For a complete gallery of photos from this show, click here.
Normally a preppy college town baked in desert heat, Tempe, Arizona was bathed in darkness Friday night thanks to the black-clad denizens who descended upon Tempe Beach Park for My Chemical Romance’s tour kickoff. The band eschewed their black-and-white Black Parade uniforms for casual street clothing and tore through a ninety-minute set that focused primarily on 2006’s The Black Parade. However, the New Jersey-based band, playing as part of the two-day Circle K Tempe Music Festival, went back to their 2004 breakthrough album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge for its opening and closing numbers: impassioned versions of breakout hits “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Helena,” respectively.
Frontman Gerard Way gains a little more confidence with each passing tour, and for this show he channeled the spirit of Mick Jagger: shimmying across the stage, stopping to wiggle his hips on a catwalk that projected into the mosh pit. During “This Is How I Disappear,” his bassist brother Mikey Way (wearing a fantastic T-shirt that announced, “Mikey Fuckin Way”) violently shook his head as Gerard encouraged the audience to raise their right hands. “Thanks for coming out to the fucking rock show,” Gerard said while introducing “Dead!” “Are you all ready to die?” Luckily, nobody bit the dust before the band closed the show in mid-tour form. The group that began in garages in New Jersey has graduated to one of the top arena acts in the country, and its members wear it awfully well. The kids, as they say, are all right.