Release Date: July 1, 2008
Recorded and filmed on the final date of their tour at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City on 7 Oct 2007, this CD/DVD combo is a fitting tribute to, and document of, this extraordinary chapter in the band's career, which has seen them absorb and emulate the gaudy showmanship of 70s pomp rock bands such as Queen.
The Black Parade Is Dead
takenthecannoli, on august 08, 2011 6 of 8 people found this review helpful
Sound: My Chemical Romance have never exactly been renowned for their live performances. Sure, the hardcore fans may have gotten their best in-jokes from singer Gerard Way moaning during inappropriate moments (the bridge of "The Ghost Of You", for example) or literally dancing his (women's) jeans off. But it isn't entirely unfair to say that the best part of the "Revenge"-era (2004-2005) shows was the dynamic between guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero. Gerard was shrill, bassist Mikey Way could be dull, and the stint during which the band coupled with The Used is laughable at best.
After the release of "The Black Parade" in 2006, however, the shows completely turned around. Not only was it a completely new aesthetic, but the theme - complete with matching "Sergeant Pepper"-style outfits and a full run-through of the new album - was a breath of fresh air, and allowed a complete re-imagination of each and every band member. Gerard was now theatrical without being shrill, especially in the later shows. Ray had a great backdrop to his already theatrically-influenced style, and Frank's darker energy was especially punctuated. Bob Bryar's over-the-top power perfectly complimented the album's style. Even Mikey's "pose"-driven technique felt striking.
"The Black Parade Is Dead!" chronicles the last complete performance of the album. Filmed in Mexico City, this was the second live release by the band, following up on "Life On The Murder Scene", which included a documentary and a few live performances from the "Revenge" era.
"The Black Parade" sounds spectacular in a live setting. The relationship between the two guitarists, which was apparent in the band's 2004 release, "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge", is highlighted quite nicely. Bob sounds wonderful on the drums. Above all, Gerard's vocals are exponentially more approachable than in previous tours. In fact, if there's one thing I have any gripes about, it would be Mikey Way's technique, which still leaves much to desired.
In terms of style, it can be guessed that "The Black Parade Is Dead!" reflects its namesake album, vastly different from either of the previous My Chem releases. Where one may think this would disrupt establishments such as the Ray/Iero dynamic, it actually works as well as ever. "Teenagers" is far better, in that respect, than the studio version. The addition of keys during this tour is also a great new element. // 8
Content: This set comes with not only the filmed performance, but another performance from Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey. This is a much more varied setlist, having been filmed after the Black Parade had "died". Also included is an audio disk of "The Black Parade Is Dead!"
The CD might actually be the gem of the entire set. The piano work by James Dewees is allowed much more attention than in the DVD, the crowd reaction - enthusiastic during each and every song - is very exciting, and Bob is mixed excellently, apparently in tracks like "Dead!" and "Sleep". The guitars are nothing short of thrilling, especially in "Teenagers" and "Mama". More than anything, the album itself just sounds great when performed live, especially in a venue as massive as the Palacio de los Deportes (a seating of 20, 000).
The DVD is great as well, though admittedly tiring. "The Black Parade" alone runs at nearly an hour, and there isn't much to be seen in terms of pyrotechnics. The best moments, visually, are all in "The End", "Welcome To The Black Parade", "Mama", and "Famous Last Words". Apart from that, some lighting techniques are used ("Cancer"), and there are a few interesting shots from in the crowd. But by the time "Disenchanted" rolled around, I was ready for it to end.
Gerard's stage presence does make up for this, which makes songs like "Sleep" (this version of which, I think, defeats the studio version) interesting. The actual concept of the album is never really outlined in anything but the songs, which leave only a few clues as it is. On one hand, this means that "The Black Parade" as an album requires much less from the listener than, say, Pink Floyd's "The Wall" - which, let's be honest, is a very drawn-out experience - but the live setting would certainly have benefited from something visual.
The Maxwell's show is a lot of fun, especially as it brings the older songs to the new performances. Gerard's vocals are much cleaner than in "Life On The Murder Scene", and the guitars actually sound much bigger. The only real complaint I have is with the inclusion of "Mama". This is a song which sounds excellent in a stadium, but misplaced in a tiny little club. Maxwell's isn't even a House of Blues.
On the other hand, the length isn't such a bother thanks to interaction with the crowd and a more varied sound. Of course, it still has the problem of limiting itself to two albums - "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" gets no love what'soever, which is a shame. // 7
Production Quality: Production is good enough to get the job done, though the real brilliance is in the performance itself. After all, you can readjust the positioning of a certain guitarist as many times as you like, but the guitarist himself may still sound terrible.
One of the things I like most about "The Black Parade Is Dead!" is that, in the end, it's really just a straight-up performance with fairly standard filming techniques, allowing a focus on a performance which certainly is good, just not entirely captivating for the full hour. The Jersey show indulges in video effects and the like, which doesn't necessarily take away from the performance, but is arguably a bit on the irritating side of "gimmicky". // 7
Overall Impression: For a period, I listened to "The Black Parade Is Dead!" far more often than the actual record. Of course, there's nothing like the real thing, as with any release, but the Mexico performance holds up extremely well, particularly on the CD. The DVD performance feels a bit long, though many critics argue that the album itself shares this trait. Looking at the Hoboken performance, which is actually two songs longer, this is especially obvious. However, the change in pace from the previously released performances is interesting enough the first few times that it's definitely worth the buy. Heck, the CD alone is worth the buy.
I take issue with primarily the Hoboken setlist's hiccup or two, lack of aesthetic variation in the Mexico performance, and the lack of a CD to accompany the Hoboken performance. This is almost balanced by the excellent guitar work and some fun moments for the frontman. Not to mention a very, very excited crowd, which can make or break a filmed performance (see Switchfoot's "The Best Yet In Nashville" for more). // 7
The Black Parade Is Dead
--ATREYUROCK--, on july 01, 2008 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: This DVD has two parts: one is the band playing through their 'Black Parade' album in a huge arena, and the other is a selection of new and old songs in a much smaller venue. Obviously, the sound is totaly different. In the arena, they have a huge sound. The big sound of the songs themselves help, but the ability of each band member makes them amazing. In the smaller venue, it's a different story. They are much harder and more aggressive on a stage hardly big enough for the five of them. They come across a lot more punk in the smaller place, whereas in the arena they are a true stadium rock act. // 10
Content: This is the only problem with the DVD. There are no extra features, just the two live sets. The set lists themselves focus very much on the new stuff. There are a few older songs in the second set (as well as an untitled new track) but only a few. I would have liked some more older songs, but it's perfect for someone who's only just started liking My Chemical Romance after the Black Parade. // 7
Production Quality: There is absolutly nothing wrong with the production at all. Not much to say, good camera work, focussing a lot on singer Gerard and his theatrics, as well as the guitarists in the instrumental bits. Quite a few shots from behind the auidience as well, which are very effective. // 10
Overall Impression: My Chemical Romance live are completly different to My Chemical Romance on record. There is a lot more aggression, Gerard even going as far a releasing a full-blooded scream on a few occasions. To be honest, I can't think of a band like MCR at the minute. They may have gotten stick from die-hard punk fans for 'changing' but they truly are awesome. Ray Toro's guitar playing really comes to the front on this DVD. I love the whole thing, the only disappointment being the set list. But I can just get Life On The Murder Scene for the older songs, can't I? If someone stole this I would hunt them down, murder them and get my DVD back. // 10
The Black Parade Is Dead
allfooie, on july 01, 2008 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is almost perfect except the back-up vocals could have been a little louder. Turn it up loud and you feel like you almost there. If you like The Black Parade you will love this. Way gets the crowd to sing a lot which they get into. You can hear this well obviously as there are 20,000 people there. // 9
Content: It contains two disks: There is a CD with the final performance of the black parade on October 7, 2007 in Mexico. All the songs on the set are the entire Black Parade album. I was hoping for some old stuff as well there but still pretty damn good. The other is a DVD of the same concert but then a intimate pub show in New Jersey later that month with a crowd of 200. This contains basically the same but with some old school stuff as well. An untitled song is also played here which had a great sound. Also contained is a booklet with photo's and all that. There's also a short letter to the MCRmy on a piece of card saying thanks for everything and see you next time. // 8
Production Quality: In the pub concert they had cameras in the crowd, on stage and up the back which were very cool. There was one old school camera that gave a black and white and fuzzy feel to it. Little annoying but helped the sound in quiet bits. The pyro during the big show is also fairly impressive and reminded me of Green Day. // 7
Overall Impression: A lot like Bullet In A Bible but with a far smaller crowd. The most impressive stuff would probabley be the sound turn it up loud! Most of it I love but there probabley could have been some better angles in the pub concert to film from. If you love MCR and you either saw the concert or sadly missed it, this is for you! If it were stolen/lost I would definitely buy it again as it's something you can watch over and over again. // 9