Tag Archives: HMV Hammersmith Apollo

My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys

Finally, My Chemical Romance are back! Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys is the band’s first proper release since 2006 and it looks as if MCR are back with a bang. The band’s first show in years at The Hammersmith Apollo the other week received 5K’s from Kerrang and had people turn up two days before doors opened to get their places on the front barrier! This was followed by a blistering once-in-a-lifetime show before the NFL match at Wembley Stadium on October 31st.

The band have released their first official single Na Na Na, and it is certainly a far cry from the days of The Black Parade! The band have chosen to adopt a very bold, futuristic look for this album, and it looks as if they are trying to rebrand themselves completely! The idea behind the album (I think!)¬† is that the MCR gang, under the title of the Killjoys, and representing the good in the world, are battling for survival in 2019 against the establishment, named Better Living Industries in ‘Battery City’ – their first album taster, titled ‘Art is The Weapon,’ showed the rebels fighting for their freedom in an intense shoot-out with their enemies! The band appear to have created a whole storyline via their Youtube channel, so check it out for more information, and to decide whether you will join the Killjoys or Better Living Industries!

As for the single itself, the whole song is a ridiculously catchy, eclectic combination of upbeat guitars, provided by Frank Iero and Ray Toro, pounding drums and bassline and Gerard Way’s unmistakable, aggressive vocals over the aggressive, yet still playful chants of ‘Na Na Na Na Na Na’ in the background. One sign that shows for sure that MCR have really changed their sound on the new album is the introduction of synths, something that would never have been heard on their previous three albums!! These can be heard as Gerard poignantly chants ‘Everybody wants to change the world, everybody wants to change the world, but no-one wants to die.’

It is clear even from this first single that My Chemical Romance were perhaps bored of their ’emo’ stereotype, which their previous three albums seemed to have created for them. They have smashed out of the mould which has surrounded their career to provide the fans with something completely different and refreshing. This is not to say that the band have not retained any of their former selves. The new single showcases the fact that the band still retain their almost unmatchable energy, both on record and onstage, and if the album, released on 22nd of November, meets the expectations set by Na Na Na, it looks as if we are in store for another fantastic album from the New Jersey punk rockers! I’ll be posting a review of the entire album very soon.

Check out the official video for Na Na Na below:

 

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The Gaslight Anthem – HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Now this was one gig that I had been looking forward to for absolutely ages. The Gaslight Anthem – one of the most exciting bands of recent times – were playing at the infamous Hammersmith Apollo; an opportunity I simply couldn’t turn down.

We arrived as the doors opened, and to my amazement, managed to get right to the barrier, only metres away from my favourite band! This was the closest I had ever been to any band on stage, never mind The Gaslight Anthem!!

The night began with Sharks, a punk band from Leamington Spa, near Birmingham, who delivered an energetic set tinged with rock n roll, with enough power behind them to warm up even the quietest among us! The band, who were highly recommended by Kerrang! a while ago, have racked up an impressive record in terms of who they have supported. Past headline acts include Gallows, The King Blues and Lostprophets.

The next act was Chuck Ragan, one of my new favourite singer/songwriters. The ex-member of Hot Water Music was accompanied by Jon Gaunt on the fiddle, and the duo gave for a simple, yet powerful delivery. Chuck, although relatively new to me, was clearly well known to a large part of the audience, and songs such¬† as ‘Do You Pray’ and ‘For Broken Ears’ were performed with true emotion, and it was clear that Chuck and Jon put everything into their performance.

Chuck left us all in good spirits for the band everyone had been waiting for. The crowd went wild as The Gaslight Anthem took to the stage. Surprisingly, the first song that the band erupted into was High Lonesome, from the ’59 Sound, not that I had any complaints. It was to be the start of a very good night!

Following this came a few songs from the new album, American Slang, including The Diamond Church Street Choir, one of my favourites! Other highlights for me included Great Expectations, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, Casanova, Baby! and I Coul’da Been A Contender. The band ripped through these tracks, with barely a pause.

However, there was one point during the evening, when Brian stopped us all for a few minutes, to let us know just how much the show actually meant to them. He told us that a few years ago, they had been travelling through the streets of London, late at night, after headlining at a much smaller club (I can’t remember the name) and Brian was woken up by his bandmates who pointed out the Apollo, which their hero, Bruce Springsteen had famously played in 1975. Brian told us that he had made a promise to the rest of the band that ‘they would play there one day,’ expecting to be back in maybe a decade. Yet only two or three years later, there they were, headlining at The Apollo. So the night was a big moment, not just for me and the rest of the crowd, but for everybody in the band!

Throughout the night, there was not a single bad song. In my opinion, every song was performed to perfection. Brian alternated between guitar and just vocals, which apparently was also another first for the band, allowing him to pay much more attention to us in the crowd!

The slow songs were also played at exactly the right moments. Rather than killing the momentum, the catchy, singalong choruses of songs such as ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid’ were a perfect finisher to an amazing night!

Below, you can find the entire setlist. The pictures throughout are from gigwise.com.

The Gaslight Anthem Setlist HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London, England 2010, American Slang Tour

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