The latest news of the emo revival arrived not with a bang but with a whimper, in the form of a quiet Twitter and Instagram announcement from My Chemical Romance: tickets for a single show would go on sale on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at 12 p.m. PST (3 p.m. EST). The performance will take place on Dec. 20, 2019 at Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles, the band's first since their breakup in 2013. With so little information available, Killjoys and Members of the Black Parade are left wondering whether this is a flash in the pan, or if they have reason to fully unpack their black t–shirts and eyeliner that have been sitting in boxes for the past six years.
Some information can be gleaned from the announcement, however simple: the word "RETURN," in all caps, is featured in the promotional image, supporting early speculation that this is a full reunion and not a one–off show. Two stone angels make up the art, while the caption, "Like Phantoms Forever," is a reference to MCR's 2002 debut EP. Additionally, this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of their sophomore LP Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.
Fans have been clamoring for a reunion ever since the band went its separate ways in 2013, announcing their breakup via blog post. There was a brief flicker of hope in 2016, when the band posted a new logo, "MCRX," and the cryptic date of Sept. 23, 2016. What some speculated was a reunion tour turned out to be a reissue of their signature album Welcome to the Black Parade, accompanied by previously–unreleased demos.
Reunion speculation resumed earlier this year, when Joe Jonas said in an interview with KISS FM, "I’ve got some dirt. My Chemical Romance apparently were rehearsing next to us in New York recently…I thought they broke up, so I don’t know." MCR guitarist Frank Iero laughed off the rumor, joking in an Instagram story, "Apparently the Ramones are playing down the hall from us in Moscow. Thought those guys were supposed to be dead or something. I don’t know what that’s about."
Frontman Gerard Way, meanwhile, has responded vaguely to interview questions about a possible reunion. He told Billboard in 2017, "I wouldn't count [a reunion] out, but at the same time everybody's doing stuff in their lives now that they're really enjoying." Speaking to UK magazine i later that year, he reiterated, "I think My Chem [sic] will always be there for us if we want it, but it adds a layer of stress." Most recently, when asked by The Guardian if there was any chance of a reunion, he said, "I miss playing with the guys, but I don’t think so…"
On some level, this is the ideal time for an MCR comeback. Fellow emo musician band Fall Out Boy is embarking on the Hella Mega Tour next summer with Green Day and Weezer, while Panic! at the Disco released Pray for the Wicked in 2018. Add that to Dashboard Confessional's upcoming 20th anniversary tour and Saosin announcing two Garden Grove shows in December, and the so–called emo revival is in full swing.
At the same time, the members of MCR appear to have moved on with their lives. Way not only created DC Comics' Young Animal imprint but serves as executive producer for Netflix's The Umbrella Academy. Iero, meanwhile, fronts a new band called Frank Iero and the Future Violents. Keyboardist James Dewees fronts Reggie and the Full Effect and recently left The Get Up Kids. A full reformation of My Chemical Romance would likely mean either stepping back from or fully abandoning these other projects, making it a costly decision for everyone involved.
This reunion performance may very well be a way of testing the waters, performing together as a band once more and using that as a basis for further performances or potentially new music (neither of which have been confirmed at this time). Perhaps they could reunite, but not participate in the constant album and tour rat race of younger, newer bands. Certainly, however, any kind of news from MCR is cause for celebration from fans who have waited eagerly for their return.
Of course, this is all speculation. The extent of the facts are as follows: My Chemical Romance will perform a single show in Los Angeles at the end of the year. The hopeful may hold out for a larger tour, while the desperate and diehard should start looking into hotels and plane tickets. Either way, Killjoys: make some noise!