ROCKSNOB: Kill Yr. Idols

By Jonathan Valania
For The Inquirer
Somewhere in rock-and-roll’s journey from revolution to rite of passage, this much has become inevitable: One day your kids will turn on you. It’s impossible to say exactly what will set them off – lingering resentments over the great Santa Hoax, the sudden realization that we’re allmychamical_life2006.jpg bound to die, that good guys don’t always wear white, and that most of us won’t live happily ever after. It may seem like a phase to you, but it feels like the end of the world to them.

And then they will turn to a band like My Chemical Romance. Not to worry, they will be in good hands – these MCR boys are handsome, ambitious, hardworking, with road-tested musical chops and glossy coverboy charisma. Their new album, The Black Parade, is the sour symphony du jour of tender-aged iPod malcontents, and Sunday night the band managed to fill the better part of the Liacouras Center despite a major winter storm.

A surprisingly large portion of the crowd looked like Little Miss Sunshines, hoisting devil horns with one hand and a glowing cell phone in the other, freshly bought size XL MCR T-shirts fringing their knees. And they all got plenty of rock spectacle bang in exchange for their baby-sitting bucks: confetti cannons, flamethrowers, and the drummer’s elevated perch rotating 360 degrees during thunderous vulcanian drum fills.

Dressed in matching black bellhop costumes seemingly purchased from a Michael Jackson sheriff’s sale, and sporting Kabuki whiteface, MCR pummeled through The Black Parade’s solipsistic grandiosity from beginning to end, despite the venue’s dubious acoustics and taking a time-out to lead the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to a band member’s mom. (The group hails from New Jersey.)

After a brief intermission, the band returned to the stage in their stylish black street clothes and rip-snorted through the remainder of their extant catalog, revealing MCR’s more metallic-leaning beginnings. But by then, the long queue of parents’ cars out front signaled a slow but steady exodus toward the idling fleet of minivans and, eventually, the suburbs – where it’s safe and warm and the kids are all right.

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