Live review and photos: My Chemical Romance, Eden Project

Reunited emo heroes My Chemical Romance kick off their reunion tour in Cornwall in life-affirming fashion. Welcome (back) to The Black Parade…

Live review and photos: My Chemical Romance, Eden Project
Emily Carter
Paul Harries

“How have the last two-and-a-half years been for you guys?” asks Gerard Way, half-sarcastically, a couple of songs into My Chemical Romance’s huge comeback show at Cornwall’s spectacular Eden Project. “Well, we’re here! And we’re very, very happy to be here with you tonight. Let’s play some fuckin’ rock music…”

The frontman doesn’t spend too much time chatting onstage tonight, instead letting the momentous occasion (and, more importantly, the music) do the talking. But when he does – whether it’s about staying hydrated, needing a hairbrush or light-heartedly admitting his final note in Famous Last Words sounded “like shit” – the 6,500-strong crowd hang off his every word, perhaps hoping the frontman will lift the lid on what else the reunited emo heroes have planned now they’re an active band again. But no, this is all about tonight – their first UK show in a decade – and reconnecting with a fanbase who have been missing them every single day since their hiatus.

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Up first, though, Frank Turner has the task of getting things started. Now over 2,600 gigs into his career, the singer-songwriter knows exactly how to work the hyped-up crowd, not remotely letting it faze him that he’s standing in the way of one of the biggest comeback shows in rock. “Find a dance partner and show me your best moves!” he encourages during opener Four Simple Words as the crowd happily oblige, before getting their voices going properly during brilliant sing-alongs to the likes of Recovery and I Still Believe. It’s 10 songs of punk rock entertainment, and more than gets the party started before the main event.

Then comes the wait. For 10 minutes past their 9pm stage time, My Chemical Romance spectacularly yet simply build the tension with a wall of noise blasting out over the speakers – rather than any more colourful, dramatic fanfare for previous tours like Danger Days and The Black Parade. They boldly launch straight into recent surprise single The Foundations Of Decay, with fans already belting along to every lyric of the six-minute epic. Guitarist Frank Iero, meanwhile, bolsters the song’s breakdowns with some killer screaming; it’s a genuinely monstrous beast live. It’s also a great indication of just where My Chem plan to go tonight: rather than a straightforward setlist, they pull from all corners of their career from the present day right back to the very beginning.

The first big single of the night arrives just two song in, as they treat the crowd to Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’s iconic opener Helena, before tearing through Make Room!!!!, Summertime, and The Black Parade favourite This Is How I Disappear for the first time live since 2010. Following a fantastically sassy You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison, MCR drop a huge one-two of Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) and Famous Last Words, with the Eden Project’s fabulous surrounding biomes lighting up the misty sky above.

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“We’ve never played this song live before,” teases Gerard before Surrender The Night from the band’s Conventional Weapons compilation album, and it’s one of a few live debuts tonight (including Foundations…, and a brilliantly rowdy Boy Division for the encore). 2002’s Our Lady Of Sorrows follows and sounds brain-meltingly heavy, before the frontman introduces his bandmates via the punky thrill of Vampire Money.

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Naturally, several big-hitters are saved for towards the end of the set, with a glorious Welcome To The Black Parade sending the crowd wilder than ever, and a colossal Sleep giving Ray Toro the chance to bounce around the stage and shred his heart out to a goosebump-inducing extended outro.

All that’s left after that is a three-song encore: blasting off with Boy Division, Gerard tells the audience that, “This is a really fucking special and amazing night for us.” As I’m Not Okay (I Promise) and The Kids From Yesterday bring things to a triumphant end, you can’t help but agree: it’s a really fucking special and amazing night, from a really fucking special and amazing band.

Check out the full setlist from the first night of My Chemical Romance's tour below:

1. The Foundations Of Decay (Live debut)
2. Helena
3. Make Room!!!!
4. Summertime
5. This Is How I Disappear (First time live since 2010)
6. You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison
7. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
8. Famous Last Words
9. Surrender The Night (Live debut)
10. Teenagers
12. Our Lady Of Sorrows
13. Vampire Money
14. Thank You For The Venom
15. Mama
16. Welcome To The Black Parade
17. Sleep


18. Boy Division (Live debut)
19. I'm Not Okay (I Promise)
20. The Kids From Yesterday

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