First annual Taste of Chaos a hit

My Chemical Romance and The Used headline an evening of energy and rifs
Despite subzero temperatures, die-hard fans camped out overnight to be the first ones inside the Taste of Chaos tour, which stopped at the Uniprix Stadium in Montreal last Thursday.

The Montreal band Florence kicked off the show, but ended up playing a shorter set in front of a very small audience because the doors had just been opened.

The Stadium was divided in half by a curtain; one side was reserved for the acoustic stage and merchandise tables, the other was reserved for the main stage.

The night continued with A Static Lullaby followed by Florida natives Underoath and Killswitch Engage on the main stage. It was only when the New Jersey five-piece, Senses Fail, hit the stage that the crowd really started going wild. The band delivered a high-energy performance for several thousand fans. When singer, Buddy Nielsen, stepped off stage he kept saying how amazing the show had been.

At around nine o'clock, My Chemical Romance embarked on stage. When interviewed earlier that day, MCR's guitarist Ray Toro said the Taste of Chaos tour has been really cool so far. "It's nice to wake up in the morning and see friendly faces," he says referring to the other bands. MCR's bassist, Mikey Way, describes the experience as "a high school reunion or winter camp," he says.

MCR's sophomore record, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, just passed the gold mark in North America. "We aren't even a year into the record and we have passed everything we thought we were ever going to do," says Way.

For their second record the band focused on writing shorter songs and getting to the point faster. "We tried to avoid being self-indulgent, we tried to simplify things and get to what makes people feel good because that is what music should do," says Toro.

The guys of MCR say they make it a point to stay grounded despite their recent success. "You can't really believe your own hype because it's partially fictitious, it's just something that somebody came up with," says Way.

That said, staying approachable to their fans has become somewhat more difficult now. "As much as we try to, it's a little harder these days because the number of kids that come and see you is ten-fold now," says Toro.

Once this tour ends, they will be "busy, busy, busy," says Way, heading to England and then elsewhere in Europe. "We are also going to go out on tour with Green Day for a month and a half," says Toro.

Touring with the guys of Green Day will be a dream come true for MCR. "In my grade seven or eight yearbook photo I am wearing a Green Day t-shirt," says Way.

The most important thing for the guys of My Chemical Romance is keeping things fun. "For the past couple weeks, I haven't been able to have as much fun on stage," says Toro, "because I was over-thinking shows and a lot of stuff," he adds.

Now, he just counts himself lucky to be playing his guitar every night with guys he loves and respects. "That's the one thing I've found out, being able to have fun on stage is really important to keep going if you are not having fun on stage every night, then there is no point in going on," concludes Toro.

And with the crowd clapping in synch and singing the band's every song, there was no way the guys of MCR couldn't have been having fun on stage last Thursday night.

Utah's The Used closed out the night, with a 45 minute set, starting with "Take it Away" the first single off their latest record In Love and Death.

The band's drummer, Branden Steineckert, says the band took several months off before starting to write again. Although they are happy with the way their second record turned out, they know they will be doing things differently next time around.

The guys of The Used had never envisioned becoming rock stars, however it is a reality they now face. "Not being able to go places, everyone knowing about your life; there's definitely a lack of freedom, but it comes with the territory," says Steineckert. Being constantly on tour can also have its ups and downs.

"You can't have relationships," says the band's bassist, Jeph Howard. "And you miss out on a lot of things by living out of a duffel bag," adds Steineckert.

Yet the guys say they would still be playing music even if they weren't in The Used. "I would still be playing bass because it's what I live for," says Howard.

Even the stadium's poor acoustics did not stop the band from giving a great performance. The night ended with an encore performance by the guys of MCR.

The first annual Taste of Chaos tour was a definite hit in Montreal.

The Concordian