2016 marks a decade since Brooklyn native Frank Iero cut guitar parts on My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade. In a sense, the album represents the heyday of emo movement and all the punk-leaning imagery, emotive theatrics and neo-gothic melancholy it embedded. But while the yearning and teen angst of the emo period may have dissipated within the hearts of veterans; it seems that the legacy of My Chemical Romance is still running strong.
Judging by the mean age of those present at Brisbane’s The Triffid to catch former guitarist’s Frank Iero latest project Frnkiero and the Patience, it’s a sound that’s reaching a newer generation of fans. Yet with the heroic period of emo long since passed, those without the assurance of nostalgia could be forgiven for being sceptical. Yet if these doubts were present here they were quickly be allayed by Iero’s ability to conjure the elemental power of raw performance.
Anticipating Iero’s bombastic entry, Walter Schreifels opened the night with warm banter and huskily melodic material. With a set skewed towards indie-tinged rock, his performance came interlaced with warm banter and dexterous fretwork. Clad in double denim, the singer acted as a mellow counterpoint to what would later come. Schreifels presented a well-balanced solo set. Accompanied only by his guitar there was no feeling that anything was lacking. Middling just shy of its middle capacity the singer cultivated this small but receptive audience into a buzzing crowd.
Frank Iero’s entrance was electrifying. Met with ear shattering shrieks and writhing limbs, Iero led his quartet into a blistering string of opening songs. Built upon a foundation of tension building chord progressions and the push-pull of rhythmic cues, his selection of opening sonics was purpose built to catalyse euphoria.
The guitarist turned frontman exists in a masterclass of rock posturing. The clichés of pop punk were deftly mastered, easily placating the roaring audience. Guitar slinging antics cued with shuffling rhythms melted any lingering passivity. The white heat of the band’s spasmodic thrashing projected energy into the crowd as much as it drew it in. Intent on bombast, the exuberant frontman seemed eager to leave an impression.
“This is a trip I’ve been planning for a long time,” Iero revealed mid-set, referring to the untimely demise of Soundwave Festival earlier this January. The cancellation of the event had frustrated plans to tour with a full band. “We wanted to bring the full band and play these songs as they were meant to be,” he continued. Yet if anything these tracks drive harder than the recorded material of Iero’s 2014 LP stomachaches.
There was certainly an indulgence to teen fantasy to the performance. Between songs Iero was incessantly met with adoring shrieks, shouted professions of love as well as gifts of chocolate alongside a conspicuously sealed bottle of Australian beer. Stoking this adoration, he returned affection in kind, serenading atop waltzing serenades and doo-wop baselines.
Inhabiting the role of teenage heartthrob so naturally, Iero also previewed new track Remedy, an anthemic punk track with slighter hints of caustic hardcore screams. Despite the night’s pop punk overtones, the group also pushed into more contemporary post-hardcore material and torrential moments of hardcore intensity. Frank screams as well as he croons.
After pushing into their crashing finale, the crowd demanded more. Despite the inevitability of a calculated encore, there was a palpable moment of suspense before the quartet retook to the stage. “More songs? We don’t know many more!” teased Frank. The emotive conclusion of stomachaches, where do we belong? anywhere but here would have proven a fitting closer, but in addition to this first encore, Schreifels returned to assist with a thunderous cover of the Ramones’ Rockaway Beach.
Iero closed his set on a high note. Even for those outside of the epicentres of emo and My Chemical Romance fandom, the charismatic frontman proved capable of conjuring more than wistful nostalgia. Live there’s little question that Iero can equally invoke the best of what came before while transcending an axis of the mid-noughties punk and alternative rock.
Frnkiero andthe Patience’s Australian tour continues tonight in Adelaide. See dates and details here.
Photos: Frnkiero andthe Patience – The Triffid, Brisbane 09/10/16 / Photos by: Rebecca Reid
Frnkiero andthe Patience - The Triffid, Brisbane 09/10/16 - Music Feeds