came back home last night and performed at a sold out, overflowing Irving Plaza. The crowd of teens excitedly donned their My Chemical Romance t-shirts, and bragged about the hours they spent in line for their coveted front row spot. It's important to note that many concertgoers were also in full costume, so fans take note: wear a costume and you will get called on stage. In between songs, Way invited an audience member wearing a full cat costume to play tambourine in the band for a song.
What is truly astonishing is the amount of love and fanaticism Way's audience exudes. Fans became a wave of flailing hands and bright phone screens during songs, so much so that they sometimes even overpowered Way's own amplified vocals.
Way has a way (zing!) of nurturing this sort of hysteria, beginning with My Chemical Romance and continuing with the release his solo record, Hesitant Alien
. In the final moments of his set, Way thanked the crowd for "allowing him to continue to make art," followed immediately by high-pitched screams. He has great stage presence; he never once took apart his electric blue suit ensemble.
Way's showmanship has been cultivated since he was a young kid playing basement shows in New Jersey. Now he's come into his own, which for Way means wearing alien masks and strutting around with bright orange hair. I can get behind that.