Look Alive Sunshine
As an eerily sinister voice beckons all in the darkened room to "Look alive sunshine", the anticipation within Birmingham's LG Arena is electrifying, creating a sense of bizarre intimacy that rapidly escalates with every word until finally, the curtain falls and My Chemical Romance emerge, instantly greeted with a rush of cheers that obediently join with the four voices from New Jersey as 'Na Na Na' heralds the band's arrival to the Midlands.
Their latest album, "Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys" may have created a vast visual cocktail bursting with ray guns, intense colour and characters that could have easily gone AWOL from a Mad Max movie, but that doesn't mean that MCR are about embark on another 'Black Parade' scale show; there are no theatrics, no pyro engulfing the arena in heat but instead the simplicity of four New Jersey natives playing the music they love for a crowd that adore them and it's a formula that works. Stripped back, raw and with an intensity that rages, stomps and threatens to engulf all, a back to basics MCR storm their way through their back catalogue, insuring that every fan is catered for from the new Killjoys who are able to strut their dancing feet along to the rushing beats of 'Planetary (GO!)' to the old guard who revel in an aggressive dose of 'Our Lady Of Sorrows'. With a red haired Gerard Way leading the charge as ever, MCR is an unstoppable force, able to effortlessly glide from the subdued, passion fuelled emotion of 'SING' that commands a mass sing along into the 70s glam rock buzz of 'Vampire Money', bristling with fun and fury in equal measure that manages to hold its own alongside old fan favourites such as 'I'm Not Okay (I Promise)', in all its teenage rebellious glory, and the anthemic 'Welcome To The Black Parade', that transforms the Birmingham crowd into MCR's very own choir.
As is rapidly becoming a tradition, it is the lone figure of Way who returns to the stage for the encore. Taking centre stage, the energetic, raucous Birmingham crowd is suddenly hushed, waiting with baited breath as the MCR frontman tenderly offers a rendition of 'Cancer' that holds all silently transfixed, a spell that is only broken by the return of the rest of the band, shattering the silence as they lunge into old school MCR with the anger charged 'Vampires Will Never Hurt You' uniting old and new fans alike.