I’m a planner. And a list maker. I like to keep things in order before an event as much as I can, so that when the day comes, and I’m inevitably excited and rushing around, I won’t forget anything. It was doubly important for me this time, excited as I was about winning Tour Blogger for MCR (a huge, huge thing for someone who wants to get into Concert Photography).
I made my list on 8/10. Camera, extra clothes (in case of rain), painting, ticket, wallet, etc. Pretty standard. I probably could have remembered enough of it without the list, but hey. Better safe.
With my essentials packed up (and a stop at Starbucks), I was ready! I was also way earlier than I needed to be. I arrived at the venue (Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY) at 11:15. There were two people there before me, a really nice couple that I made friends with, Dominic and Melia. We had a good laugh about being so early and kept each other sane throughout the day, watching the concert set up, people wandering by and taking random pictures to amuse ourselves.
Dom and Melia
Mikey the painting, waiting to get in.
Eventually, more people started showing up, as people tend to do with these things, and we took our place at the front of the line. I was able to get some great pictures of MCR fans waiting outside as well. A very good friend of mine, Jenna, arrived to round out our little group and we were ready. It felt like a mad dash inside, though we walked the whole way. Probably just the excitement and anticipation boiling over to fuzz everything a little. We paused to take a quick picture with the MCR Honda CBR250R motorcycle.
Waiting in line.
The crowd, eagerly waiting.
Jenna and the bike!
Then it was off to our respective places. Manchester Orchestra was up first, and though their set was great, I couldn’t help with wait anxiously for the next band. The one I’d driven two hours and then waited another seven to see. My Chemical Romance. Armed with my camera and painting of Mikey, I was ready.
I got some great pictures of the setup as techs ran around getting things ready, including one of the setlist. It revealed a song plan I never would have anticipated, but then isn’t MCR known for doing the unexpected and making it work?
Ready to begin.
The band walked out, one by one and began. With heavy electric guitar and drums, they slammed into Sleep, a song I’d always thought of as rather sedate compared to a lot of others, and made it work as a loud, emotional, high energy opener. After that, it was immediately into Give ‘Em Hell Kid, and Mikey playing the opening bass beat had the crowd screaming.
Every song was full of feeling, in your face and unapologetic, just as I’d expect anything from this band to be. Gerard all but snarled through parts of Destroya and they finished strong with Teenagers, I’m Not Okay and Famous Last Words, the crowd screaming back every line.
One of the tings I love most about seeing bands live is watching the members interact with each other and they were full of excited grins and compliments for each other. It was great to see the camaraderie between everyone.
Around the time the band was sliding into Kids From Yesterday, I held up the painting of Mikey that I’d done and brought along in hopes of passing it to Gerard at some point. Mikey seemed to glance at it, but didn’t really make any sort of acknowledgement. In one of the highlights of my night however, MCR’s tour manager appeared out of nowhere not long after to collect my painting with a smile and careful hands to carry it off back stage. I could only watch as they disappeared around the corner, grinning with many of the others around me who’d seen and complimented the painting while waiting. Mission accomplished.
All in all the set, if surprising in it’s song choice, was spectacular. One of the things that struck me most, especially looking back now, was all the color. Something that definitely, and happily, came through in a lot of my photos. I met up with great friends, made some new ones and had a really great time. It’s definitely a night I won’t soon forget. I only hope that everyone else, waiting on the edge of their seat in anticipation for the shows they’ll be going to, have just as good a time.
I ended up with 306 pictures from the tour (before editing), and I kept 97 of them from MCR. I’ve posted them all here: MCR Live Photos
Please take a moment to pop in to see all the rest that weren’t posted here and feel free to comment!
Good Luck, Kid.