My Chemical Romance are Back!

Anyone who has listened to one of my shows on FM89 knows how much I love the band My Chemical Romance. So, when they announced last October that they’d reunite after almost seven years of being broken up, I freaked out. They reunited for one show on December 19th at a venue called the Shrine in LA, and it sold out in less than 2 minutes. Since then, the band has been dropping teasers for different shows abroad, causing fans in the US to become a little impatient for the suspected North American tour.

On Wednesday, the band released a theatrical video on their Youtube channel and their website that explored every era of MCR, from the beginning with I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, to the end with Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Finally, at the end of the video, the US tour dates began to flash across the screen, starting in Detroit and ending in Las Vegas. For fans in Chicago, it was announced that MCR will be headlining one of three days of Riot Fest in Douglas Park, Saturday, September 12th.

Tickets for the US tour went on sale last Friday and within a few hours, every show had sold out. This prompted the band to announce a second show in their hometown of Newark, New Jersey, as well as three more shows in LA. After these final few announcements, and only 6 hours after the first tickets had gone on sale, every single date of MCR’s North American tour had completely sold out, an impressive achievement, seeing as every venue the band is playing is a stadium holding thousands of seats.

As for me, the minute I heard My Chemical Romance will be headlining Riot Fest, I went ahead and bought myself an early bird 3-day pass. I go to Riot Fest every year regardless, but I’m especially not going to miss out on my first chance to see the band that started my love and passion for music and dark imagery. This band has been such a big influence in my life, and the life of die-hard fans around the world. It feels so good to have them back.

FM89 Goes Digital

The start of 2020 came with a lot of conversation of new decade resolutions, hopes, aspirations, and, of course, friends and coworkers flaunting what they got for the holidays. Here at FM89, we were given possibly the best gift of all: a new studio console. This was something that, if you asked the students working behind the mic, was long overdue.

WONC’s new digital console

The new console is fully digital, cutting edge, and something even some commercial stations don’t have. The upgrade of the studio included not only a new console, but a new setup more comfortable for the staff, and new opportunities to learn this updated technology.

WONC Facilities Director Matt Hehl said, “This will be a great asset for students both now, and far into the future,” and he’s right. The new console means the students at FM89 are working with technology more closely related to that of the technology in commercial stations, where many FM89 students will go to work post-graduation.

WONC Facilities Director Matt Hehl

Needless to say, the students are incredibly grateful and ready to continue learning the ins and outs of the console. Chris Duffy, host of Duff Stuff and FM89’s Public Affairs Director said, “It’s a huge privilege to use this. I’m still learning how to use it fully, but it’s a great opportunity for us.”

As a staff, we can’t say thank you enough to all the generous people who donated to the station and made this possible, and of course, thank you to the college for allowing us this space to learn such important skills for our futures.

The Faim at Chop Shop in Chicago

On October 6th, I had the opportunity to see and photograph an up-and-coming band out of Perth, Australia, The Faim, at Chop Shop in Chicago. The band is currently touring their debut album, State of Mind. From the start of the show, it was evident that the band was going to have quite a stage presence. With their booming punk-alternative sound, the room was filled with music and the crowd was invested. It was the type of show where you could rock out even if you didn’t know a single word to any song.

With the amount of crowd surfers and people singing along, you could tell that every person in the crowd had been looking forward to that show, and rightfully so. The Faim had a way of bringing everyone in the crowd together for a truly unique experience that night. If you’d like to check out their sound for yourself, they released their debut album ‘State of Mind’ earlier this year, and if you ask me, it is worth the listen.

Frank Iero and the Future Violents at The Social in Orland, FL – 6/14/19

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Frank Iero and the Future Violents in concert at a small venue called The Social in Orlando, Florida. Following the May 31st release of their new album, Barriers, Frank Iero and the Future Violents played a set consisting of a nice mix of old and new songs. They opened the show with “Moto-pop,” the eighth track off their new fourteen-track record. With the heavy guitar riffs accompanied by a blast of confetti into the crowd, it made for an exciting, energizing start to the show that got the crowd fired up.

Something sentimental Frank Iero does at all his shows is plays a song called “B.F.F.” – a song Frank always makes sure to mention was written by his daughter, Lily, to her twin sister, Cherry. I asked Frank before the show if his daughters know he plays their song, and he assured me that they know and love that people all around the world sing along every night.

Frank Iero and the Future Violents closed their set with a song called “Great Party” featuring Kayleigh Goldsworthy on the keyboard. They followed this with an encore of two songs from their 2016 album, Parachutes, ending the show with a crowd favorite, “Oceans.” Overall, the energy of the show remained high, and it was easy to see the passion on these musicians faces as they played a killer set. It was the type of show you never want to see end because the music was phenomenal, the whole venue was riding on positive vibes, and everyone in the room was having a great time. If you’d like to share in that type of experience, you can check out Frank Iero and the Future Violents when they come to Riot Fest in September, and check out their new album, Barriers, now. I also had a chance to talk with Frank Iero, which you can listen to below.

– Bender –