For a heady period from about 2006 to 2008, My Chemical Romance seemed ready to truly run the mainstream-crossover rock world. Their third album, The Black Parade, proved a commercial megasuccess despite its unlikely form -- a concept album -- about some depressing substance -- a regretful cancer patient mourning from a hospital bed.
But what the New Jersey punk-scene graduates brought with that record was something sorely missing even from the work of the scene peers with whom they came up: fantasy, escapism, even glamour. With a complete creative vision from music to appearance to stage design, it was as though the band had sneaked David Bowie-style theatrics and even high camp to the "active rock" format.
Unfortunately, many grizzled rock critics and fans didn't get that far, seeing instead a youngish, intensely devoted fan base and a bunch of misapplied genre labels. Yes, there's the little "emo" word, which never really applied to My Chemical Romance, in sound, style, or attitude. The band's broader ambitions and ideas beyond the mid-'00s iteration of that scene were clear by 2007, when the group appeared twice in South Florida. Once was at a nearly sold-out headlining gig at the BankAtlantic Center, and later was a headlining festival slot at that year's Projekt Revoution tour, at what is now Cruzan Amphitheatre.
And then, MCR seemed to sort of disappear. Lead singer Gerard Way got married, his brother and bandmate Mikey seemed to drift in and out of the official lineup, and eventually the whole band announced a break from the stage.
In the ensuing years, they began work on their upcoming new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, due out November 22. Problem is, two years in popular music is nearly a lifetime, and the band faces the task of having to reintroduce itself.
Its upcoming World Contamination Tour lands in South Florida on May 17, 2011 -- but not at an arena. The band's going back to its roots and doing a club tour, which means, in our case, Revolution in Fort Lauderdale.
You may be stoked about this, or you may be rolling your eyes. If you're in the latter camp, here are four reasons, in no particular order, to reconsider My Chem and this show: Click here.
Tue., May 17, 6:30 p.m., 2011