As we sway away from the pop-punk-rock-esq My Chemical Romance days, ex-rhythm guitarist, Frank Iero has continued his music artistry with some solo work over the past few years. His unique blend of post-grunge/rock and acoustics is something unheard of usually in this scene, and I had the rare opportunity to sample this the early Sunday afternoon before he waltzed to ‘Hit the Deck festival’ later that day.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard much of his debut album ‘Stomachaches’ but whatever I listened to made me reminisce about my pop-punk fangirl era, but with a 90s gloomy twist- which was definitely a good thing.
As I walked up to Rough Trade I just passed by a queue of teens dressed in black, as I felt slightly awkward in my colourful getup; I knew who they were there for. Despite the huge group of followers Frank had occupied, part of my soul felt lost as most the kids there probably weren’t of age to experience the thrill of seeing Gerard Way screaming “Teenagers scared the living s**t out of me” to a crowd of sweaty 14 year olds. As I squeezed my way into the tightly packed room, all I could hear was Frank and his band testing out their guitars ready to perform. Not being able to see anything was a drawback, but like any live gig it’s about the music, the atmosphere and the crowd reaction. He started of the short performance with an acoustic version of the hefty named ‘She’s the Prettiest Girl at the Party, and She Can Prove It with a Solid Right Hook’. As the crowd swayed to the music, the sync of the seemingly black uniform adorned by most gave the whole thing an emotional vibe. Too add some girl was crying on the side – I presume in happiness, as there wasn’t anything “sad” about this moment.
He ended his set with a slowed down version of ‘Weighted’ which really god everyone going, shouting out lyrics back at Frank Iero, a custom which I have never understood; surely you want to hear the artist? Anyhow, that wrapped up the set and since I had nothing to sign but a bit of my flesh, I went on to leave the premise with a glance at Frank as him and his band started packing up. I may go and try and define them into genres, but at the end of the day he’s producing music he loves, and enjoying himself, which is all that matters.
By Gabriella Ahmed