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Last time New Jersey rockers My Chemical Romance were in Cardiff they were touring in support of their release of the Black Parade album in 2007. Four years forward and My Chemical Romance are back in Cardiff for the ‘Danger Days’ tour. Fans of the band took over the pavements of Cardiff and queued outside the Cardiff International Arena from early hours to assure that they have the best spot to watch the American Rockers.

Lost Alone have the difficulty of opening the show and do everything they can to fire the crowd up. The band, from Derby, have a classic rock sound and are personal favourites of the headliners, having supported My Chemical Romance on several occasions. The band’s latest single ‘Paradox on Earth’ is full of infectious rifts and a heavy blend of rock, as they leave the stage it’s clear to see they have won over a few new fans.

Welsh favourites The Blackout are up next and in the crowd all you can see is their clan, ‘the riot squad’, pushing to the front to catch a glimpse of their energetic and unpredictable favourites. The Blackout, from Merthyr Tydfil, are really not shy of any energy or confidence. Performing a cut set, favourites from their previous three albums were played including ‘Children of the night’, “Spread Legs not Lies’ and new single ‘Higher and Higher’. Frontmen Gavin Butler and Sean Smith are a great partnership, both packed with full of banter and charisma which add to the enjoyment of the short set played. The band didn’t have to do much to win the crowd over but definitely delivered a memorable performance that sent a message that 2011 is going to be The Blackout’s year with their headline tour and new album ‘Hope’ be released in April.

Anticipation was now through the roof as images from the bands album are shown on the screens around the arena. As the opening from their ‘True Lives and Fabulous Kill Joys’ is played the crowd erupt with excitement because the wait is over. The classic curtain drop reveals My Chemical Romance in all their glory. Bursting with excitement, the launch into ‘Na na na’ receives dominating cheers from the crowd. The five-piece don’t forget their back catalogue and perform tracks from all four previous albums including crowd pleasers such as ‘I’m Not Okay’ and ‘Helena’. For this tour My Chemical Romance decided that they wanted to cut the production and strip down their stage props and pyro effects so the tour would be similar to previous shows before mainstream fame. Every song in their set received a great reaction and sing-a-long – especially ‘Teenagers’, ‘Famous Last Words’ and ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’. The set came to a halt with ‘Hurt You’, a track that hasn’t been performed since 2005. Before concluding the show the band returned to the stage to perform an encore of ‘Bulletproof Heart’ to end the night on a high. With the band rumoured to be headlining either Reading and Leeds or Download My Chemical Romance won’t be forgetting the UK for a very long time.

Words and photos: Mike Lewis