Denver — When your Instagram handle is “@frankieromustdie” that’s a serious business. Frank Iero is a serious musician and a seriously genuine person. The former My Chemical Romance guitarist had his tour ended last year when a bus hit his tour van in Australia. According to My Chemical Romance’s twitter feed on October 13, 2016, “2 members of the band are undergoing surgery. Frank is banged up pretty badly but physically OK.” These days, Frank takes nothing for granted, “This is the first tour back and the first U.S. tour on this record. That’s pretty crazy. It means a lot, it means so much more. I didn’t think we’d ever get to do it again.” For all the darkness in his records and the past six months of life, he’s got a pretty incredible outlook on living, “I don’t think I can let go of that too easily. That feeling is really amazing. Colors are brighter, everything, everything changes.” He’s taking nothing for granted, not the touring, not the bus he’s riding on, his family or his bandmates.
The latest record Parachutes, released last year with his band the Patience in October, shows growth from Stomachaches, his first record after the breakup of My Chemical Romance, released in 2014. Stomachaches was mostly his, playing all the instruments except drums, released under the name “frnkiero and the cellabration.” Parachutes is a dark Spring storm of sound like lightning and thunder waiting to fall from the sky to bring the earth back to life after a cold winter. It falls gracefully like it’s title a parachute. It’s hard as a hammer and mad. For all the anger and angst in his music, Frank is growing right now, “I’ve been trying to be this open conduit and take in a lot of things around me. Life has been really inspiring to me, the mundane stuff, the things we take for granted. The stuff we see everyday, but don’t see the beauty or extravagance in.” Frank Iero and the Patience came to the stage on Thursday night at the Marquis and launched full on into Parachutes and the fans launched back with love.
“World Destroyer,” “Veins! Veins! Veins!!!” and “I’m A Mess,” by this time they were warmed up, running cool and rocking the crowd hard, “I am just a mess… And I don’t wanna change.” That’s how the song goes, but Frank’s come a long way since he wrote those words down. “What’s important to me right now is getting to play the songs that I’ve written, kind of do things on my own terms.”
On the bus, reflecting back to last October, he said, “what’s crazy is when you have a life changing or almost close to death experience the things that you… (pause). It’s easy to take things for granted when you’re doing them often, but when you feel like that thing that you love so much, that thing that almost defines you can be just snatched from you. The outlook is one hundred and fifty percent different. Now it’s like these places that I’ve been to quite a few times, and the shows, the venues that I’ve played, the songs that we’ve rehearsed thousands of times. Everything feels different. Everything’s new, everything’s more engaged, everything’s more important.” He’s certainly doing things on his own terms and coming back from tragedy, “To step on the edge of something and kind of walk yourself back. Have this new set of eyes, it’s a pretty hefty experience.” Back on the stage, it’s clear he’s engaged in his music, the fans and life. It plays out from his heart to his voice and through his fingers.
From “I’m A Mess” they played “Weighted” and “Tragician” from the first album. Alternating Parachutes and Stomachaches for the rest of the night. They worked in a cover of “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen bringing opening band Dave Hause and the Mermaid back to assist. It was a perfect celebration of that iconic song. The whole house had fun. The front row was enthralled, screaming along passionately the whole show. A few stage divers and crowd surfers made it to the stage grinning ear to ear. They closed the set with “Joyriding” and chose to play through rather than encore “Oceans.” It was a legitimately solid choice. A solid performance with no fat to trim.
“The last tour we were out here was two years ago. We toured a bunch on the last record and then we took some time off to write and record this newest record. Getting into this accident kind of knocked us off.” It may have knocked them off, but they’re back on. The future seems primed for some really positive rage that will likely turn into incredible art. “It’s made me want to take different approaches to things. Art in general and writing in general. If your next statement could be your last, what would it be? Those types of things. Are you really set in your ways, the outlets that you saw as your only outlets are they truly your only outlets? Is there other things? What else is there?” Whatever else there is will surely be worth the time of the people who adore him and his music, darkly creative in a way that’s yet to be seen.
The music of Frank and the Patience is a motivator if loud, dark, carefully crafted and masterfully played is your style. After almost 20 years on the road, it’s what you’d expect from a musician of his skill, like you know from the record with all the nuance and all the moments you want from a live performance. Check out the slideshow.