Review Summary: A good solid package for fans of the band, but those still to be won over by MCR need not waste their time as nothing is truly superb and The Black Parade stage-show gimmick is overblown & exaggerated.
Approximately half way through 2007, yours truly purchased a ticket to attend a My Chemical Romance concert in December. The main selling point of the show was that it was billed as ‘The Black Parade’; one-part a moniker for the band, one-part an ordered performance of the ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ album and one-part a gimmicked up theatrical stage-show to sell the album’s concept. That December gig eventually turned out to be a standard show since the band had grown tired of the gimmick. At the time, it was difficult not to be a little disappointed. After viewing ‘The Black Parade Is Dead’ DVD/CD set, that disappointment has significantly subsided.
Apart from playing their most recent release in order - a technique which actually removes some of the unpredictability concerning a live gig anyway - the only significant differences from a standard My Chemical Romance concert is that lead vocalist Gerard Way is wheeled out on a mobile hospital bed, and all band members wear matching uniforms and white face make-up! The lack of further props or storytelling interludes is actually a little surprising and an opportunity wasted.
The CD and one-half of the DVD documents the final performance of The Black Parade on October 7, 2007. Such an honor is bestowed upon Mexico City, as the event comes from the Palacio de los Deportes, an indoor arena which seats approximately 22,000 patrons. And every one of the audience members is in fine form as they involve themselves to the tilt, whether it be through yelling/cheering or getting involved in the sing-alongs that My Chemical Romance concerts are well known for.
In truth, the band has never been the tightest or most technical in a live setting and while they have steadily improved in that area over the years, that is still apparent here, especially when listening to the CD. Gerard Way is undoubtedly an energetic, theatrical & sometimes uncontrollable front-man on stage, but this has adverse effects on his vocals during the faster cuts, which often feel strained to the point that he unintentionally allows the audience to sing some lines. Musically speaking, nothing will blow anyone’s mind, but Ray Toro’s always improving guitar-playing is in evidence, while part-time member James Dewees adds some nice flourishes on keyboards.
Of course, most fans will have purchased this set more for the DVD than the CD and it is not at all surprising that while viewing the live concert from Mexico City, many of the aforementioned weaknesses are a little buried beneath all of the band’s energy, theatrics and stage presence. For the most part, the concert is well shot as everything is clear and the variety of camera angles provided is more than sufficient.
The second half of the DVD effectively showcases the exact opposite of a large arena concert by including a small gig (for an unnamed charity) held at Maxwells Bar in Hoboken – New Jersey on October 24, 2007. The band members squeeze on to a stage approximately 15x10 feet in area, while the crowd (nearing 300) pack in extremely tightly. Despite the squishy confines, the camera-work and angles excellently capture the band at work, as well as the atmosphere of the concert. Not only can you see the sweat flying through the air, but you can literally feel being knocked around by the predictably enthusiastic audience.
The 73 minute 17 song set is obviously ‘The Black Parade’ heavy, but also includes 6 other of the band’s cuts, one of which is an ‘Untitled’ song that may be included on their next album. Unpredictably beginning with ‘Welcome To The Black Parade’ and then moving into a rip-roaring crowd-involving version of ‘Thank You For The Venom’ off of 2004’s ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ album, this gig could actually appeal to more people and will definitely be favored by the band’s earlier more punk-related fans. While the sound may not be quite as tight as an arena setting, nor should it be and the discrepancy is negligible.
When all is said and done, ‘The Black Parade Is Dead’ CD/DVD set is a hit and miss affair which gets by on the sheer quantity of music and footage provided, as well as on the content strength of ‘The Black Parade’ album. For that latter reason, listeners who were not at all impressed by My Chemical Romance’s 2006 release need not waste their time here since The Black Parade stage-show gimmick is overblown and exaggerated, while there really is not anything truly superb that will astound those still to be won over. Simply put, this is a good solid package for fans of the band.
Recommended Tracks: Welcome to the Black Parade, Famous Last Words, I Don’t Love You & Teenagers.
Hahaha. The advantage/disadvantage of having 49 songs in all I suppose. Makes the review look shorter than it actually is.
So MaxyBoy, are you going to be sticking to this user name, or are you heading back to bastard soon...???
Maybe I only like to read Bastard's reviews. This ManWomanBoogie reviewer is nowhere near as good!
I would watch what you say. Boogie is more dangerous then you think...
Ya know looking back on it, MCR was one of my favorite bands a while back. After a while I difted into the whole "hardcore sucks" mentality. If you look at it, yes they are way too mainstream but they are actual pretty good musicians when it comes down to it. Ray Toro is awesome!
The power of the boogie! I have been warned!
Zippermouth, please get your avatar out of my avatar!
Personally, I hope I never begin disliking bands because they are deemed to be "mainstream". That is hypocritical to me, but to each their own.
Are MCR good musicians? From a technical viewpoint, I would say "no". Their concerts are more fun sing-alongs more than anything else... But as strange as it sounds, I think they are steadily improving (especially Toro & Bryar, presuming he can overcome his wrist injury). I would say that the band's strengths are in their songwriting.
Good, I was just making sure you knew of the power.
You cant kill me cuz I'm already inside you
Yeah, I've found though, that I'm more drawn to non-mainstrem artists with little or no popularity.
Alright maybe not, but Toro is one hell of a guitarist. Is Bob still suffering from that?
ZIPPERMOUTH, I think there is always that attraction of preferring to be a fan of a non-mainstream artist. Some are happy when that band then cracks it into the big time, while others get upset & then ditch them when they become popular.
As far as I know, Bryar can play at the moment if required to, but his wrist is still not 100%. For that reason, I don't expect their next album to be any time soon... And the release of this live cd/dvd probably backs that claim up a little.
And yes, you are a little slow regarding Bastard/ManWomanBoogie.
Yeah JumpTheF**KUp, I did look at that sentence a few times when I was editing & rewriting, but I eventually thought it was fine and has the strength of being able to convey a fair bit of information within the confines of just 22 words.
I dont hate or love bands based on their popularity, honestly I could care less, it just seems like very talented fans get some mainstream action, they throw away their talent for formulaic, mainstream filler that goes over well with teenagers.
Yeah, I really think they took the Black Parade a little too far. Its already been almost three years and thye havent gotten anywhere.
Why did he get banned?
you probably know about the epic failure that is kattunlover69, right?
well, he's been banned on sputnik for a few weeks, maybe even a month (thank god), but he's still alive and well on the forums of last.fm sputnik. He wrote a review for Cynic's Traced In Air, and it was so hilarously bad that I posted it on the website on my account Shoot Them. This resulted in a ban on both Shoot them, and bastard.
I know what you mean about bands dumbing themselves down when they get popular ZipperMouth, but I can also see why they do it. I guess it is a bit of an art in itself... In that if bands can successfully keep their loyal fans while also earning new fans, then they have succeeded. Of course, that is easier said than done.
Are they stretching things out a little too much between albums? I don't know... To me, most bands are releasing albums too quickly of late. I don't see any real issues with 1 album every 3 years or so... So if they can get their next one out late next year or maybe early 2010, then that would be fine by me.
Good ol' kattunlover strikes again... Even when he is not trying to. LOL! I like how you had 2 user-names banned, yet it was fine to create a 3rd and continue on as normal. But since it is Sunday, I expect to welcome back Bastard in this very thread shortly.