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Gerard Way – Brixton O2 Academy – 23/01/15 | Live Review

We recently headed down to see Gerard Way headline the famous Brixton O2 Academy – find out what we thought of the show here!

Source: Kennerdeigh Scott

There’s a sense of hysteria tonight at Brixton as the anti-hero of noughties emo has his name in lights above the venue doors. Gerard Way held a special place in the hearts of every teenage outcast here with previous band My Chemical Romance; therefore, it’s hardly surprising that fans are now returning the favour and supporting him in his solo ventures.

While it’s not bursting at the seams, Brixton’s O2 Academy is comfortably full with a fervent crowd – not something that every artist in Gerard’s shoes has the fortune of obtaining. There are obvious devotees who have followed his every footstep squeezing into the front row, while those who are simply curious to see their how favourite frontman copes with stepping out into the spotlight alone filter slowly into the back. It’s a divide that suits everyone.

Source: Kennerdeigh Scott

The Hormones, Gerard’s touring band, perform the intro to brand new song ‘Cheap Lights’ for a minute or two before the man of the hour walks out to an eruption of screams and cheers. It’s a strange choice for an opening number, especially when immediately followed by second new track ‘Kid Nothing’, but it gives those who are beside themselves with excitement a chance for composure before he launches into numbers from his much-loved solo debut, Hesitant Alien.

While pop-happy single ‘Millions’ has an almost unanimous crowd response, with even those who are slightly dubious about the solo material getting stuck in. It’s the album’s heavier tracks, such as the grunge-pop ‘Zero Zero’, the chaotic alt-rock ‘Juarez’ and the foot-stomping ‘Maya the Psychic’ that drive the crowd wild. It’s during these moments that not only do we see the crowd really lose themselves, but Gerard too; he grabs the opportunity to let loose, screaming into the microphone and falling to his knees, showing us the entertainer that we all know and love.

Source: Kennerdeigh Scott

However, Hesitant Alien was a chance for Gerard to expose himself without any masks, costumes and set designs, and he ensures that we see that side of him tonight. ‘Brother’, which he warmly dedicates to his own brother Mikey Way; ‘Drugstore Perfume’, during which he gives a nostalgic nod to his past; and a sweet piano-led track known by fans as ‘Ambulance’ (NOT a cover of the track of the same name from the Conventional Weapons album, as some have been led to believe!) all produce moments of both deafening silence and passionate sing-a-longs from the crowd. Gerard’s voice echoes out with haunting clarity, captivating and delighting all at once.

On the fun final note of ‘No Shows’, Gerard walks off the stage – but he soon returns for not one, but two encores, consisting of firstly his debut solo single ‘Action Cat’ and new track ‘Don’t Try’, then his cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Snakedriver’, which is fast becoming a fan-favourite.

As someone who was somewhat sceptical about seeing such a theatrical performer command a stage alone with no gimmicks or drama, Gerard Way exceeded all expectations, and then some. After tonight, it’s safe to say that he is unarguably back on form, and back on the stage – exactly where he belongs.

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