"Strength of mind rests in sobriety."
So, basically, this story is about Gerard’s first show sober.
OKAY, ANYWAYS… sorry if I don’t really have my facts straight. I just figured the tour was Face To Face, since they were talking on LOTMS about how Bob shot the I’m Not Okay video before going on that tour and Gee sobered up then Bob went on tour with them days later… MCR math(:
August 16th, 2004.
“Thirty eight, thirty nine…. Forty.” Bob finished his jumping jacks and began stretching with Ray and Mikey. In less than an hour, My Chemical Romance would be kicking off their first show on 2004’s Face To Face tour. None of them knew what to expect, because this was the first time Bob would be on stage as part of the act, not just mixing sound.
And Gerard was sober. Not to mention terrified.
Frank sat on the couch and began tuning his guitar, when MyChem’s manager, Brian Schechter, came backstage. “Five minutes, guys.” He told them.
Gerard’s heart was pounding through his chest. This was usually when he would go back to the tour bus and pound a bunch of beer. Nothing but coffee and water has passed his lips for a week, and he was worried that he would be able to perform per usual. Would his deliverance be the same? Would his energy be as high? Would they still enjoy the performance?
“Guys, come one, we gotta get out there.” Mikey said, grabbing his bass off the stand.
Well, it didn’t matter anymore. They had to perform, there was no turning back.
The band emerged on the stage, and the kids all went crazy, whooping and screaming louder than Gerard had remembered them being capable of. But then again, he never really remembered anything having to do with the band’s concerts.
It felt good knowing he would remember this.
The concert started, the opening song was Skylines and Turnstiles. Gerard stiffened and opened his mouth.
You're not in this alone
Let me break this awkward silence
Let me go, go on record
Be the first to say I'm sorry
Hear me out,
And if you take me down
Or would you lay me out
And if the world needs something better
Let's give them one more reason now, now now.
It took Gerard a while, but after the first few songs, he soon realized that the kids were still loving the show. He didn’t need all the booze and drugs to produce an amazing show. He never did. This is what the band should have been. Him being drunk didn’t affect how the kids felt, they were just there for a good fucking show by their favorite band. And instead of having no energy, Gerard actually felt like he had more. He could play all night and not pass out or crash afterwards. It was as if he was on top of the world. All he needed was the guys, their music, and these kids to make him feel more alive than he ever felt when he was drunk.
The song ended, and the kid’s loud screams filled the already sticky, humid air. But nobody cared, because they were all having too good a time to care.
The fans filled Gerard with a large confidence, and he wiped the sweat from his forehead and prepared to speak.
“If you, or someone you know,” his voice boomed throughout the field, “Are severely depressed, I want you to fucking talk to someone! It can be your mom, your best friend, your school counselor, even your imaginary friend named Frankie--”
His voice was briefly drowned out as the kids responded with loud, frantic screams. “I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!” Gerard continued over them. “You need to fucking talk to somebody!”
He paused and let the hyped kids scream up at them, filling him with more confidence and hope. “Oh, and another thing,” he went on. “I don’t want you to ever, ever, use drugs and alcohol to make yourself feel better! You’re all too good for that shit, and believe me, you’re better off without them. And if anyone, tries to pressure you into booze and drugs, I want you to spit in their motherfucking faces and say, ‘FUCK NO!’ Drugs are NOT O-FUCKING KAY!
The crowd went wild as Gerard finished, and he felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. For the first time in a long time, he felt truly, genuinely happy, like he could do anything.
For the first time up on that stage, Gerard felt invincible. Drugs, booze, alcohol and pills couldn’t hold him back anymore.
“Speaking of which, this next song is for all of you fucking amazing kids! It’s called I’m Not Okay.”
The kids roared again as Mikey, Bob, Frank and Ray began playing the song. Gerard threw his hands up in the air, and the kids in the crowd followed, waving their hands around.
And he began to sing.