Live (December 8th, 2005)
Shaw Conference Centre - Edmonton, Alberta
It’s always hard to be the opening band at a big concert, you have so much to fight against. Not only does no one know who you are, but you also have to keep the crowd entertained as they impatiently wait for the band they came to see. A few months ago My Chemical Romance felt that pressure as they opened for Green Day, but this time their role was reversed as most people came to the show to see them and Circa Survive had the difficult task of warming up the crowd.
Although there was a few people there to see Circa Survive, most of the crowd had no idea who they were – they probably didn’t even know what Equal Vision Records was, which meant the band had quite a mountain to overcome, and sadly, they didn’t even reach the peak. Their eerie atmospheric prog-rock just wasn’t what the crowd wanted to hear, as they just swayed back and forth not really paying attention. Anthony Green did show why he’s considered one of the top front men as he was able to hold the mic a foot away from his mouth and still make his voice travel the gap. They played a nice selection of songs from Juturna, which fans of the band really enjoyed. But if you had no idea who they were, chances are high that you weren’t motivated much to go and find more about them.
As soon as Circa Survive left the stage, the album art for Vheissu full from the roof, making the crowd give a huge cheer. But there was still a 30 minute wait before Thrice actually took the stage, which gave all the latecomers enough time to arrive and by the time they did come on stage, the place was packed.
Unlike the predecessors, Thrice had no problem winning over the crowd, since a good portion of it was there solely to see them. They kicked it off with their new single Image Of The Invisible which immediately got everyone riled up. Dustin hung the mic in the crowd to let them sing the gang vocals, and they were only getting started as they also ripped through songs like Silhouette, The Artist In The Ambulance and closed with Deadbolt. And although they didn’t move around too much, the crowd was really getting into it. Since it was the band’s last day on the tour, all us Edmontonians were treated to a little added bonus. Halfway through the set, everyone except for Dustin left the stage as he picked up an acoustic guitar. Claiming that Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance had been requesting this all tour, he then started to play Stare At The Sun acoustically. And while their set didn’t turn me into a raving fan, they didn’t disappoint me either.
But finally, after yet another long wait (and my first trip to the beer gardens as an adult) My Chemical Romance stepped onto the stage, and from then on, the night was insane. Playing in front of two giant church glass windows (which had moving pictures on it throughout most of the set), the New Jersey boys did what they did best. They played a relatively short set for a headliner, only around an hour, but they used that hour well as they played most of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and a few from I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love. Gerard Way, in his bullet-proof vest, had everyone eating out of his hand as they sang back all the lyrics for songs like Helena, The Ghost Of You (which had the stain glass windows showing videos of soldiers), To The End, and Honey This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us. They even played a new song, to which Gerard said “It’s about me, it’s about you, it’s about how we’re all gonna die!”
It was very obvious that the band had learnt some tricks from touring with Green Day as Way got the crowd to repeat after him many times, just like Billie Joe did a few months ago. Following in their foot steps even more, drummer Bob Bryar would often throw his drumsticks back behind the stage after only using it for a little while – just like Tre Cool does at every show.
Ending the set perfectly, My Chemical Romance blasted through You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison; that had everyone dancing, lights blaring, and if they didn’t come back for an encore I would’ve been happy right then and there. But an encore is what they did, and everyone knew what was coming. Dressed up in Santa hats (“This is the only time you’ll see us in red”), they closed with I’m Not Okay (I Promise) before dousing everyone in confetti.