Webster Hall is one of the best known venues in New York City, just at the borders of the East Village. It’s a historical landmark, built in 1886 and last renovated in 1992. It features multiple performance areas including the Grand Ballroom, which was filled to almost capacity for Gerard’s show.
The sound and lighting systems were excellent, and the acoustics of the Grand Ballroom were superb. It was probably the best sounding show of this size that I’ve been to in a while. I was lucky enough to get a spot in the balcony, stage right, which was perfect for seeing the show.
The Eeries are an up-and-coming band, currently based in L.A. Comprised of four life-long musicians, the band played an interesting mix of punky pop and refurbished 90’s alt-rock, heavy on the guitars. They had energy and enthusiasm, and had no problems getting the crowd moving on their feet for their short set.
The set featured Cool Kid, the Eeries’ anthemic ode to the uncool kids in the world, a song that caught the attention of L.A.’s KROQ this summer and got airplay before the band even had a label. Since then, the Eeries have signed to Interscope records and are working on putting the finishing touches to the debut album.
The Eeries are Isaiah Silva (vocals, guitar), Brandon Sweeney (guitar), Nadir Maraschin (drums), and Eliot Lorango (bass).
Gerard Way, once known for creating the occasionally flamboyant and often gothic aesthetic of My Chemical Romance, has channeled his artistic energies into reviving the best parts of Bowie-influenced glam rock and fuzz-heavy Britpop. Hesitant Alien, his first solo album since the breakup of My Chemical Romance, is a celebration of some of Gerard’s most treasured musical influences.
The show started off with his backing band, the Hormones, on stage and jamming to dark, slow beat of The Bureau before he bounced onto the stage and roared into the song. At the start of the third song, the show slammed to a halt as the barrier holding the crowd back started to give way. Several fans had to be pulled from the crowd; luckily none of them were seriously hurt, just shaken. The break stretched out past the 10-minute mark as security struggled to dismantle the barrier and move it out of the audience.
At this point, Gerard left the stage and I had some serious doubts about whether he was going to be able to recapture the energy and momentum that he’d built during the first two songs. I was also worried that the show would be cut short, since some venues are very strict about sticking to the schedule.
The crowd was restless and confused as security frantically worked with the barrier, but after about fifteen minutes, the barrier was gone, and Gerard was back on stage and powering into Zero Zero. It was amazing to watch him step back on stage and take command of the audience like there’d never been a pause.
It’s clear that switching gears from his alternative Jersey punk rock roots to his current incarnation, channeling Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn for all he’s worth, has taken away none of Gerard’s showmanship and connection with his audience. Between songs, Gerard was as earnest as ever, his onstage banter covering the gamut from feminism to trans* acceptance, and the crowd loved it.
The set was filled with songs from the new album, plus some additional audio treats: a tune from the soundtrack of Kevin Smith’s new movie Tusk and Television All The Time, a B-side from the Japanese release of the album as well as a couple of souped-up covers by Jesus and Mary Chain and Sleater-Kinney.
It was a rocking show, with a fantastic mix of songs and a lot of positive energy. These are the kinds of shows I live for, ones that make my heart pound and I can’t help but dance and scream and sing along with the band.
Gerard has recruited Ian Fowles (guitar), James Dewees (keyboards), Matt Gorney (bass), and Jarrod Alexander (drums) to play with him on tour as the Hormones. Hesitant Alien is Gerard’s first solo album, and he will be touring select cities in Europe for the rest of the year.
Overall, it was probably one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. Great music and great performances in a solid venue. If you have a chance to catch Gerard Way and the Hormones on tour, don’t hesitate to check them out.
by cardiac_in_overdrive (@cardiac_ovrdrv)