For a heady period from about 2006 to 2008, My Chemical Romance seemed ready to truly run the mainstream rock world. The band's third album, The Black Parade, was a commercial megasuccess despite being a concept album about a regretful cancer patient confined to a hospital bed.
With a complete creative vision, from music to appearance to stage design, it was as though the New Jersey punk-scene graduates had sneaked David Bowie-style theatrics and even high camp into 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. 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.
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In the ensuing years, My Chemical Romance created Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Problem is, 24 months in popular music is nearly a lifetime, and the band faces the task of having to reintroduce itself. So when its upcoming World Contamination Tour lands in South Florida this Tuesday, the pop-punk crew won't be doing an arena show. It'll be playing Revolution, the kind of midsize club where the MCR story started.