My Chemical Romance nods you missed in “A summoning…”
Here's everything you might have missed in "A summoning..." by My Chemical Romance, from the definite Easter egg references to the theoretical.January 30, 2020
My Chemical Romance just released what may be the longest and most incredibly hyped-up tour announcement of all time, “A summoning…” Granted, they did just announce their first U.S. tour in nine years. The 13-minute video is over six times as long as “An Offering…,” which was a promo for MCR’s U.K. Milton Keynes announcement.
As expected, it’s jam-packed with tons of throwbacks and references to past albums, songs, ideas and tributes. The video starts with a man in his room, seemingly going through a normal routine. But then we start seeing My Chemical Romance references everywhere.
Here’s everything you might have missed in “A summoning…” by My Chemical Romance, from the definite nods to the theoretical possibilities.
[00:10] Mikey Way’s inhaler and glasses
From the “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” music video.
[00:22] Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge guitar
[00:25] The corkboard
We’re met with a corkboard featuring an illustration of an eye obscured by a crumpled piece of notebook paper. This could possibly be a nod to MCR’s scrapped fifth album, The Paper Kingdom, with the eye representing the kingdom of heaven and the paper representing…well…paper. The illustration also resembles the eye on the mailbox in the “Na Na Na” video. There’s also a coffin symbol, which could be alluding to Three Cheers. A yellow smiley face is pinned to a picture of a moon landing, which could both be referencing the Danger Days era with the Killjoys hideout graffiti and American flag references on the band’s clothing and car. The board also features a photo of a snake and a photo of fans holding a sign that reads “THANK YOU.” This could be a nod to the song “Thank You For The Venom.” More on snakes later…
As the camera pans up, more of the corkboard shows a pentagram—imagery present in this current return era—that crowd of fans and two Polaroid pictures showing a sky and a sunset. The latter image may represent “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville.” There’s also an Ice Palace patch, which is also potentially a reference to that track and most likely belongs to frontman Gerard Way. Back in 2013, Gerard answered a fan asking if he had an “original escalator piece” from the Monroeville Mall where the Dawn Of The Dead was filmed. The vocalist, who loves the film so much the band named that song after it, responded, saying, “That’s an odd question: The answer is no! I do, however, have a vintage patch from the Ice Palace skate rink in the movie.”
[00:34-00:44] New Jersey
The coffee mug says “NJ Dept. of Corrections.” It’s well known that My Chemical Romance are from New Jersey and have a love of coffee. They once revealed in an interview with Nardwuar that they could “survive off of coffee, cereal and video games.” This could also be referencing Revenge track “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison.” You can also see a portrait of King Diamond on the fridge, which could referene a diamondback snake and in turn be the second nod to the reptile.
[00:48-00:58] The closet
Next, we enter the main character’s closet where the jacket of Jet Star—the Killjoy portrayed by guitarist Ray Toro—is prominently displayed, featuring the Ace of Spades on the sleeve. The Ace of Spades also commonly represents the conflict created by the merging of the spiritual and mundane and experiencing life through death.
A red flannel is up next, which could potentially be representing Iero. You can also see an Army green jacket in the background similar to what Gerard wore onstage for the return show.
While similar to The Black Parade-era jackets, this could also represent Mikey’s Revenge-era attire.
As the protagonist removes his chosen cloak, we can see a skeleton hoodie off to the side. This could be referencing the dagger-wielding skeletal figure we first met in a teaser photo and got more of the story from in “An Offering…”
[1:01] A cloak
Similar to that of the much-teased skeleton figure from “An Offering…”
[1:12] Black Parade Gas Mask/Mother War
We’re treated to a quick flash of a gas mask—a nice nod to the Black Parade character, Mother War. The gas masks also appear in the “Teenagers” video as the cheerleaders perform at the pep rally from hell.
[1:13-1:21] All MCR eras
The protagonist is flipping through My Chemical Romance vinyl records, including 2014’s greatest hits album, May Death Never Stop You, and 2016’s MCRX rerelease, The Black Parade/Living With Ghosts, before finally landing on the start of it all, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. He then plays the opening track, “Romance.”
[01:22] Our Lady Of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows is another name for the Virgin Mary, which can be seen behind the candles. This is also the name of a track off Bullets and an inspiration for one of Iero’s tattoos on his left arm. Here, we can also see a doll head, which resembles the Patient from The Black Parade era.
[01:35] Gerard’s “Just The Way It Goes” artwork
We see a quick shot featuring Gerard’s illustration “Just The Way It Goes” on the wall. You may recognize this art from the inside of the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge CD tray as well as from picture discs of Three Cheers vinyl repressings.
[1:36] Lauren Valencia, Frank Iero’s dogs, and potentially other relatives of MCR
The video pans to the dresser after the protagonist lights candles, and we see a picture of My Chemical Romance’s late manager Lauren Valencia and A&R executive Craig Aaronson who signed the band. There’s also Iero’s dogs Sweet Pea and Mama, who also passed. Gerard and Mikey’s grandmother is also present, who serves as the inspiration for “Helena (So Long & Goodnight).” One of the photos might also be Iero’s grandfather, which he got inked by Kat Von D on an episode of LA Ink. Plus, this is literally a shrine, which could be a nod to their return show venue.
[01:41] The pentagram meme
We get a fun nod to the My Chem fandom with a way more badass version of “the pentagram meme.” A few years ago, a meme surfaced online of a similar vibe with someone attempting to summon My Chemical Romance back after their breakup. The meme had all of their albums on the corners of the pentagram as well. There’s also yet another snake on the Ouija board planchette.
[02:03-02:17] The TV
Much like the static-filled teaser posted Tuesday, the TV flips on and begins cycling through the return logo symbols and the ones we first saw on the merch trailer at the return show. TV static is also known as “snow.” These symbolic apparitions are literal “ghosts in the snow” and allude to the closing spoken-word outro of “Vampires Will Never Hurt You,” also heavily referenced later in the video. These symbols were decoded as those found on tarot cards such as Reversed Ace of Swords, the Reversed Moon and more, which you can read about their meanings in full here. The TV finally flickers to the sigil above, which spells out My Chemical Romance on the Witch’s Wheel. MCR fans will recall seeing this as part of Gerard’s return outfit Dec. 20.
[2:07] New Jersey
We get another love letter to MCR’s beloved New Jersey as the top of the Ouija board spells out the state on the Witch’s Wheel alphabet.
Their formation in this particular clip could potentially be an allusion to the old superstition of “Death coming in threes.” Death comes ripping and knocking on the door in the form of a trio of Draculoids. These are the Dracs who serve as hunters of sorts for the main antagonists during the Danger Days era, Better Living Industries and their leader, Korse. Furthermore, the Draculoids’ knock on the door in sets of three. Historically, three knocks on a door is known as “three knocks of death,” denoting that someone close to you has died.
[2:44] Black Parade is Dead
We get a quick but cool reference to The Black Parade Is Dead! The skeleton mask is in the corner—similar to one of the masks that each MCR member designed for collector’s editions of the album.
[02:48] The first red door
The first red door appears, flashing the same candle symbol, Clarity, that the band first shared on Halloween ahead of their return show announcement.
[2:54] Hotel Bella Muerte
We’re shown a hotel keychain with the phrase “Hotel Bella Muerte” printed on it. This translates to “Hotel of beautiful death,” and it’s a lyric in the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge song “The Jetset Life Is Gonna Kill You.” The room number 519 is most likely referring to the band’s final pre-hiatus show, which took place May 19, 2012 at Bamboozle. The address printed on the keychain, 61 Willet Street Passaic, New Jersey 07055, is that of Triple B Fabricating. If you try calling it, the call doesn’t connect. Our best guess is that the good people at Triple B are already tired of answering the phone only to hear “Killjoys, make some noise!” and have disconnected the line.
[03:00-04:03] I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
The first room is a representation of their vampire-themed era and the album I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. It’s captured as the protagonist enters a bar full of vampires—dripping in blood and fully entrenched in a black light-bright. We’re getting some serious The Lost Boys vibes from this scene.
[3:06] “The Ghost Of You” Helmet
A WWII helmet featured in the music video “The Ghost Of You” rests on a shelf. There are also four glasses, two on each side, perhaps representing the fallen members in the video.
[3:10] Alien Blaster and some graffiti
As the protagonist moves through the bar, we can see an Alien Blaster arcade game in the corner, which could be referencing the Killjoys’ ray guns. You can also see “She Loves You” scribbled on the wall behind his head, which is the same phrasing the band added to their stage setup during the 2007 Projekt Revolution tour. “Saints protect her now” is also on the wall, which is a line the Three Cheers track “Interlude.”
[03:21] “The Ghost Of You” and “Vampire Money”
What appears to be World War II footage is playing in the background, which, like the helmet, is a reference to the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge music video “The Ghost Of You.” There’s also a cash register present, which could be a reference to Danger Days track “Vampire Money.”
[03:34] Litchfield’s biggest My Chemical Romance fan
Orange Is The New Black actress Jackie Cruz makes a cameo as one of the blood-sucking vampires in the bar. This alone is cool for any Netflix fan, but what makes it even sweeter is the fact her character, Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales, actually name-drops the band in season 3 episode 1. After giving a kid an extreme eyeliner-heavy makeover, she says, “You could, like, leave here and go straight to a My Chemical Romance concert and be the boss.”
[3:51] More wall Graffiti
In addition to “Saints protect her now” and “She Loves You,” the walls of the bar are rife with graffiti that reference other MCR lyrics and popular phrases. “Die in the desert” is a reference to both the lyrics and theme of “Demolition Lovers.” “XOXO U.S.” is most likely kisses and hugs, United States in relation to the tour announcement. There are also other potential options for XO in the lyrics of “Mastas of Ravenkroft” or Gerard Way’s signature. And “And as always, innocent like roller coasters/Fatality is like ghosts in snow” is the whispered outro of “Vampires Will Never Hurt You.” Furthermore, the phrase “Unleash the bats!” is seen as an abridged version of Gerard’s Bullets-era catchphrase “Unleash the fucking bats!” As explained in a 2004 interview, this is an allusion to the band the Birthday Party and stylishly encapsulates Gerard’s obsession with death and dying. This entire video is about evading death and dying.
[03:54] “Starved to death in a land of plenty”
The “Starved to death in a land of plenty” sign is held by Mother War in the music video for “Welcome To The Black Parade.”
The second red door is illuminated with the MCR raindrop symbol meaning courage, which was the second symbol to surface during the return lead-up.
[04:11] Upright Tower
Also appearing on the merchandise trailer at the return show, the backside of the door features the Upright Tower symbol, which is taken from a tarot card. Reddit users decoded this upon the reveal, stating, “When the Tower card appears in a Tarot reading, expect the unexpected—massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos…Just when you think you’re safe and comfortable, a Tower moment hits and throws you for a loop. A lightning bolt of clarity and insight cuts through the lies, and illusions you have been telling yourself, and now the truth, comes to light.”
[04:36-06:04] Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
We see the same image teased in Tuesday’s clip, showing the back of what will be revealed as the Demolition Lovers.
The protagonist picks up a piece of paper from one of the pews, revealing the first reference to “Helena.” As it rises into frame, we can see it’s one of the prayer cards passed out in the music video’s opening scene.
[04:57] “Demolition Lovers”
It may be difficult to make out through the tears you were definitely shedding, but this entire sequence is a glorious return of the Demolition Lovers, perfectly reenacting their pose on the cover of Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. The couple were first referenced in the closing track of I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. The church atmosphere is also similar to a popular flash game Sweet Revenge!!! that’s set during the era. The duo also appear in photographic form on the cover of Three Cheers-era live album Life On The Murder Scene. While they do look similar to the original models on the cover of Life On The Murder Scene, the actors aren’t the same. Lola Blanc and Nick Pillot portray the couple in “A summoning…,” while Jaime Andrews and Jamisin Matthews were the models on the live album cover.
[05:12-05:53] “Helena (So Long & Goodnight)”
The “Helena” music video features a dancer who’s presumably Helena, as the young woman pops out of her casket and begins dancing during her eulogy. In reality, “Helena” was written about the passing of Gerard and Mikey’s grandmother. While she dances down the aisle just as the original Helena portrayed by Tracy Phillips, “A summoning…” introduces Adele Pomerenke in the titular role.
[6:05] “Thank You For The Venom”
The matchbox says “Fire at will,” which is a lyric in the Three Cheers song “Thank You For The Venom.” It’s also a double entendre because it’s a box of matches, literally giving you fire…at will.
[06:10-07:56] The Black Parade
This sequence is dedicated to The Black Parade. The protagonist also exits through a casket, which is how the Black Parade starts metaphorically with the Patient dying. This could also be referencing a line in “Mama:” “And right now they’re building a coffin your size.” It’s set in a hospital similar to the Patient, and the steady beeping of the heart monitor resembles the opening track, “The End.”
[06:35] Rorschach test
This section of the video is inherently subject to interpretation as we’re shown a Rorschach pattern. This could represent a few things, the first of which is a clear nod to the band’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” for Zack Snyder’s 2009 movie adaptation of Alan Moore’s comic book series Watchmen. Furthermore, the shifting from one pattern to another is similar to the visual motif Moore utilized to illustrate the constant metamorphosis of ethical evaluation and perception of humanity of Rorschach, one of Watchmen’s main characters. Here, we see the first pattern that’s similar to a Rorschach pattern that’s commonly seen as “a bat.” As we know, Gerard has a historically referenced death in the form of a bat. Then, the pattern shifts to a plate that’s commonly interpreted as a mushroom cloud—more on that later… The top half of the second test also resembles Gerard’s MouseKat mascot helmet worn as his Party Poison character during the Danger Days era.
[06:52-7:05] Instagram teaser
The protagonist hears the continuous heart rate monitor and makes his way to one of the patient rooms. Once entering, we’re presented with the same setup that My Chemical Romance teased earlier in the month with the vampire caption. At the time, fans theorized it was giving a nod to the Patient in the “Welcome To The Black Parade” video, and its presence among this part of the video backs that up even more.
We can hear a figure breathing from underneath the blanket, but when the protagonist removes it, there’s no one there. “This Is How I Disappear,” anyone?
[07:06] Upright Ace of Wands
Unlike the previous two red doors, which incorporated Clarity and Courage from the band’s return logo, this door lights up with a tarot symbol off the band’s return show merch trailer. Decoded as the Upright Ace of Wands, a Reddit user explained this symbolizes creativity. “It is not the kind of creativity that you learn from school or as a hobby,” the user writes. “It is bravely finding your own voice. It creates a place where you can develop your own vision. In other words, it is associated with willpower and creativity in the cosmic sense…The Ace of Wands calls out to you to follow your instincts. If you think that the project that you’ve been dreaming of is a good idea, then just go ahead and do it.” The door swings open, where the Draculoids continue their pursuit.
[7:38] Better Living Industries badge
The logos for Better Living Industries (stylistically depicted as ‘BL/ind’) are seen on the Draculoids’ identification badges. Better Living Industries is the fictitious corporation that the Killjoys oppose in the Danger Days universe and the Draculoids act as lower-lever henchmen who aid the S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W/’s in their pursuit of extermination.
Skipping the third symbol, Sacrifice, this fourth red door lights up with the devotion symbol from their return.
[08:02] Danger Days car
The protagonist falls out of the iconic Trans Am car from the Danger Days era driven by the Killjoys. As he’s getting up, we can hear the tailend of Dr. Death Defying’s intro in “Na Na Na,” saying “It’s time to do it now and do it loud/Killjoys, make some noise.”
[8:06] Bumper Stickers
The car begins to speed off, revealing three bumper stickers. “Look Alive Sunshine” is a Dr. Death Defying quote and the opening track to Danger Days. Mad Gear And Missile Kid is both a band who the Killjoys listen to and an EP that MCR recorded for the Danger Days era. The third bumper sticker is Dr. Death Defying’s radio station.
[08:08-08:12, 08:16-08:34] “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”
The Danger Days song is playing as the VAYA car drives, spotlighting the scene the band first hinted at the U.S. tour with. While the driver is never shown up close, it does run the protagonist off the road.
[8:35] Croquet set
In the desolate wasteland of Killjoy California, we see a familiar nod to the music video for “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” in the form of the croquet course that the band play through in front of the school. You can almost hear Gerard say “I am the master of the wicket” as the camera slowly tracks along.
[9:01] Moon door
The Draculoids return, sending the protagonist running toward a fifth red door. This one lights up with the Reversed Moon tarot symbol off the band’s return show merch trailer. According to a Reddit user, this “indicates that you have been dealing with illusion, fears and anxiety, and now the negative influences of these energies are subsiding. You are working through your fears and anxieties, understanding the impact they have on your life and how you can free yourself from such limiting beliefs. This is a truly liberating and transformational experience.”
[09:04-09:16] End of all other eras?
A nuclear explosion kills the Draculoids, which could mean that the Danger Days era is dead or all past eras are dead. MCR already claimed that the Black Parade is dead.
[09:18-09:58] An offering…
If we’re keeping in line with each door representing a new era, this one represents the current one. Much like the U.K. teaser video, “An Offering…,” we’re presented with multiple cloaked figures forming a spirit circle. The first video has our skeleton figure running through the woods to join three others around a pentagram.
However, this clip features one figure joining four others with a sixth, the protagonist, in the middle of an eight-pointed star. The star is present in various cultures, including Judeo-Christianity where it’s interpreted as a beginning or resurrection. Is this alluding to the start of MCR’s next era?
[10:21-10:28] The MCR sigil returns
The protagonist exits the spirit circle and makes his way down a smoky hall. He opens another door, which features the MCR sigil that appeared on the static-filled TV and Gerard’s return outfit.
[10:45-10:54] And the Ouija board returns
The protagonist walks down a path of candles, ending at the pentagram from his room with the snake planchette and Ouija board. The planchette moves to the top right corner to “Yes,” which is placed next to the Devotion symbol.
[11:24-11:31] The Forum
After seeing the board’s response, the protagonist looks up and smiles. The lights begin to flip on, revealing he’s standing in a venue. Finally, we see he’s inside The Forum, a Los Angeles-based venue that will be part of their tour and is nearly triple the size of the Shrine where they celebrated their return.
[11:32] The sigil returns again
Clearly playing an important role in this era given its repeated use (and appearance on their latest merch drop), the MCR sigil returns to the screen. As a chant echoes in the background, the long-awaited U.S. tour announcement cycles across the screen using “V” as “U” as they’ve done throughout this new era. The letter “U” wasn’t introduced to the current alphabet until the 18th century, so Old Latin commonly used it. The band previously used Latin to tease we were 16 days away from the return show, and the Theban alphabet they’ve been incorporating in teasers is a substitution of the Latin alphabet. As we can see here, the Theban alphabet returns, spelling out “Phantoms forever” around the sigil. This is the name of their 2002 debut EP, which the band also referenced as the caption for their return show announcement.
[12:42-12:48] The Black Parade is dead
The skeletal remains adorned in a Black Parade jacket and found as an Easter Egg in the music video for “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na)” make their return in the post-tour dates sequence of the film. This time, they’re joined by the material remains of the Draculoids, and there’s a whole lot to unpack here. If the Draculoids do in fact represent death’s relentless pursuit of our mortality, it’s clear that the mushroom cloud has completely eviscerated death for the time being, and life is free from the dread of dying for a little while. In the 2013 comic book sequel to Danger Days, written by Gerard and Shaun Simon, it’s established that Killjoys can be captured and placed in mind-controlling Draculoid masks that brainwash them into a state of artless servitude, making them entirely complacent to the needs of Better Living Industries. Given that no human remains or traces of blood are left in the Draculoids’ clothes and masks, could the mushroom cloud represent a rapture that has freed them from a life of soulless complacency? Could MCR be trying to tell us that they’ve reformed to reassure us that art is still the weapon and can truly be our escape from the trenches of our mundane day-to-day and inevitable demise? Is their return a reminder that there’s no need for resurrection, because they’ll never really be gone? After all, My Chemical Romance are, and have always been, a band who “want to save your life,” and perhaps their departing mantra of “May Death Never Stop You” before their six-year hiatus was a harbinger for how they want you to live your life—awake and unafraid. The dead dance, deathbeds are revealed to be empty and Killjoys ride again, because, as Gerard has so famously opined, “Everybody wants to change the world, but no one wants to die.”