Social Media Manager
On April 16, My Chemical Romance announced that they would be postponing their tour for another year. Die-hard fans who were lucky enough to get tickets look at this reunion tour as a traveling church service in which we can properly practice the religion we subscribed to as young teens. Seeing My Chemical Romance on the stage will, in a way, be a supernatural experience, and it’s one that’s not to be rushed.
In the wake of MCR’s announcement, Riot Mike of Riot Fest, an annual music festival for rock bands, released a statement saying he was “proud” of the line up that they pulled together, and that they were still expecting people in Chicago September 17 – 19, 2021. The lineup isn’t bad, with L7, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Pixies as confirmed performers, and I’m sure Riot Fest will do what it does best — host a ton of awesome music.
MCR’s decision is a responsible one, especially in contrast to the large outdoor concerts that are happening in Florida. Rapper DaBaby recently hosted an enormous concert in Florida. He performed at Orlando Amphitheatre, and all the Instagram posts I saw horrified me at the lack of masks; thousands of people were pretending COVID-19 hadn’t taken three million lives. Rapper Megan Thee Stallion is set to perform at AfroNation, Rolling Loud (FL 2021), Bonnaroo (TN 2021), Parklife (Manchester 2021), and Life Is Beautiful (NV 2021).
Megan and DaBaby pull larger crowds than MCR, and they’re still agreeing to perform at festivals.
Yes, it is outside, so there’s ventilation, but anyone that has been to a music festival or outdoor concert will tell you: it’s not necessarily a distanced activity. I remember the times I went to Vans Warped Tour in both 2014 and 2015. I had beer spilled on me, strangers’ sweaty pits were in my face, sometimes my sweaty pits were in someone else’s face, and the air was thick — loud voices, heavy breathing, body heat, cigarette and pot smoke, just to name a few. There is no such thing as personal space in an environment like the pit, and it’s inevitable that the air you breathe just came out of someone else’s mouth.
The band members understand this. My Chemical Romance has played numerous musical festivals, including Warped Tour, Projekt Revolution, South by So What, Reading Festival, and Download Festival. They have years of experience watching young adults fling themselves at barricades and each other, all in an effort to get closer to the stage. It’s not sanitary. There’s no way to be sanitary, and with variants of COVID-19 spreading, there’s no way to make sure everyone can be safe and still have a good time.
MCR really loves and cares for their fans. At one point in the Video Diary Life on the Murder Scene, they recall a local band who was doing some sketchy stuff. “I think their record label pushed them to go around with a video camera and get girls to show their tits for backstage passes, and, not only that, but that the video was also going to be seen by My Chemical Romance. . . . I lost my f—ckin’ cool,” Gerard Way said in an included interview. When he heard about that, he went up on stage and shouted, “If you ever see sh—tty a—s rock dudes in sh—tty a—s rock bands asking you to show them your tits for a backstage pass, I want you to spit right in their fucking face, and yell F—CK YOU!”
That really struck me when I was 12. It still ignites a fire in me every time I hear it.
Following the earthquake in 2011, My Chemical Romance released “Sing It For Japan,” a version of the hit off Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, and also made a SING It For Japan tee-shirt that raised tons of money for the cause.
My Chemical Romance can really teach the rest of the music industry a thing or two when it comes to being responsible. There are things more important than money, and the chance of having a good time doesn’t matter when it puts peoples’ lives at risk.
Featured Photo Courtesy of ActionVance/Unsplash