‘London town, I’m Gerard Way, let me hear you!’ Gerard Way shouts, before he and The Hormones burst into ‘Kid Nothing’ - to which his adoring crowd scream deafeningly in response. ‘Let’s have a f***ing magical night’ he smiles in the hushed aftermath, eyes sparkling, before he plunges into another heavy, all-electric headbanger – and the fans simply can’t get enough.
On a cold, rainy night in Brixton, Gerard Way took to the stage at the O2 Academy and rendered it helpless. The Academy is tonight a refuge of teenage misfits – those clad in black with hair dyed and peppered with piercings, who loved My Chemical Romance; but who are now here to see Gerard step alone into the spotlight. They are extremely excited about it, devotedly screaming on heavier numbers such as ‘Zero Zero’ and ‘Juarez’, and listening in hushed awe at ‘AMBULANCE’, a nostalgic My Chemical Romance number, performed short and acoustic – simply Gerard and a keyboard. With a mere wiggle of the fingers, Gerard has the crowd copying him or whooping with delight - they are, it seems, at his fingertips.
‘Brother’ is poised as the anthem of the set – the room bathed in a dreamy purple haze of light, and overtaken by a kind of solidarity unbeknownst to those who aren’t involved in the relationship between Gerard and his fans.
One young girl’s dream was made a glittering reality as Gerard points to her and invites her onstage for ‘Get the Gang Together’, with a simple ‘I want you to play the tambourine’ – the result is a wonderful frenzy of dishevelled rock energy.
Gerard is beautifully confident onstage, strutting with relaxed coolness. Sometimes the manic energy of his My Chemical Romance performances shines through with jerking movements, as if the music possesses him. He is honest, speaking to the crowd unashamedly about his battles with mental illness, imploring fans, “You can find people, you can find a therapist”, as well as not accepting the generalisation of mental illness as a “dirty word”. He's clearly accepted his position as a role model, unlike so many artists who push the association away.
‘Maya The Psychic’ and ‘No Shows’ draw huge excitement once again from the throbbing crowd, while Gerard’s unhappy exit is refused emphatically enough for two encores. The entire experience is one of unencumbered energy and a celebration of Gerard’s seamless transformation to a solo performer – and at that, one with heart, style and conviction.
Gerard Way and The Hormones played:
Television All the Time
Get The Gang Together
How It’s Going to Be
Maya the Psychic
Check out our exclusive interview with Gerard below: