[Photo by Cameron Gile]
When My Chemical Romance announced their intention to reconvene on Halloween last year, they broke the internet. Fortunately, millions of hearts all over the planet were mended in the process. The joy kept sparking like downed power lines long after their triumphant Los Angeles comeback performance Dec. 20 at the Shrine Auditorium. We’re not kidding. What other band inspires total strangers to high-five and hug each other like childhood friends at a retirement home? Go ahead, we’ll wait…
Given the new world we’re all living in now, we understand how hard it can be to get stoked about anything. So it was decided that we weren’t going to postpone joy any longer. That’s why we created The My Chemical Romance Holy Book, our celebration of the best band from this century, in words and pictures.
Read more: 10 things we can’t wait to see if My Chemical Romance do
The Holy Book features deep dives on select parts of MCR’s history. We connected the dots to trace the story and events culminating in their reteaming. The frustration of the aborted concept album The Paper Kingdom and the detours they took on their post-MCR timelines could never make their legion of fans loosen their death grip of hope for a reunion.
There’s a look into the creation of all of their album covers and the stories behind them. We also posit why the world needs/demands a band of their stature, now more than ever (Spoiler alert: content may include a cocktail of nonchalance, unfiltered emotion and kickass songs). Did you wonder what the meaning was behind the sigils the band were wearing onstage that adorn their new merchandise? That’s what we thought, so we asked a practicing Wiccan to explain their symbolism and potential use.
Read more: My Chemical Romance return is highest-grossing gig in Shrine history
Then there are the conversations with friends and associates who saw MCR’s return unfold in the most brilliant of ways. Having joined Thursday onstage that night (for a rousing cover of the Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?)”), Saves The Day founder Chris Conley describes the great sense of community backstage at the Shrine. The Umbrella Academy’s Aidan Gallagher sports his fandom like a blinding bright badge of honor. Remington Leith of Palaye Royale acknowledges his longtime fascination with MCR (how about that “Teenagers” cover?) and what that means to his band. Bishop Briggs deftly articulates what makes her a die-hard fan in no uncertain terms.
Obviously, we certainly cannot deny how Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly was in MCR’s corner from day one. But even after a long-storied friendship with them, he still found himself having all kinds of epiphanies at the show. The most telling of these was how the New Jersey emo axis left a cauterizing mark on generations of artists. Let’s not forget how that culture was frequently branded by many critics as merely “a phase.” Hearing his analysis of the return further solidifies the purpose and reason why this scene had to happen. And if you weren’t there (like so many of us weren’t), we got you. You can witness the glory with the exclusive photos we got during that magical night in California, 2019.
Read more: Here’s which MCR song Kevin Smith says he would make into a movie
Suffice to say, we need the power of live music to captivate and soothe us. We’re praying to the music gods that the pandemic will dissipate soon. The thrall of live music isn’t something that can be shaken off easily. That’s why The My Chemical Romance Holy Book exists. It’s not only a testimonial to the power and glory of its namesakes. This month’s issue of AltPress is a valentine to people who know what it’s like to be elevated by a rock band. From the stunning live photographs to the commentaries within, it should go far to sate your fandom. It’s a feeling that simply will not be denied.
Call us the kids from yesterday or the keepers of the inner flame. We’re glad to keep that fire stoked in the best ways we possibly can. Which is why we give you, My Chemical Romance here…