My Chemical Romance at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, MI

Early 2000s nostalgic band My Chemical Romance showed up at the sold-out Little Caesar’s Arena ready to remind everyone Detroit really is Detroit Rock City.

It had been a long 11 years and 2 days since My Chemical Romance was in Michigan last when they arrived for their 2022 reunion tour. They arrived ready to have a great time and enjoy a special evening in Detroit. On Halloween 2019, they shook the early 2000s rock world by announcing after a 6-year break, they would be reuniting. In early 2020, before the world stopped, they announced a North American tour. The Detroit stop was originally scheduled to kick off the North American reunion tour in September 2020. After being postponed twice due to COVID-19, the crowd was enthusiastic that the day to see My Chemical Romance had finally arrived.

During setup, while waiting for the set to start, the overhead projectors displayed a kind message. “MCR – Look after each other, if someone falls, help them up. Security is here to help you if you need it. HAVE A GREAT NIGHT.” This helped set the tone and encourage comradery, kindness, and compassion during the set amongst those in the pit. Before long, the roars of approximately 22,000 fans filled the air as the lights dimmed. One by one Frank Iero, Ray Toro, Mikey Way, Jarrod Alexander, Jamie Muhoberac, and Gerard Way came out on stage. Gerard arrived in a full nurse’s uniform and sunglasses. The 100-minute, 19-song set started with the 2022 single “Fountains of Decay.” Up next were the infamous songs “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” and “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid” from the 2004 album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.

By the end of the first three songs, the crowd was primed, giddy, and ready to start a mosh pit from sheer excitement. The crowd happily screamed when “Bury Me in Black” began. After the song, there was a pause for Gerard to talk about having a BBQ earlier in the day with Big Worm, the band’s security guard, and his whole family, who are from Detroit. Gerard continued to mention that he enjoyed Detroit so much that he and Frank got Detroit hats with the old English ‘D’ on them. He explained it was because “we f*cking love Detroit!” After the chat, they then went straight into “Summertime” from the 2010 album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

As the set continued, they played the first songs of the night from I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love and The Black Parade. These songs thrilled the crowd and amplified the excitement for the songs to come. Once the opening piano G notes started, that could only mean one thing, it was time for the goosebump-inducing song “Welcome to the Black Parade.” The next song was “Teenagers” which made the whole crowd bounce and dance around. To wrap up, a trio of songs from The Black Parade, including “Mama” that prompted the audience to turn on their phone flash lights. The thousands of lights from the packed three-tiered arena was a beautiful sight to witness as it illuminated the entire room.

After such powerfully, emotion-inducing songs, the band paused to “do an audience check” where Gerard asked everyone to “please back up.” He then continued to tell a funny story about the diet of a singer. He listed off items that are not allowed, including soda pop, and explained that the reason is that “you’ll burp … [but] when I drink this f*cking water I burp constantly.” The amusing personal tidbit was a nice and relaxing break that the crowd very much needed. The set continued with “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” followed by “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W,” “The World is Ugly,” and “Famous Last Words.” To close out the main set before the encore, they played Gerard’s personal favorite song to play live, “Sleep,” according to an interview he had with Apple Music 1 in 2021.

After a small break, the encore started with “Vampires Will Never Hurt You.” The crowd was both boisterous and sad that they knew the night was ending. Just before 11:00 PM the much anticipated, and much dreaded, last song of the night started. It was none other than the most popular song from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, “Helena.” After the show was over, the energy in the arena was still thick in the air and people left so full of adrenaline that there was not much sleeping in Detroit that night.

Words by: Jessica Trail
Photos by: J.A. Dunbar

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About Jessica Trail 27 Articles
Jessica is based in Hamtramck, MI. She is an engineer who is also passionate about photography and live music. When she is not researching new shows and festivals to attend she enjoys playing with her dog and rooting for her favorite sports teams.