A dedicated group of emo kids and punk rockers filled Crescent Ballroom with eager buzzing in their excitement for Frank Iero and the Future Violents on Tuesday. The former My Chemical Romance guitarist brought this third incarnation of his solo project to Arizona, joined by Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly.
The humble and unassuming Rickly took the stage to little fanfare, shyly introducing himself to a crowd that was prepared to be utterly captivated by his set. He sang of love and loss, triumph and despair, and did so with powerful, genuine emotion. Between songs, Rickly was funny and engaging, telling (only slightly hyperbolic) anecdotes about the early days of Thursday and his longtime friendship with Iero and MCR.
In turn, Rickly was also somber, describing his many years of destructive drug abuse and the toll it had taken on his life and work. Now celebrating nearly two years clean and sober, the audience cheered his success and continued to sing along to both Rickly’s solo music and his addition of several classic Thursday tracks.
Frank Iero and his Future Violents entered in coordinating white jumpsuits and cranked the volume with their chaotic punk rock vibes. The band celebrated their latest album, Barriers, opening with “Moto-Pop” and the latest single “Young and Doomed”. Iero and co. tap into a range of emotion that is expressed in every chord, throwing their bodies and souls into the music that resonates so strongly with their fans.
Evan Nestor, Matt Armstrong, Kayleigh Goldsworthy and Thursday drummer Tucker Rule made up the remaining Future Violents, incorporating violin, piano and slick riffs to the set. Iero has always been electric onstage, and his stage presence and antics are nearly impossible to look away from. Iero’s “favorite part of the set” was up next and the band played a cover song written by Iero’s two young daughters.
The rest of the night was a loud, crazy, beautiful sprint to the end. Rule managed to break two drumheads throughout the night, so the band took playful bets on how long the last one would hold before the night was done. Meanwhile, excitable fans jumped and shouted declarations of love at the stage, screaming along to favorites like “Joyriding” and “Weighted”.
FIATFV ended their night by making it through their entire five-song encore, closing with “Oceans” for an evening of strong feelings across the audience.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel