By Alexa Koch
On Monday Oct. 20, former My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way kicked off the last leg of his U.S. headlining tour in New York City at Irving Plaza, for his sold-out show.
Way took the stage promptly at 9:00 p.m. after a set by longhaired, head-banging alt-rock group The Eeries. The band released their first single, “Cool Kid,” earlier this year and has a full-length debut album due out soon.
Isaiah Silva, songwriter and lead vocalist, has a sound almost reminiscent of 90s grunge and drafts lyrics that are just as gritty and honest. With an oddly pleasing mixture of upbeat pop and heavier punk elements to balance Silva’s vocals, The Eeries proved to be a solid opening act.
His eyes smudged with red shadow, Way wasted no time, launching straight into “Action Cat,” the catchy first single off of “Hesitant Alien.” His charisma and energy were contagious, and it’s clear that the swinging, strutting, jumping and tambourine-shaking production that is Gerard Way’s stage show is still intact.
The music itself, with nods to glam rock legends like David Bowie, matched his enthusiasm beat for beat and note for note as he covered every song off of the new album, including “Television All the Time,” previously released only in Japan.
Way wanted to put out something that sounded intentionally underdone, something heavily fuzzed and of grainy sound quality, and he appears to have accomplished that with this album. Yet the collection of songs forms something cohesive: the angry, angsty energy of “Juarez” works perfectly well with the slower, sweeter piano notes in “Brother.”
But despite what at first listen seems to be something fresh, casual and fun, each song, in true Gerard Way fashion, has a very real inspiration and meaning behind it: “Maya the Psychic” is about mental illness, “Drugstore Perfume” is about addiction and the heavily fuzz pedaled single “No Shows,” with which Way ended his set, is about failure.
The true ending to the show, however, was when he returned to the stage wearing an alien mask and performed new song “Dasher.”
Way tweeted following the show what everyone in the audience that night was probably thinking: “Tonight was magic. Thank you New York.”
Alexa Koch is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com