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Hesitant Alien Finally Arrives


Let’s start off this show review with just the solid fact that I was beyond thrilled when I got confirmed to photograph and review this show. Why? Well for those of you that don’t know who Gerard Way is, he was the lead vocalist for a band called My Chemical Romance. And if you don’t know who is he musically, maybe his comic books like The Umbrella Academy or Killjoys rings a bell. This man has so many talents and different sides, but for this particular review we are focused on his solo music career. It was last year when Gerard Way released his album Hesitant Alien. Since then, UIC Radio has had the chance to see his CMJ show in New York City; it was amazing. But now he finally made his way (no pun intended) to Chicago, so it’s no surprised that it was a sold out show.

As I arrived to the Vic Theatre here in Chicago was I greeted by the friendly staff and made my way inside the venue. A glance at the crowd was overwhelming as people flooded the venue and there were fans of all ages. Some wore Gerard’s merchandise, while others were dressed as Killjoys (read the comic), and finally some were wearing My Chemical Romance shirts. I was rather impressed though, because I was a fan of all of Gerard’s projects over the years so it was pretty awesome to see all kinds of fans in one room.

As the lights dimmed for the opening band, I was curious to know what they would sound like. The only thing I knew was that their name was Nuns and they were from Tulsa.


Nuns is a band made of four individuals whose music is what I would call indie-rock. I swear their music is something I would hear in a 70’s or 80’s movie; it’s groovy. What really stood out to me was Hank Hanewinkel III’s voice and how melodic it is and how it flows well with their music. Hank also gets really into this guitar parts as he swung his guitar around and moved around the stage. That’s a really good thing though to see musicians really enjoy themselves. For instance I caught both Chris Davis (bassist) and Christian Sanchez(guitar) smiling throughout their set. Did I mention that they have a super talented female drummer (Christy Hanewinkel)? Yeah, she’s rocking it. Nuns had me hooked and after I left the pit and joined the crowd, they had them hooked too. The crowd cheered them on and was really having a good time. Even as their set ended and fans awaited Gerard’s arrival, I saw fans starting to Google Nuns and pulling up their Facebook page. Their debut album “Opportunities” is out now on iTunes be sure to check them out. I hope they come back to Chicago soon.

Ahh yes, the moment had finally come. I was going to see Gerard Way perform and I was beyond excited to get some good shots of him. As I entered the pit, I could feel the fans’ energy intensify. As backdrop of Gerard’s set dropped and his band took the stage, the beginning of “The Bureau” filled the venue. Fans cheered and the fans in front stretched their arms towards the stage as soon as Gerard came on. The crowd went wild as they sang along lucky security was able to grab this young girl out of the front and sit with them so she wasn’t alone or squished with everyone else (Vic Theatre’s staff and security; you da real MVP).

After I left the pit Gerard began to sing a song that pretty much summed up the good show etiquette. Help someone up if they fall, don’t be mean, and have fun. Gerard is a great performer but what makes him stand out and earn the respect of so many is how he handles shows. For instance, Gerard took the time between every few songs to talk about deep topics like respecting the transgender community, being kind to one another, talking about depression, and being true to yourself. These are things that not every artist openly talks about, especially at a show. Fans showed their appreciation when they started to pass up gifts to him, it rained gifts when Gerard told fans to just go ahead and pass up their gifts. He took the time to check out a few and thank the crowd.

Gerard Way continued his set playing songs like “Millions” and “Action Cat”. Fan danced and cheered as they snag along and enjoyed the moment. When Gerard got called back for an encore he came out with his hands making a heart and saying, “I adore you”. He finished up by performing “No Shows” and hopping into the crowd before closing out his sold out show. Gerard adores us and we adore you Gerard.

Be sure to check out our full gallery here!


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