Three cheers for a classic Chain Reaction show.EXPAND
Three cheers for a classic Chain Reaction show.
Courtesy of Frank Iero

With a New Record and a New Lease on Life, Frank Iero Returns to Anaheim

Frank Iero will be headlining a show at Chain Reaction on Tuesday night, but things have changed quite a bit for the former My Chemical Romance guitarist since the last time he stopped by Anaheim.

Over the span of of a few weeks last fall, Iero and his backing band, the Patience, were involved in a serious car wreck, put out a brand new record called Parachutes, and were forced to cancel the rest of their 2016 tour. Among those canceled tour dates was a scheduled November stop at the very venue that’ll be hosting him on Tuesday night, meaning it’s been quite some time — and an entire album cycle — since Iero and his crew have been able to share their tunes with Orange County.

“Expect to see a completely different band from the last time we were around,” Iero says for those who remember when he came through town supporting 2014’s Stomachaches. “It’s been about two years, but we’re playing these songs that — in October — I didn’t think we’d ever get to play. What you have now is a band with a new lease on life and a ferocity that maybe wouldn’t have been there without those experiences.”

But for those concerned that Iero’s new outlook means a heavier focus on last year’s album rather than his previous material, that’s not the case. Of course, the tracks the songwriter has penned over the years have shifted and evolved in meaning for him, but that just means that fans will get to take his current and more passionate take on some of the tunes they’ve already seen him perform once or twice before.

“You get to see some of the old stuff played with new furor, and then also the new stuff you haven’t gotten to hear yet,” Iero says. “We’re just a band that’s excited to be able to play and happy to be alive.”

Despite having played the biggest of stages back when My Chemical Romance was on top of the world, Iero still prefers the intimate setting of smaller punk shows like the ones he gets to play now. After two decades as a performer, it’s venues like Chain Reaction that remind Iero not only of his earlier days in the industry, but also of his time as a kid in the New Jersey punk scene before record sales and streaming numbers were even a thought.

“Places like Chain Reaction are kind of where I feel at home,” Iero says. “I remember playing Chain Reaction years and years ago opening for American Nightmare, and then two years ago with my solo project. Now playing there again, I’ve always loved that room. There’s a soul to it and so much history there — there’s a genuine connection to the attendees. Sometimes it gets really hard when it gets too big, and I feel like these songs really translate to smaller rooms.”

More than anything though, Iero is just excited to be back on the road and coming through Southern California once again. After living in LA for a little while (which gave birth to his electronic duo, Death Spells, who also released a record last year), it’s finally time for Iero to return to his home away from home for a few nights and show all of his West Coast fans what he’s been up to for the last couple of years.

“I feel like it’s been way too long, and I’m really, really looking forward to these shows,” Iero says. “We’ve always had great shows in LA and Anaheim, and I can’t imagine what this new record is going to feel like to play live for the people at those shows. I’m really excited.”

Frank Iero and the Patience will be at Chain Reaction in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 9. Tickets start at $17 and are available through the venue’s website.

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