Anyone who grew up listening to mid-2000s emo music knows what a slow, solitary G note on the piano means: My Chemical Romance’s Black Parade is coming.
A go-to Myspace background song for fans, “Welcome to the Black Parade” was the first single off the band’s third record, and they played it live for the first time at the 2006 VMAs preshow. Since it’s been 10 years since this memorable moment, let’s revisit it, shall we?
Frontman Gerard Way screamed into the mic while a squad of skeletons silently stood behind him on stage, a setup that mirrors the song’s eerie music video. The whole scene took place atop New York City’s iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the building that inspired Tina Fey’s 30 Rock.
That marching band jacket! That smoky red eyeliner caking his eyes! That ghostly white hair! Everything about this performance is peak Gerard Way.
Alas, as we all know, My Chemical Romance are no more. The band called it quits in 2013 after their fourth album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. (Try saying that five times fast.)
And so the teen emo kids grew up, softened their eyeliner, traded in their doodled-up Converse for work-appropriate footwear, and stopped buying band t-shirts from Hot Topic. The Black Parade had come and gone.
Then the band tweeted out a cryptic video last July featuring that signature G note and a mysterious date: September 23, 2016 — one month before the official 10-year anniversary of The Black Parade. Fans were NOT OK. Could the band be reuniting for a tour? A new record?
But in the end, MCR had their “Famous Last Words” by announcing a special anniversary edition of Black Parade. This version includes — among many unreleased demos — “The Five of Us Are Dying,” a rough cut of a song that later turned into “Welcome to the Black Parade.”
Clearly, as their “Black Parade” lyrics promise, MCR’s memory has “carried on” far beyond the VMAs stage.
Tune in to the 2016 VMAs, live from New York on Sunday, August 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.