To say My Chemical Romance's Tuesday performance at the 930 Club was not understated would be an understatement. The New Jersey combo, led by the flamboyant temporary redhead Gerard Way, wouldn't let on if it wants to be a glam or punk or emo or art rock band. But MCR wants to be big.
Way, who writes comic books when he's not being musical, had the house packed mostly with black-clad females thoroughly engaged and obedient. Whenever he waved an arm over his head, 1000 arms instantly waved in sync.
And so they waved during "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" from MCR's newest CD, "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" (yes, even song and disc titles are big with these guys). The tune was as attitudinal and catchy as the glammiest David Bowie, with Way screaming "Kiss me, you animal!" Another recent track, "Bulletproof Heart," was Ramones meets Styx.
The melodic "Mama," was a snarly showtune, with verses that sounded as if Johnny Rotten had taken over the lead role in "Fiddler on the Roof" from Zero Mostel. "I'm Not OK (I Promise)," with its poppy and ironic chorus, had hints of British new wave. During "Welcome to the Black Parade," guitarist Ray Toro supersized the bombast with a Brian May-like solo.
The flock simultaneously screamed and swooned as Way crooned "Cancer," a dirge about a slow death from the title illness, all while backlit with a massive white spotlight and engulfed a faux smoke haze.
"We want to see you dance, because that's what they're afraid of: You dancing!" Way screamed while introducing "Planetary." He never hinted who this adversarial "they" might be. But as the synthesizer-dominated romp kicked off, the kinetic response inside the sold-out room was so swift and overwhelming that anybody could rightly fear getting in Way's way.