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My Chemical Romance Returns—And So Does Its “Army”

MCR fans to stage a one-night show celebrating the group’s reunion.

WORDS BY KENDRICK GO

T his month, MCRmy Philippines—the most active fan club of My Chemical Romance (MCR) in the country—is gearing up to prove itself wrong.

Last August, the group put together a show honoring MCR’s fourth studio album “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.” Before the event, the group dubbed it as the biggest gathering of MCR fans in the country this year. If all goes well for them, however, they might end up being wrong.

Last November, the popular rock group announced that its members will be coming together again for a reunion show this December after splitting up back in 2013. The news shook the group’s continuously loyal fan base and as a response to it, MCRmy Philippines plans to put together a show that will top its earlier outing this year.

MCR Returns: A Joyous Affair is set to be the biggest gathering of My Chemical Romance fans in the Philippines in celebration of their reunion last October 31, 2019 after six years of disbandment,” said Hayce Atienza, a local artist who is also a major player in MCRmy Philippines. “This event will happen in time with their first reunion show, ‘Return,’ on December 20, 2019 in Los Angeles.”

Happening at SaGuijo Bar + Café on December 21st, the show will feature eight acts (including Atienza herself) who will be paying tribute to the band’s past studio albums. For starters, Anthem for Maria and Bad Chase will be honoring MCR’s debut album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.” Createurs and Reckless Thursday will then be paying homage to “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” the sophomore MCR studio album responsible for unleashing upon the world iconic hits like “Helena” and “I’m Not Okay (I Promise.)” Atienza and Invictus, on the other hand, will pay tribute to “The Black Parade,” the rock opera which gave the band strong chart positions between 2006 and 2007. And then there’s “Danger Days,” the band’s fourth studio album. It will be represented by Alay ni Sheng and Shift Heads.

“These acts were also performers during our past four MCR fan gatherings which were also themed after each of the four MCR eras,” Atienza said. Aside from that, however, the said bands are also fans of the New Jersey rock group—a fraction of the many that keep the band’s legacy alive.

Ever since MCR debuted, its mostly aggressive, thematic and at times cathartic catalog of songs has enjoyed quite the following all over the world including the Philippines. The group’s fan base is such that even after its members decided to disband in 2013, its songs continued to serve as personal anthems for a number of people—especially the angst-driven youth who were suffering through the growing pains of their formative years during the band’s heyday. In an article by PAPER, writer Marienne Eloise had this to say about the group’s work: “they make us feel seen and heard. It isn’t easy being alive right now, but their songs about fear and trauma and survival provide comfort.” It’s a sentiment echoed by a number of their fans including Atienza herself.

“Whenever we look back to the emo music era that dominated our airwaves from 2005 to 2009, My Chemical Romance is one, if not the first, of the bands that pop up in majority of Filipinos’ heads,” she said in a previous interview with us. “Aside from being international rock legends because of head-banging anthems that helped us release our inner angst, MCR will always be a symbol of our generation’s formative years since most of us sought refuge in music that made us feel understood.”

This is among the reasons why MCRmy Philippines—which puts up shows referencing MCR’s works—continues to thrive. For the past four years, the fan club has been doing successful shows that paid tribute to the band’s work. Just last August, for example, it put together ‘Manila 2019: A Tribute to Danger Days,’ which brought in significant foot traffic to SaGuijo. And now that MCR is slated to put up a reunion show this month, interest in the group’s music—which never totally died down—has been invigorated so much that it resulted in an opportunity for MCRmy to once again have another show this year.

“MCRmy Philippines has maintained a united community even after the disbandment of MCR from 2013-2019,” Atienza said, “but now that the band is back and every Filipino fan has a renewed fandom spirit, we hope that this event can further strengthen this established unity as we embrace back the old fans and welcome the new fans that we will meet along the way.”

The show will start at 7 in the evening. The door charge (which also affords a free drink) is at 350php. As for what the audience can expect aside from the performances? The MCRmy Philippines trying to outdo itself.

“We hope that through this and other similar events that we produce, MCRmy Philippines will be seen as one— if not the most active MCR fan communities in the world,” she said. “Hopefully, that will be enough for the band to consider the Philippines as part of their future shows.”

An understandable mindset. After all, Atienza and her fellow MCR fans hoped that the group would reunite during the days of their hiatus and now, after about six years, they’re only a few days away from the said “Return.”

“The reunion of MCR shook the world because after 6 long years of waiting and hoping, this already became unlikely to happen given that its band members were already prospering on their new paths,” she said. “And with MCR songs reentering billboard charts after the reunion announcement, I believe that the most evident aftermath of this news is that the “emo” in us (i.e. long-time fans) never died.”

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