Column: Come with me to the My Chemical Romance concert

Writer shares experience, challenges while getting ready for event


Kalyani Rao

Above, the frontman and singer of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way, sings onstage. In the bottom right photo, brother and bassist Mikey Way accompanies Gerard Way. In the attached column, writer – and fan – Kalyani Rao reviews the concert and shares her own pre-event preparations. “The concert was incredible, Rao said. “They played some of my absolute favorite songs, including ‘Na Na Na,’ ‘Boy Division’ and ‘Famous Last Words.'”

Getting tickets

After purchasing tickets to the MCR concert, an end screen shows with an angel statue looking down towards the confirmation statement of the tickets purchase. “MCR actually disbanded in March of 2013, only announcing plans for a reunion in 2019 — after several claims from band members that stated they had no plans to come together as a band together,” senior Kalyani Rao said. “After a single reunion show in Los Angeles that took place Dec. 20, 2019, the worldwide tour set to commence in 2020 was postponed several times due to the pandemic.” (Kalyani Rao)

I actually didn’t plan on going to the concert until two weeks ago. For some context, My Chemical Romance, abbreviated as MCR, planned to do a reunion tour in 2019, and then 2020, but the concert kept getting postponed due to COVID-19. At the time of the first two scheduled dates, I wasn’t able to go, due to my mom needing to be home with my sister, who was only 2 at the time. At just 15 years old when the first concert was scheduled, I couldn’t go alone.

I only found out about the rescheduled dates in Dallas Sept. 28 a few weeks ago, when I saw a TikTok of Gerard Way, the lead singer of the band, in a stage outfit. Every concert date so far, Gerard has worn a different costume, ranging from a nurse outfit, to all-black, to a cheerleader uniform. Each costume relates to one of the songs on the setlist. As soon as I saw the TikTok, I knew I had to go to the concert. I hadn’t listened to MCR in probably more than a year, but seeing the video of Gerard brought all of the memories back that I had of loving the band.

Pictured above are available tickets left for the concert. Ticket prices for one ticket started at around $185, and only got higher as it got closer to the concert date. Because of resellers, ticket prices were often higher than $350 a few days before the concert. (Kalyani Rao)

I spent a few days relistening to all of their albums before finally deciding that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them live, especially since this will most likely be their last tour ever. MCR actually disbanded in March of 2013, only announcing plans for a reunion in 2019 — after several claims from band members that stated they had no plans to come together as a band again. After a single reunion show in Los Angeles that took place Dec. 20, 2019, the worldwide tour – set to commence in 2020 – underwent postponement several times due to the pandemic.

I bought my tickets on Ticketmaster, the most reputable site for tickets at big venues like American Airlines, where the concert would take place. I had some problems though, as Chase declined the purchase. It took several days of anxiously waiting to hear back from Ticketmaster until the payment was sent again, and thankfully it went through.

Picking an outfit

There are a few key things to keep in mind when planning an outfit for a concert. Most importantly, you shouldn’t bring a huge bag. Some venues require visitors to leave any purses or backpacks at the front desk, so you should bring something small — ideally just your phone, wallet and keys.

Pictured above is Kalyani Rao’s concert outfit. At the concert, she wore jeans, a t-shirt and some belts to accessorize. “When planning a concert outfit, you want to be comfortable,” Rao said. “Wearing a dress or short skirt can be uncomfortable if you’re dancing a lot or moving around, so jeans and a t-shirt or tank top are the best bet. You can dress up the look by wearing lots of accessories and belts.” (Kalyani Rao)

Secondly, you should plan for the physical activities you will be doing. I wore sneakers to the venue because I knew I would be standing for most of the concert, as well as jumping during performances. Wearing heels or platforms is a no-go.

Finally, you want to be comfortable. Wearing a dress or short skirt can be uncomfortable if you’re dancing a lot or moving around, so jeans and a t-shirt or tank top are the best bet. You can dress up the look by wearing accessories and belts, as long as they won’t hit other people when you jump.

As for my outfit, I went for the classic 2000s’ emo look. To me, this meant black low-rise skinny jeans, a slim-fit t-shirt, and lots of bracelets — and I mean lots. I’m talking at least 10.

Kandi bracelets are more of a scene thing, but my outfit included a loose interpretation of the scene and emo style, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to wear mine. For reference, kandi bracelets are made out of colorful pony beads and elastic. People who wear them usually wear five or more on each wrist.

Of course, I had to pair my outfit with two double-crossed belts, a classic look in the 2000s’ alternative scene, as well as a pair of black Converse High Tops, the staple shoes of the emo community.

Doing makeup

For makeup, I went for a mix of classic emo eyeliner and concert makeup. In my opinion, concert makeup should always be glittery. You want the stage lights to reflect off of you like you’re Edward Cullen. Just kidding, but not really.

For the emo aspect, I did a combination of black eyeshadow and black eyeliner in my waterline, topping it off with a ton of glitter in the middle of my eyelid.

I’m not a fan of lipstick, so I just stuck to chapstick, which is what most emo kids used anyways back in the day. I kept my face makeup pretty simple, with no foundation and just a bit of concealer.

Finding parking

We purchased parking beforehand in a parking lot designated for the American Airlines Center. If you don’t pay for parking, you have to park on a street and can end up walking a mile or more due to the crowded roads near the venue.

The merchandise line went all the way through the American Airlines venue. Rao waited for almost an hour in the line, and ended up missing the opening band. They sold t-shirts, tote bags and hats. (Kalyani Rao)

It was pretty easy to get into the parking lot, but getting out of it after the concert felt like a nightmare. We sat in line for almost a full hour on the way out, only getting out of the lot around 12 when the concert ended at 10:50.

Waiting in line for merchandise, buying food

The merchandise line was absolutely crazy, going all the way to the back of the venue from the entrance. While waiting in line, my mom and I swapped out to go get food. The Pizza Hut pizza proved itself disappointingly bad — and this is coming from someone who likes their pizza. It cost $20 for a personal pizza, which was just insane.

I almost thought that we would miss the concert by waiting in line, but luckily enough there were two opening bands, so we just missed one of those. We could hear them playing from the line, and they were pretty bad, unfortunately. The performance included a lot of screaming and heavy guitar.

I ended up getting two t-shirts: one tour t-shirt and one t-shirt Gerard Way designed himself, drawn up to look like a colorful satirical teen magazine cover, called “Boy Zone,” featuring interviews with the band. It’s a personal favorite of mine.

The main event

The concert proved to be absolutely amazing. Only one small thing bothered me — the background noise was so loud, I could barely hear Gerard Way singing. When he talked in between songs, the audio from his mic was so quiet compared to the rest of the noise, I couldn’t really understand anything he said, which disappointed me.

Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance, is pictured singing above. The concert ran from 7:30 to 10:45, but MCR only started playing at 9:30. Although the stage was far away, Rao was able to get photos of the band from the screen. (Kalyani Rao)

The band was incredible, of course. They played some of my absolute favorite songs, including “Na Na Na,” “Boy Division” and “Famous Last Words.” I found myself a little disappointed Gerard wore all black, as he had shown up in elaborate costumes at other concerts, but I understand that he probably just didn’t feel like dressing up for this particular concert.

The energy was so uplifting in the arena. When you hear everyone singing along and jumping up and down, you can’t do anything other than join them. It was an incredible experience.

Driving home, the aftermath

The drive home was long, almost an hour. Driving in the dark on the highway gave me some time to reflect on the whole concert. Although there were some disappointing moments related to the sound distribution, it was awesome to see a band I’ve liked since 4th grade in person. When I was listening to them back then, I was crushed to know they would never perform again or release new music. I’m not sure if it was just a miracle that MCR decided to return in the year that I was finally able to see them, but to me, it feels like it was my miracle. I’ll never forget this night.