• My Chemical Romance

    23 mars 2013, 17h15m

    This morning I awoke to the news that my all time favourite band, My Chemical Romance had disbanded. I thought I would write this journal about what MCR meant to be and my reaction to the news that the band has called it a day...

    Firstly, one of my favourite things about MCR was their ability to transform stylistically, both sonically and visually. Each new MCR record brought with it a new sound for the band (which still retained that distinctive MCR style) and a new and striking visual look to accompany it (the benefits of having a comic book writer as your frontman!). They essentially became a new band with each record they released. Their 2006 magnum opus, The Black Parade, changed my life when it was released during my final year at school. Until this point, I had been a quiet and timid student, but this record carried the overall MCR-message - that you should always have the confidence to be true to who you are. This message and support that fans have received through MCR's music is another cornerstone of what makes them such a phenomenal artist. Along with their musical creativity, the band gave their fans the confidence to stand up for what they believe in.

    It was during The Black Parade Tour that I first saw MCR live and they were EXPLOSIVE. Gerard Way remains the most charismatic frontman I have ever seen live and the band themselves were an incredibly tight live unit. The memories of MCR shows I attended are ones that I shall cherish forever. During their support for what was to be their final LP, 2010's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, I was fortunate to see the band on another two occasions, the latter of which was at the Reading Festival 2011. This was a weekend spent in a huge amount of mud and dirt (anyone who knows me would tell you that I HATE mud and being unclean in general). But I was more than happy to be knee-deep in mud for this band. It was truly the best night of my life and a triumph for the band. They had truly made it and achieved all their goals, despite all they had been through.

    'They had truly made it and achieved all their goals'... That is the most comforting thing about MCR's decision to call it a day. Everything this band wanted to do has been accomplished. I am extremely sad that the band has come to an end, they have so much more to give and I will miss them hugely. But they have left us fans with incredible memories and a tremendous back-catalogue to enjoy forever. I will always be grateful for everything this band has done for me. I am a better person thanks to My Chemical Romance.
  • Queen + Paul Rodgers: Cardiff International Arena, Oct 14th 2008

    17 oct. 2008, 15h56m

    Tue 14 Oct – Queen + Paul Rodgers

    After a highly successful tour in 2005/06 and the release of their studio album The Cosmos Rocks, Queen + Paul Rodgers hit the road once again for a sold out European tour.

    On this night the band came to Cardiff International Arena, in Wales. The atmosphere before the band hit the stage was one of excitement, the lights went down and the screen visuals showed stars in space, fitting in with the Cosmos theme, followed by the sound of thunder and visuals of lightening. An intro tape was played of Surf's Up . . . School's Out!. As Roger Taylor's cry of 'YEAH' could be heard the band ran on stage to a huge applause. A very appreciative Brian May began playing the intro of Hammer to Fall. It was a rip roaring performance, Paul Rodgers' vocals were on top form and Brian's guitar work was impeccable.

    The band were on fire and charged their way through the following songs; Tie Your Mother Down, Fat Bottomed Girls, Another One Bites the Dust, I Want It All, I Want to Break Free. Brian May's guitar work was extremely impressive and Paul Rodgers handled these songs extremely well. Roger sat at his drum kit working away as if he was still in the 1970's.

    The next two songs were brand new songs from the new LP. C-lebrity and Surf's Up . . . School's Out!. Both worked very well in a live environment and fitted into the set of older classics perfectly.

    Brian proceeded to introduce Paul Rodgers as the rest of the band took a break, leaving Rodgers to perform his Bad Company classic Seagull. After a splendid performance he left the stage and Brian returned to perform a stunning version of Love of My Life, asking the audience to sing with him to 'show Freddie we haven't forgotten him'. It was simply mindblowing, and he proceeded to perform the 'Ancient Welsh Folk song' '39 whilst backed by the rest of the band.

    After a great singalong the as ever cool Roger Taylor was left on the stage to perform a Bass Solo using his drumsticks with help of Rhythm Guitarist Jamie Moses, Under Pressure and Another One Bites the Dust were featured in this. He then performed a Drum solo on the catwalk, with the kit constantly growing due to Roadies adding extra parts. This resulted in an awesome performance of Roger's finest hour - I'm in Love With My Car. This was followed by a Roger sung A Kind of Magic, featuring a dazzling solo and display of guitar work from Brian May. The new version of Roger's 46664 anthem Say It's Not True and Paul's classics Bad Company and Feel Like Makin' Love were the next songs on the setlists, all of which generated a great atmosphere in the arena.

    Brian's traditional Guitar solo followed, with a highly emotional performance of Bijou, featuring Freddie's vocals and footage of him with the screen visuals in Wembley Stadium, manipulated to make it look as if he was singing the song. Brian closed his solo with a performance of Last Horizon.

    The time came for my favourite performance of the night, Radio Ga Ga, always a live favourite due to it's audience participation with hand clapping. It was a simply stunning performance, the screen visuals were fantastic, mixing clips of the Metropolis movie seen in the original video with the new animations. Clapping along to the chorus was a simply unique experience. Crazy Little Thing Called Love followed, with Paul clearly getting a huge buzz from this performance, the audience's cry of 'Ready Freddie!' and highly emotional performance of The Show Must Go On were fantastic tributes to the much missed legend.

    As the latter song came to an end, Freddie Mercury appeared on the large screen at his piano, singing Bohemian Rhapsody, with the rest of the band performing with him. The song of course gained a huge reaction from the audience, with everyone singing along passionately. Paul took to the stage to sing the heavy section, and then duetted with Freddie on the final few lines. As the band hit the final chord of the song a brief clip of Freddie at the end of the These Are the Days of Our Lives video was shown, a poignant reminder of what music lost almost 17 years ago.

    The band took a brief break, and returned to the stage for an encore of four songs. Beginning with a song from the new album, Cosmos Rockin', which prove to be a fantastic live track, with a hugely enthusiastic band and audience loving every second. This was the same for the next song, Paul's classic All Right Now, which was an amazing performance, Paul clearly appreciated the audience's enthusiasm for his songs and performed magnificently.

    This was followed by a powerful performance of the iconic We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, with the entire audience giving it everything they had.

    The band took their bows to a tape of God Save the Queen from A Night at the Opera, the traditional closer of a Queen concert, and recieved a huge applause from a highly appreciative audience.

    Overall, a truly magnificent conert - 10/10!