I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Boston stop of the Hesitant Alien tour last night and it was fantastic.
Gerard’s voice sounded wonderful and the songs sounded really good in a live setting. I was really amazed at how great he sounded actually; not that he hasn’t always been a good singer but it’s so cool to hear how his voice has matured and how he has come into his own as a vocalist since MCR toured Three Cheers.
Gerard is just such a fucking cool dude, not only talented but very smart and well-spoken. I really appreciated that he used the opportunity to be poised in front of roughly 1000 screaming young-teenaged girls to tell them that the old white dudes in the government give them shit because the government is afraid of them and one day the balance of power is going to shift into their hands. I know how I felt about Gerard Way especially at that age, and I know what that would have meant to me to hear, and it’s cool that he’s aware of that too and uses it to build these girls up. He also prefaced the above statement by saying “Us white straight males get enough attention as it is, this one isn’t about us.” He also talked about the stigmatization of mental illness and encouraged audience members to seek a listening ear if need be. It feels good to admire somebody and continue to have them give you more reasons to admire them.
His presence onstage was fun and comfortable and devoid of theatrics which was very interesting and of course very different from any other time I have seen him perform. It was really cool to watch him play the Paradise because, all things considered, it’s really not that big and because of that he interacted directly with a lot of audience members. He even pulled a girl onstage to play tambourine for him and took a selfie with the girl’s friend.
Last night ended up being this weird opportunity to kind of look back on the last few years of my life and think about the changes that come with growing up and growing as a musician and as a person. My first MCR show was in 2005 and I’ve seen every date they played in my hometown ever since and those shows sort of spanned throughout my formative years as a young person. Last night was crazy because I got to see all of these young people whose journey with Gerard’s music and MCR’s music was just beginning, and I remembered being them and the way I was impacted by that music, and I also came to the realization that I was not them anymore. I didn’t have to have my chest pressed against the barrier to enjoy listening to Gerard sing anymore, but now as an adult and a musician I get to have this really special relationship with Gerard because I finally get to put into practice all of the things that influenced me about him as a performer when I was growing up and learning what kind of music I was into, what kind of music I wanted to write, and what kind of performer I wanted to be. MCR is the reason I wanted to be in a band, and Gerard is the reason I wanted to sing in one, and I spent the better part of the last 10 years of my life making sure I was the type of musician and the type of performer that he would be proud of.
My girlfriend didn’t grow up with MCR. She hasn’t heard Gerard’s new record, but she knows how important he is to me so I brought her to the show with me last night, and after watching a few songs, she turned to me and said, “He reminds me of you.” I felt fifteen-year-old Olivia stir in me, the Olivia that daydreamed for years about touring with MCR as an opening band or who would sing through every MCR record home alone with an iPod as a microphone, and I knew that fifteen-year-old Olivia was proud of 22-year-old Olivia and what she had become and that is the most fucking amazing thing in the world.
You’ve got to be kidding me. Ask around. Look it up. Slayer, comma, The.
Some great shots from the Troubadour show courtesy of Richard Gaccione.
I would much rather be the ‘obnoxious feminist girl’ than be complicit in my own dehumanization. Kathleen Hanna (via staininyourbrain)