I entered a competition to be the London Show tour reporter, meet the band and take photos during the gig itself. I had to shoot a video of myself saying why I should win. Whatever I said it did the trick because next thing I know I find out I've won. I must admit I had a good feeling about it but I still cried when I found out.
I was told I would get 10 minutes with the band, a photo, something signed, I could ask them a few brief questions for my report and also get to stand in the photographers pit for the first three songs and take photos. We went to where we were meant to collect our passes and meet our contact but the security at Hammersmith were having none of it and wouldn't let us in (even though I could see what were blatantly other winners inside getting their passes). Luckily I found another comp winner in the queue who also couldn't get in but had a contact number for someone at Kerrang!. We were both really nervous that we'd miss out and I really thought I was going to be sick. I was so close but now it looked like I might miss the meet & greet. Me and Adam tagged along with the other comp winners and when we saw their tour manager and she said, "Are you Sarah? I'm so sorry, we've been concerned about you" my heart started beating again and I could have cried. I was finally in the right place and heading off to meet my heroes.
We were taken into a room that was separated in two. There were four sets of winner in total who each got time with the band separately. We were at the back. The door opened and I saw a shock of red hair and suddenly the band I owe so much to were in the room. I started shaking and just stood open mouthed as the first comp winners stood chatting with them. Ray seemed so excited and was into everything put in front of him by the winners. Adam had to tell me to control my body because I was fidgeting so much.
Then we got called forward. A guy from Warner asked my name and next thing I know Gerard is in front of me with his and out, "This is Sarah" says the guy, Gerard shakes my hand, "Hi, I'm Gerard". All I could say, like a complete idiot was, "I know". I shook the hands of the rest of the guys and introduced myself and then stood there like a dummy, silent and I suddenly felt like I was just staring at Frank and smiling a lot. I apologised to Mikey and Frank for being so nervous and they said it was fine. I finally asked how they were and how long they'd been in the country, they said a few days and that they'd done some shopping, that's when I asked whether they'd been to Forbidden Planet yet. They all perked up and said no and Mikey was like, "NO!" but they all agreed that if they went shopping in there it would put their luggage allowance way over the scales. I told Gerard that I'd seen him at the comic book signing there a few years back and he said what a crazy day that was. At some point during this chat (I think when I was preoccupied with staring at Frank) Adam had noticed Gerard has red on his neck and declared, "You've got red on you", a Shaun of the Dead reference I'm not sure Gerard got. Then I went silent AGAIN!
Luckily Adam wasn't quite so dumbstruck as me and said, "I think she's meant to be asking you some questions for a report" Gerard said cool and they all looked at me to which I squeaked, "I can't remember any of my questions!" Again Adam took the lead and said, "You wrote them down." Okay first question, "Will the Killjoys in the comic book look like the band?" The response was given by Gerard and was really in-depth and really interesting....I just can't remember all of it because I was still a bit nervous and shaky. It boils down to no, they won't, the videos and costumes were inspired by the comic book and although the Killjoys will share the same beliefs and ethics they will not be the same characters. At this point Adam told Mikey how much he liked his helmet *cough*.
Next question, "Are there any British bands you'd like to collaborate with or play on stage with?" Mikey straight away answered with Morrissey (I wouldn't expect anything less) and Jarvis Cocker. I told them we are big Gallows fans and again they all piped in that they liked Gallows and I asked Frank about when he played on stage with them. He explained that it was during a festival and they'd played Nervous Breakdown so he just ran on stage and started playing too. Apparently there was talk of Leathermouth playing with them but it never came off. I said that would have been epic. Frank then said apparently Frank Carter was now tattooing and I showed him my two Carter tattoos and said he should totally try to get tattooed by him, if he had any room left on his body. He then asked if I knew whether Frank's brother was living in the States too and I said that no Steph still lived over here (it was weird to be asked a question by the band rather than the other way around). They had a little chat between themselves about a friend in the US who they all shared...I think, again I lost the conversation because it then hit me that I was talking to My Chemical Romance.
We were then told to get in for the photo (which I'm dying to see but have yet to) and I was next to Gerard. Adam nearly stood next to me on the other side but jumped down the end next to Ray so that I was in between Gerard and Frank :) I think I might have got a bit too close to Gerard but I'll have to wait for the photo to be sure. I quickly asked if I could get their autographs and Gerard (who had his own Sharpie) went first. He asked my name again and asked whether it was with an "h" or without. I said with and that started a discussion about someone (possibly and aunt) who Frank knew who had suddenly dropped the "h" from her name. Mikey then said that there was a song called Sara by Starship and said, "you know, Starship from Mannequin" to which I over excitedly declared my love for that film. He then said he wanted to see Wall Street 2, which I said I also really wanted to see (I do, I wasn't just agreeing for the sake of it). Frank then had to sign and had to ask, "So is it with an "h" or without then?" haha. I then shook all their hands again, thanked them profusely and was ushered out of them room.
I was very excited and could barely contain myself by this point. Adam was pretty happy too and we went around to go into the gig. Security told us to go watch the support and to be back 15 minutes before MCR were due on so that we could be taken round to the photographer pit. We bought some merch (the raygun hoodie) and try as I might I just couldn't take in the support act, Twin Atlantic. Next it was all a bit of a cock up unfortunately. There were too many photographers so they split us in to two groups and said the first group could shoot the first three songs and the second would have to wait outside and could then shoot the next three. We were in the second group and there was no way I was going to miss the first three songs of MCR's comeback gig so I told them not to bother, passed up the chance, and we ran around to watch the gig like normal punters, with seconds to spare. This is the set list:
"Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)"
"Thank You For The Venom"
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
"Give 'Em Hell, Kid"
"Our Lady Of Sorrows"
"I Don't Love You"
"You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison"
"The Only Hope For Me Is You"
"Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough For The Two Of Us"
"This Is How I Disappear"
"Welcome To The Black Parade"
"The Ghost Of You"
"Famous Last Words"
"The Kids From Yesterday"
Now, fair play to all you guys who queued for days and days on end to get to the front, and trust me when I say if I hadn't have won I'd have been there in the early hours queuing too but I can't help but think I got lucky with how close I got to the front despite rocking up within seconds of it starting . Adam took my bag and stood at the back so that he could take it all in but I walked to about halfway down the floor and by the time the band were half way through the first song I was about three or four rows back, at times maybe closer. I had a pretty decent view of Gerard for most of the gig, Mikey 80% of the time and the others I caught a glimpse of now and then. I'd have rather been on the barrier for sure but I was in the thick of it and had an awesome time. I managed to not go down although some around me did (and were always swiftly picked up or helped out if they'd lost a wallet or a phone) and I did get a foot in the face, a punch in the back and my toes nearly broken when they were stamped on repeatedly but I loved every second of it. By the end of it I was a sweaty mess, with my hair pulled out and scratches up my arms but I was so so happy.
The set itself was excellent, a mix of old and new that worked really well. Twins from the crowd (who I'd met years ago at the KOKO gig) were bought on stage to sing Honey and the place went crazy. I thought I'd be more emotional than I was but I could help but cry when Gerard sang Cancer and again when he declared, "London thank you so much. We are really excited about this record, but we're more excited about the next 10 years of this band." The thought of MCR wanting to keep this up made me so happy, especially after the uncertainty after the last record.
There's not much more to say except I had the best day ever, I met my heroes and watched them perform that comeback show of their lives. It was everything I'd ever dreamed of and more. Gerard was friendly and the gentleman I remembered him to be from out brief chat in Forbidden Planet. Frank was remarkably quiet but really warm and a joy to be around. Mikey was like a kid, really chatty and funny and cute as hell. And Ray was adorable, polite and seemed so genuinely happy to meet the fans. Thank you guys, for everything, you mean more to me than anyone could ever know or ever understand.