If you witnessed Gerard Way's performance at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience on Friday afternoon (Oct. 30), chances are you left feeling a whole lot better about yourself.
During a show that he announced would be his band's last in support of his 2014 solo album Hesitant Alien, Way put a bow on his lengthy world tour with a sentimental performance that at times turned downright inspiring. The former My Chemical Romance leader encouraged kids in the audience to explore the world, informed his onlookers that everyone watching was an artist ("You make your life a work of art") and spoke on mental health awareness, a cause he's championed for years.
"There's a really bad stigma against mental illness," the 38-year-old singer-songwriter told the crowd prior to "Maya the Psychic." "You need to find someone to trust. It's not a bad thing, it doesn't mean you're crazy, you just need to find somebody to talk to."
In between his warm words about Voodoo and gracious introduction of his band members, Way hopscotched around the entirety of Hesitant Alien, picking up a tambourine for "Drugstore Perfume" and seething with energy for "Juarez." What his solo work lacks in world-beating anthems like "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" and "The Black Parade," Hesitant Alien makes up for in consistency--and with backing band the Hormones behind him, Way possesses a sharpened charisma that makes him a thrilling festival act.
"This is our last show for Hesitant Alien," Way confirmed early into his Voodoo set. "Then we're gonna go and make another record." If his sophomore LP is even more dynamic than his first, Way will further separate himself from MCR's legacy and fulfill his solo promise.