This rare My Chemical Romance gig from 2002 shows they were destined for greatness

Gerard Way in 2004 and at a show in 2002
(Image credit: Getty / YouTube)

My Chemical Romance caused mass millennial emo hysteria when they officially announced their reunion on Halloween back in 2019 (yes, it really was nearly two and a half years ago). Seven years after their final gig at Bamboozle Festival in their home state of New Jersey, the leaders of The Black Parade were due to make a triumphant return with a series of wildly hyped shows around the world, taking in everywhere from Chicago to Milton Keynes. 

While the pandemic has meant that their return has thus far only wielded a solitary comeback show in LA, excitement remains at fever pitch for the return of the biggest band to ever emerge from the 00s emo explosion. With that in mind, what better time to look back on one of the very earliest My Chemical Romance shows to have made it to video, courtesy of Youtube user George Koroneos, who has posted a full MCR set from all the way back in 2002.

The show, which was held at Hoboken, New Jersey venue Maxwell's, took place on August 16 of that year as MCR supported local pop punk crew The Lawn Darts as a part of their tour for debut album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. Unsurprisingly, the set is composed of almost entirely I Brought You My Bullets... material, save a cover of Morrissey number Jack The Ripper (complete with frontman Gerard Way admitting that he used to think The Smiths "were stupid"...Whoops!).

The show itself is a scuzzy, intense, sweaty half-hour of early-00s post-hardcore bangers, reminding us that MCR were writing catchy, anthemic insta-classics from day one; even in such a raw setting, Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough For The Two Of Us and Vampires Will Never Hurt You are packed full of searing emotional peaks and, judging by the singalongs, have evidently become fan favourites at a show where the quartet aren't even headlining. 

It also shows that, before the pomp and grandeur of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, The Black Parade and Danger Days elevated My Chemical Romance to being one of the world's biggest rock bands, they were, at heart, a bunch of punk rock kids, playing kickass punk rock shows. 

Check out the excellent footage below. 

My Chemical Romance 2022 UK/Ireland shows

May 16: Eden Sessions, St. Austell
May 17: Eden Sessions, St. Austell
May 19: Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
May 21: Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
May 22: Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
May 24 Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin IRE
May 27: Victoria Park, Warrington
May 28: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
May 30: OVO Hydro, Glasgow 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.