The modern rock band will play songs from its new concept album about a dying patient when it visits the Sovereign Center on Friday.
By Stephanie Caltagirone
Reading Eagle Correspondent
The modern-rock gods will smile on Reading Friday night when My Chemical Romance brings "The Black Parade" to the Sovereign Center. Epic in scope and pushing past the boundaries of emo-rock to mingle in the theatrical, the new album boasts influences from Broadway to Queen to Pink Floyd. The band - vocalist Gerard Way, bassist Mikey Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero and drummer Bob Bryar - has climbed to the forefront of the modern rock scene since the release of 2004's "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge." Filled with Toro's driving guitar and Gerard Way's propulsive angst, songs such as "I'm (Not) Okay" and "Helena" made the band rock stars. Constant touring and a headline spot on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour helped cement a loyal following that's ballooned with the release of the ambitious concept album, "The Black Parade."
"The Black Parade" was "pretty much the strangest writing process for us and we have never really tried this before but we started writing while on the road (for 'Three Cheers')," Iero said in a pre-tour press conference. "We would play and just record things that came into our heads. And a lot of our songs that we wrote on the road we pretty much scrapped and we like to think that we got through a bunch of crappy songs that way, you know, and we wrote the stuff that we really didn't like on the road and then threw it away and then when we finally got off the road, we sat down in New York and started writing in a studio there. And that's when we really got to the meat of it. So, before going into the studio and recording and writing in New York and writing in L.A. at this haunted mansion house thing, we wrote about 22 songs and picked about 14 to go into the studio and record. And thing that was weird about it was that we had never in the history of our band written that many songs for our record."
Iero said much of the writing for "The Black Parade" happened while recording. "It really allowed us to go in there and try a lot of different things and perfect the parts that we had in mind," Iero said. "And also what we did for this record too was when we went in to record, we figured out the story line for the most part and we figured out how the songs were going to go in order. And we recorded them in that order. We didn't just do like all the drums first and then all the bass and then all the guitars that we had previously done."
"The Black Parade" is a concept album that tells the story os a young man, referred to as The Patient, who is dying of cancer in a hospital bed. The strongest memory from his youth is when his father took him to see a parade when he was a child, so when death comes for him, it is in the form of a Black Parade. Each songs deals with a different character The Patient meets on his way to his final resting place.
"While we were working on this record, every emotion, good and bad, poured out of us, shaping the songs," Mikey Way said. "it was a really intense period and we had the most incredible time. Sometimes it was amazing and fun and sometimes it was really hard, but it was always incredible."
My Chemical Romance formed in suburban New Jersey in 2001 out of a mutual love of horror movies, music and punk philosophies.
"We started out as just a group of friends growing up in Jersey, you know, that wanted to write music that meant something not only to ourselves but to a large amount of people," Iero said. "And I think in a few short years - five, I guess, to be exact - we've lived about 20 lifetimes and we've seen a lot and met a lot of people along the way. And we've gone through a lot of changes. We've grown up a bunch, but I think that in setting out to make a difference, we've kind of succeeded."
EDIT: Show was cancelled.