Spectator Music: The return of My Chemical Romance

Categories:  Music    The Arts
Friday, November 15th, 2019 at 11:11 AM

On Halloween, completely unannounced and the absolute best time for them to do it, My Chemical Romance (MCR) posted a cryptic photo on their Facebook page. The image, a ghostly angel statue, was accompanied by only one word: “RETURN”. And then the world went wild.

MCR — the much-beloved alternative punk band that officially disbanded on March 22, 2013 — announced that they were going to be playing a reunion show in Los Angeles. Tickets went on sale the next day, and it took only three minutes for the show to be completely sold out. Originally speculated as possibly a one-time thing, the band then announced more dates in Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

The shock was exactly what everyone needed, especially me. MCR was the band that helped me grow into myself, cope with growing up, deal with vicious classmates (teenagers especially), and assist me in finding a healthier way of relieving and expelling painful feelings and impulses. I’m surely not the only one, particularly out of the people coming of age between 2002-2013.

With Gerard Way’s painfully macabre lyrics, alongside his band’s aggressive punk and thrash metal-tinged sound, MCR produced the anthems for a great deal of this generation. Their commentary on depression, suicide, death and grieving, anxiety, self-harm, and body dysmorphia — shown in songs such as “Skylines and Turnstiles,” “Helena,” “Cemetery Drive,” “Cancer” and many others — helped so many people my age and encouraged them to seek help for the things they were feeling. MCR was the solace I needed when I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

I grew up in a small, snowy town where being “alternative,” “emo” or “goth” was virtually unheard of. I was bullied continually by the other kids at my school for dressing like everyday was someone’s funeral, and I was going through some very difficult times during my years in middle school and high school.

MCR was a godsend to me, because they were singing about things that I didn’t know other people could feel. Before discovering the band and what they stand for, I had no idea there were other people in the world that were feeling as miserable as I was.
With lyrics making references to mental health as a whole, I was able to seek help for what I was dealing with at the time, and their music continues to have that same potency for me as it did when I was younger.

I know it’s pretty common to say this in this day and age, but MCR really did save my life on multiple occasions. They also set the precedent for so many bands after them, and they paved the way for more bands to spread awareness about mental health and to enforce the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself. I know that people of any age will continue to feel accepted and understood by this band. My Chemical Romance is back, and we are very much grateful. Killjoys, make some noise.

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