Whether or not you've yet managed to see them perform in the flesh, this is a...
Sophie Bruce 2008
There are some bands that shine brightest in an intimate gig venue. Dimmed lights, twinkling candles, a handful of hushed guests, a piano. Then there are the bands whose anthemic rock practically cries out for a stadium filled with thousands of hysterical screaming fans hungry for a sing along. My Chemical Romance, if you were in any doubt, are of the second ilk. And that is why an MCR live album just makes sense.
The Black Parade Is Dead! is the band's second live disc, recorded on the final night of The Black Parade tour at Mexico City's Palacio de los Deportes in October 2007. The accompanying DVD covers this gig, along with a second date later that month in their native New Jersey.
My Chemical Romance's music works best in a live environment. Ironically titled opener The End gives the first taste of the delicate piano threaded throughout the gig that juxtaposes brilliantly with the screaming crowd and stadium-strength rock instruments.
Gerard Way's haunting note-perfect vocals – intertwined with the band and the screams of the audience – shine brightest on Welcome To The Black Parade (which bizarrely becomes a far more upbeat track in its live capacity), Cancer and Sleep.
It's not all top notch – I Don’t Love You done live loses the venom of the studio version and Teenagers, probably MCR's most singable track, is let down by some breathless off-key vocals. Plus, you have to question the decision to sledgehammer a weird music hall style recorded track onto the end of a live album. But more often than not this is a record that will make all the hairs on the back of your neck prickle into life on their own.
Bassist Michael Way says the Mexico City fans ‘gave us the perfect show to end The Black Parade.’ Simply put, My Chemical Romance are the perfect live band and whether or not you've yet managed to see them perform in the flesh, this is a must-have album.