me, their last release was a sign that, when the time was right, they would return as if they’d never been away.

After six long years, that proved to be the case. The New Jersey four-piece announced a (seemingly) one-off reunion show in LA that was, in fact, the start of something much bigger.

If My Chem wondered how their return would be greeted, that night, and the subsequent clamour for more, was proof they are as relevant and as popular as ever.

Dates in the UK, Europe and a huge arena tour across the US were soon announced, with tickets snapped up in seconds.

And then Covid happened.

‘We’ll carry on…’

It was no surprise when My Chemical Romance’s 2020 tour was postponed for a year. But it still hurt after already waiting so long. When it was pushed from 2021 to 2022, people might have wondered if the day would ever come.

For some, it didn’t. On the first of three nights at Stadium:MK, Way brought out a flag with the names of fans who died before these gigs could take place.

It was a sobering moment on a night of both celebration and introspection. And, for those left behind, it is a reminder that, while we carry on, we will never forget.

Photo by Robert Marquardt/WireImage

Killjoys, make some noise!!!

‘What took you so long?’ Way asked after opening Saturday’s show with new single The Foundations of Decay. ‘Traffic?’ he joked, in a prescient moment given the difficulty many faced a few hours later, stranded after missing the last train home.

But the show itself was outstanding. From the one-two punch of I’m Not Okay (I Promise) and Give ‘Em Hell, Kid, to the moment the stadium lit up with phones as Way sang Summertime.

Famous Last Words had the entire crowd belting the anthemic chorus and Mama was as theatrical and brilliant as ever.

The opening notes of Welcome to the Black Parade sent chills down the spine and cheers through the 30,000-strong crowd before Sleep brought things to a close prior to a two-song encore.

‘So Long and Goodnight’

As the final words of Helena rang out across the stadium, it was clear that My Chemical Romance are still at the top of their game. Any dust after so long out of the spotlight has been quickly shaken off and they are back with a vengeance.

On a personal note, I would have loved to hear Ambulance and The Kids From Yesterday (the latter included on the previous night’s setlist). But, given the quality of MCR’s albums, there are always going to be some greats left out.

With ‘Swarm’ merch hinting at a new era, here’s hoping the boys are back a lot sooner next time.

Saturday’s Setlist

  1. The Foundations of Decay
  2. I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
  3. Give ‘Em Hell, Kid
  4. Make Room!!!!
  5. Summertime
  6. Bulletproof Heart (Trans Am Version)
  7. This Is How I Disappear
  8. You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison
  9. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
  10. Famous Last Words
  11. Surrender The Night
  12. Teenagers
  14. Our Lady Of Sorrows
  15. Vampire Money
  16. Thank You For The Venom
  17. Mama
  18. Welcome To The Black Parade
  19. Sleep
  20. Boy Division
  21. Helena

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Vincent Ralph is Senior Managing Editor at GRV Media. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Greenwich and later completed his NCTJ in Newspaper and Magazine Journalism while studying in Cornwall. He was previously Head of Sixth Form at a secondary school in Kent, where he worked with hundreds of 16 to 19-year-olds over eight years. He joined GRV Media in 2014, working his way up from football writer to a senior member of staff. After two years as Managing Editor of Rousing The Kop and The Boot Room he became Senior Managing Editor of new student website Freshered. Vincent is a two-time New York Times bestselling author and his second novel is also a USA Today bestseller and the winner of the Southern Schools Book Award.