My Chemical Adventure

[WARNING: this is the longest thing I've ever written.]

I've been into My Chemical Romance ever since their album The Black Parade came out in 2006. I was a bit of a teenie at the time (understatement of the century right there!), but they actually had a pretty huge impact on my life. I never got a chance to see them live that time, but I knew they would come back eventually.

And they did.

With their site changing (...let's not get into that), and the new album being released soon, everyone was anxiously waiting for tour dates. When they were announced, I was heartbroken to see there were none in my country. I toyed with the idea of going to Paris to see them, but a quick look at flight prices online made me change my mind, because they were much too expensive. Also, the tickets sold out a mere few hours after being released, so no chance for me.

Then, one day, I signed up to the official Italian My Chemical Romance fanclub. Obviously, a group of members was organizing the trip to Paris: they already had tickets, and they had even found a cheap hotel where to stay. Since my birthday was coming up, and I had to try anyway, I asked if they knew where I could find a ticket, and one of them sold me an extra ticket she had. The same day, I found a really cheap flight, I talked to my parents, and booked everything.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic, and when Halloween finally came up, I was so excited i could barely sleep. My flight was at 2 pm on Halloween; I got to Paris at 6.30, and by 7.30 I was already in front of La Cigale, the venue they were going to play, where I met up with my friends from the forum, a few of which I had already met through mutual friends. There were six of us Italians, plus two Scottish girls and two French girls already in the queue. I wrote the number 9 on the back of my hand with a permanent marker, and sat in the queue with them; we got to know each other, shared our My Chemical Romance stories, and bonded, sitting on the cold pavement. I had made a replica of Gerard's mask from the Na Na Na video to give to him, and I wore it on my head the whole time, except for when I went to sleep.

When it was time to sleep, I got in my sleeping bag to keep warm and sat by the door with another Italian girl; we were going to take turns sleeping, so as not to get raped or mass kidnapped by some French maniac, and we were supposed to stay up. We talked, getting to know each other better, while shivering all the time, sitting really close together to create some more warmth. At some point, we saw an incredibly bright shooting star which lasted for ages, and just screamed as we watched it cross the night sky; it was a really emotional moment for some reason. At least 50 French people, at different levels of drunkenness after a night of partying, stopped by the door to ask us what the hell we were doing sleeping on the street; I was the only one of my group who could speak French, so I was the one who had to answer. After the 30th person asking me the same exact question, I got tired and just stopped answering them; by that time, it was about 2 am, so I just curled up in my sleeping bag and went to sleep.

I was awoken two hours later by the voice of someone screaming (in Italian): 'It's going to be a shitty day! It's going to rain all day long! And the concert is going to be shitty as well! They are a shitty band anyway!' Not the best way to start my day, definitely. I suddenly realized I was really cold and pulled my coat hood on. A drunk French guy approached us by the door while we were writing on our Italian flag and started awkwardly flirting with all of us, to which I just replied I was a lesbian; he tried to help us with the flag, but we didn't let him anywhere near it. After this, I went to sleep again, and woke up at five.

I only got three hours of sleep that night, and I was the one who slept the most in the group. When I woke up, I was colder than ever and just sat there, still in my sleeping bag, trying to keep as warm as possible. I talked to my friends, checked the situation, then we just waited for the sun to come up and for the shops to open so we could find a bathroom where to go, and get something warm to drink. This only happened at about 7 am, when we got some hot chocolate and croissants, which made our day look a whole lot better.

By that time, more people started to show up; I know I'm a sadist, but I quite enjoyed looking at them and seeing the disappointment in their eyes as they realized they were too late, and they weren't going to get to the front (I know this is really bad!). Really soon, the people from La Cigale started putting barriers around us to make sure nobody tried to sneak in, which was very good because it allowed us to lie down comfortably without having to worry about intruders; we were able to leave the queue whenever we wanted to, and we sure as hell did, taking frequent trips to Starbucks and the public restrooms which were on the opposite side of the road. Soon, an important-looking tourbus stopped right by us, and we freaked out a little before we calmed down and realized it was just the crew. We talked to them all the time while they were unloading stuff, and even made friends with a blond guy from the staff who ended up helping us a lot later on.

The rest of the waiting was pretty uneventful until about 4 pm, three hours before doors opening, when a bunch of people showed up saying they had won a Meet&Greet with the band, and not only they were going to meet My Chemical Romance, they were also going to be let in before us. Since there was about thirty of them, and we'd been there the whole night, we immediately started protesting. Luckily, we talked to one of the security guards, who promised us he was going to hold them in while we ran to the stage. Reassured by this, we resumed our chatting, making some video diaries for our forum. At some point, I saw four guys hanging out at the door of the venue and recognized them as the opening band, so I went and talked to them for a while. They were really nice guys, they seemed excited to be playing such an important event and I wished them good luck before they had to go away.

Then, we still had to wait. We became more and more anxious as the time approached, and suddenly, before we even knew it, we were all standing by two, our tickets in our hands, ready to run and push and kick and punch anyone that stood in our way. The glass doors were opened; our tickets were checked; I ran up some stairs, down some stairs, on a wooden floor, then I crashed against something hard and quickly put my arms over and around it to make sure nobody would move me.

There I was, holding onto a metal barrier like my life depended on it. People were coming up behind us, I could hear their steps and their screams. My Italian friends were next to me and we high-fived, happy that we'd got there. The stage was so close to me but I actually avoided looking at it, rather looking around to see all the people packed up in the small, ancient-looking venue.

Before I knew it, the opening act started playing. They were really nice, had a great presence on stage and managed to get the crowd's attention in spite for our anticipation of what was to come. They got off stage in what seemed like the blink of an eye, and soon, the lights went down again.

'Look alive, sunshine...' could be heard echo through the whole venue, and everybody went completely, batshit insane. Instead of squealing like a maniac fangirl, even though my heart was beating so fast I was sure it was going to explode, I put my mask over my face and repeated that famous speech, word by word, screaming it at the top of my lungs. The end of the speech, 'Killjoys... make some noise!' was followed by an insane amount of noise. The band were already on stage by then, and it was only looking at them that I realized how close I actually was.

The crowd started pushing me really hard against the barrier (they never really stopped until the end, and I ended up with two cracked ribs which still hurt like hell whenever I forget about them and do some weird movements...), but I didn't care. I had enough room to breathe, and that was all that mattered. I sang along to every word at the top of my lungs, the hugest grin on my face, just looking at those four guys who changed my life.

During the second song, 'Thank You For The Venom', my friends and I held up our Italian flag and I swear at some point Gerard looked right at us and pointed at it. We then threw it on the stage, and Ray picked it up and hang it on an amp. It stayed there during the whole show. My mask was over my head again at this point, because having it over my face made me sweat too much (not to mention it made it kinda hard to see...) so I could get a good view of all of them.

Gerard was in front of me, maybe one or two people to my left. His red hair was literally shining under the spotlight and he seemed to be enjoying himself so much. Creepy story of the day: he was wearing a sleveless shirt with huge rips under his arms, and I could see his stretchmarks. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Gerard Way has stretchmarks all over his sides. Bet you didn't know that, huh?
Ray was just to my right, playing as hard as he ever does and seemingly having the time of his life. He looked at us several times during the show, and every time I noticed him doing so I gave him a smile and two thumbs up because he's so amazing.
Mikey was right behind Gerard, looking shiny as ever with his brand new glittery bass, his zebra print shirt (which I'm pretty sure he borrowed from his wife) and his blond hair. He seemed a bit shy at times, but every now and then he smiled and you could tell he was having a great time.
Frank was on the opposite side of the stage from where I was standing, but since the stage was so small, I could see him just as well. He had the most adorable smile on his face and a picture of his two daughters on the amp right behind him.

The show was amazing, a perfect mix of songs from the new albums and older classics. They played Desolation Row 'just for Paris' and got a fan on stage to sing Our Lady Of Sorrows with them (though she didn't know the lyrics and ended up making a fool out of herself). Their presence on stage was amazing and you could tell how much the crowd loved being there just by the amount of noise they were making. The new version of Ghost Of You gave me goosebumps and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that; even though I didn't know the lyrics, I loved every second of Destroya and Planetary (GO!), two of the new songs they played; I actually was on the verge of tears, for some reason, maybe just because I was so happy, during I'm Not Okay.

After about twenty sngs, they got off stage, then came back for an encore: Cancer, which Gerard sang on his own, with only James Dewees playing piano with him on stage, and The Kids From Yesterday. When it all was over, two of my friends managed to get Ray's guitar picks; then we hurried up to the artists' exit as quickly as possible, to wait for the guys to come out.

We waited in the cold for about a hour, meeting people we knew from the queue and sharing our opinions on the show, or just little excited screams; then, the security guards put up some barriers, and they came out.

I saw Ray first, but he went to the oppisite side from mine. Then Frank followed him, while Mikey and Gerard Way stayed on my side. I got my poster signed by Mikey, then Gerard came closer to me and started signing it as well; as I looked at him, this guy I look up to possibly more than anyone else in the whole world, I was suddenly nervous and, at the same time, amazed at just how lucky I was.

I took my mask off, and handed it to him, asking him if he wanted it, since he had said on twitter he would be collecting fanmade replicas of the mask he wore in the Na Na Na video; he looked up from my poster and saw it, and gave me a huge smile while nodding enthusiastically and making gestures to make me give it to him quickly, before they got dragged away.

I stood on the side of their van as they got in, and obviously couldn't help but look inside. The first thing I saw was Frankie, who was sitting on the opposite side from where I was, and waving at me with a huge grin on his face. Obviously, I grinned and waved back at him, but then I saw something which shocked me so much I started bawling my eyes out in the middle of the street, in the middle of the crowd I was in.

Sitting next to Frank, on the same side I was in, was Gerard. I could only recognize him by the flash of red hair and that stupid hand-knitted scarf he was wearing, though, because he was staring right in front of himself. Then I noticed something else. He had been wearing a hat while signing autographs, but the thing on his head wasn't a hat...It was turned sideways so it was facing my window, and I recognized it immediatly, having worn it non-stop for the past 30 hours. He was wearing my mask, and he wasn't wearing it to cover his face, he was wearing it turned to the window so I could see he was wearing it.

That's when I lost it. I sat on the pavement and just started crying, really loudly. Because I was so tired, because I was overwhelmed, but most of all because I was so happy.
Posted on November 5th, 2010 at 06:58pm

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