The cops arrived approximately three tracks into The Black Parade. At that point, the band was just getting going, the crowd was just gearing up, a mosh pit was growing and it stopped the two officers on the stairs. To be fair, they most likely took a pause because they couldn’t identify the resident of the house (per protocol) but they were visibly impressed. One bobbed his head to the pounding drums, the other leaned back and assessed the beanie and denim clad crowd singing in unison. They waited it out, letting the squealing feedback bleed out into cheers and applause before their flashlights strobed, ushering out attendees. As the audience shuffled up the stairs of the basement towards the backyard one show-goer stopped, “But wasn’t that sick?”
“Fuck yeah,” the officer responded.
On Friday the 13th, Prince Daddy & the Hyena (covering the treasured My Chemical Romance album), Pictures of Vernon (running through some Green Day classics) and Nervous Dater (playing their own songs) played to two packed basements in downtown Albany for a worthy cause. All donations–provided in crumpled ones, folded bills and loose change–will be donated to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. The DIY community and their supporters raised nearly $400 ($380.40 to be exact), quite an accomplishment for a bunch of broke millennials. At least 100 people came to see their favorite early 2000s emo hits revived and they weren’t disappointed. The Black Parade even got its full reprise–at a different location of course.
Both the initial show and its inevitable relocation were a sight to see.
Nervous Dater played an energizing opening set, treating the crowd to a few favorites off of their latest release Don’t Be A Stranger like “Bad Spanish,” with playful surf rock licks and crispy vocals from frontwoman Rachel Lightner reminiscent of late ‘90s emo. Pictures of Vernon took us way back in the Green Day catalogue to the grit of Kerplunk, Dookie and Insomniac.
Folks crowd surfed over their friends, nearly smashing against the rafters and screaming the whole way through. Between sets, scattered groups traded memories of the first time they heard Green Day’s “Welcome to Paradise,” or how they didn’t realize they still remembered all the words to MCR’s “Famous Last Words.”
When the unmistakable plinking intro to “Welcome To The Black Parade” began the transfer set around midnight, all hell broke loose. From the backyard you could hear a cacophony of voices belting out the ballad introduction, aggression building with every word until Prince Daddy broke into the mosh pit-inducing break and the crowd jumped–lifting guest vocalist Anderson Ragan of Pictures of Vernon with them–palms to the ceiling to shield their heads.
The guest vocals made the sense of communal nostalgia almost overwhelming. When the instrumentals or a blank memory overpowered a vocalist, someone else in the crowd was there to take over. Fingers grasped, reaching for the mic as audience members played pass along for the rest of the album, crying out the emotional turmoil of “I Don’t Love You” and the sinister wails and “Mama” until there was nothing left to be said.
Check out the featured gallery here.
Photo by Ariel Enbinder