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Live Review: My Chemical Romance + Evaline - Roundhouse, London - 9/7/11

The iTunes festival, a month long extravaganza held at the London Roundhouse has provided many great headline acts over the last few years, My Chemical Romance were another big name that would be playing the festival at the venue, it’s a venue that’s significantly smaller than they’re probably used to these days, but what that means is that it provides a great treat for their fans, and that’s truly where the brilliance of this festival lies.

Evaline provided main support for the show tonight, a band that promised a lot but failed to deliver in a live setting, first of all I need to make it clear that I think this band are an entirely different breed on record, I think they’re pretty great, but the feelings I got tonight was that the ambitious sounds they achieve on record don’t come across as well, a lot of the music seems flat, and the dramatics of each member on stage look a bit desperate, there were also hints of backing tracks that were coming through, and while in some cases that’s fine, on things like gang vocals, that sound so much better done in the moment that there’s no point in putting them into the performance as a backing track, and it also compromises the integrity of the band because I was left wondering whether what I could hear was the band or a backing track, with that being said there are also some positives, front man Richard Perry is great, he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand and was charismatic to boot, and the part where the entire band were beating on a drum kit sounded epic and was one of the few moments where the band properly shone.

As I said at the beginning, I don’t want to detract anyone from listening to these guys on record on the basis of this review because that would be unfair, they’re a hard working band that I don’t think just lucked into the position of supporting My Chemical Romance tonight, and while a live show can be worked on, getting it right on record is key, and Evaline do that.

I’m not sure what I can write about My Chemical Romance that a million other people haven’t said already, but what I will say is that they’re truly masters of their trade, from the moment they came on stage to the deafening sound of screaming fans, to the moment they left with… well the still deafening sound of screaming fans, they provided an energetic show, packed full of hits, if there’s one thing for sure the band aren’t afraid to delve into their back catalogue, and while the set was always going to be 'Danger Days' heavy, there was still enough earlier material to keep the older fans happy.

As for the band, Gerard Way’s vocals have improved considerably since the last time I saw them a few years back, and the musicianship is as tight as it’s ever been, all of the members look absolutely stoked to be on stage doing the thing they love, and while I’m not the biggest fan of the latest record, hearing a lot of it in a live setting did it justice, the whole set was a massive success, and I very much look forward to seeing them headline Reading Festival in August, because I have no doubts in mind whatsoever that they’ll be nothing other than outstanding.

Words by Chris Marshman

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