PANIC! AT THE DISCO LIVE REVIEW
Panic! at the Disco recently concluded their month-long tour around the US with a night in St. Louis, Missouri. It was such an impressive show. The openers, Last Night’s Vice and Patrick Stump, were incredible. I had not seen Panic! together since Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left the band in 2009 so I was not sure what to expect of them. To say the least, I was blown away. The other fans in the cramped nightclub seemed to enjoy the show as well. As the last night of the tour, the bands were obviously tired and homesick, but they sure put on one great show.
Last Night’s Vice took the stage first on the bitter cool evening of November 10th. No one in the crowd seemed to know them and it showed. Despite one of the guitarists’ crazy stage antics, jumping up and down and flipping his long hair, no one seemed to care what they were doing. The band coordinated their outfits, which was a cute touch. The singer had on all black and the rest of the band had on all white. The short set consisted of some screamo-rock and pop. They were not very engaging. The only time during the set that the crowd seemed responsive was when the band did a brief cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Last Night’s Vice thanked Panic! and the crowd for a great end of the tour and promptly left the tiny stage.
The energy level of the small nightclub skyrocketed as the Patrick Stump crew set up for their set. In my opinion, Patrick Stump’s set was the highlight of the night. I was not expecting much from him, since the Patrick Stump we all knew and loved Fall Out Boy was shy and quite boring, but he proved himself at this concert to be anything but that. The crowd, and myself included, were in for a giant surprise.
Patrick’s band, a keyboardist, bassist, two guitarists, and drummer, strutted on stage in clothes straight out of an Urban Outfitters magazine. But that was not what was surprising. Lone and behold, the ex-Fall Out Boy singer walked on stage with blond, spiky hair, a blue suit and bowtie, dress shoes, and leather gloves. Jaws dropped at this sight. It was hard to believe that the same man who wore trucker hats and blue jeans during Fall Out Boy shows was the same man that appeared on that stage. Patrick Stump had gone through a tremendous makeover. He literally pranced around stage Michael Jackson-esque. The way he moved around stage and interacted with the crowd reminded me of My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. His body never stopped during the set. Not only was he interactive, but he showed off his musical skills as well. He sang, played guitar, and soloed on drums. His cover of “In the Air Tonight” sure captured the hearts of the numerous teenagers in the audience. His sensuality was unexpected and impressive. Patrick ended his set with a quick run on the barricade and threw himself into the crowd. His complete transformation leaves no evidence that he was ever in a band named Fall Out Boy. During one of his songs he threw up his palm, stopped moving, and stood in place for a good ten seconds. The band followed suit, and then Patrick snapped back into action with a simple nod of his head. It was clear that Patrick no longer plays for the Pete Wentz show. He has finally gotten the individual attention that he has always deserved. He graciously thanked the crowd and ran off stage.
People were still in shock ten minutes after Patrick left the stage. That set was phenomenal. But no fear, the ever annoying “Panic! Panic! Panic!” cheer started up and quickly reminded the crowd that yes, Panic! at the Disco would indeed be on stage shortly. Panic’s stage setup looked straight out of their “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” music video. Wooden boxes with light bulbs adorned the stage with a velvet backdrop. It looked like it came out of an inventor’s lab from the 1800’s. Screaming erupted as Panic! finally made their entrance with “Ready To Go.” Songs from their latest album, Vices and Virtues, dominated the set list. Singer Brendon Urie flashed his signature smile as he danced around stage. All four of the band members, Brendon, drummer Spencer Smith, bassist Dallon Weekes, and guitarist Ian Crawford, were dressed dressy casual. Brendon sported a white shirt and suspenders.
The set continued on with an old classic “But It’s Better if You Do.” The amount of screaming going on was too much to handle. It was a little sad to see this new Panic! play through the old songs that used to be Ryan Ross’ masterpieces. The band played “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” next to the utmost perfection. Brendon’s engaging facial expressions and body thrusts were top-notch. The band finally took a break as Brendon introduced the following old song “Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off.” He said that the song was about “having sex with random people.” Ah, the old Brendon was still there. That triggered collective shrieks from the underage girls in the crowd. Unnecessary body thrusting and pushing ensued in the crowd but was thankfully slowed down once a newer song, “Trade Mistakes,” began. The stage interaction between Brendon, Dallon, and Ian was fantastic. It was almost as if Brendon, Ryan, and Jon were playing together again. Spencer pounded the drums with only breaking a smile once, when Brendon debuted his crazy falsetto voice. He did not look like he wanted to play the show.
Continuing on with the show, Panic! played the old classic “Camisado.” The crowd instantly jumped and screamed along to the song. Surprisingly, the high level energy of the show barely ever died down throughout the whole concert. A newer song, “Hurricane,” played next. Brendon cracked a joke at Panic!’s old ways of naming unnecessarily long songs when he began “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage” It seemed like no matter what Brendon said, the infatuated crowd responded with much delight. Brendon leaped onto the speakers and did a very impressive back flip into the position right in front of the microphone to start “Let’s Kill Tonight.” What a guy. Brendon danced around the stage and even displayed his talent of playing drums. Things calmed down as Ian, Spencer, and Dallon left the stage.
Brendon, standing idly in the middle with an acoustic guitar, smiled at the crowd and began “Always.” It was a truly touching and intimate moment of the concert that I’m sure no fan will soon forget. The band rejoined Brendon on stage as he proceeded to a piano at the far end of the stage. He spoke to the audience about his childhood and how he grew up in a strict religious home. I’m not sure how that tied into the next song, “Nine in the Afternoon,” but whatever suits him is fine. With a strange introduction, “That Green Gentleman” followed the popular 2008 single. Panic! fans have always wondered if that song was written about marijuana, and Brendon had no problem in exclaiming to the crowd that that rumor was, indeed, true.
Despite being a less known song, “Memories” followed and the crowd kept on screaming and jumping. Brendon took a brief break and discussed the Megan Fox fail Jennifer’s Body before the band started “New Perspective.” ‘This one is about oral sex!’ Brendon cried as he strummed the first chord.
Panic! at the Disco loves covering other band’s music and this tour clearly displayed that affection. They put a survey up on their website for fans to vote which song they wanted to see Panic! play live, and the St. Louis crowd chose “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People. Surprisingly, Brendon sang the song to perfection and showed off his impressive vocal chops with high and deep notes. Panic! completed their set with their all-time classic “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Brendon showed nice chemistry between Dallon and Ian throughout the song and made sure to jump around all over the set.
Panic! was offstage for nearly five minutes, but, of course, the “Panic! Panic! Panic!” cheer quickly ensued once again. The quartet returned to the stage and kicked off their encore with the first Panic! song ever written, “Time To Dance.” The kids in the crowd never stopped moving along to the beat. The much-appreciated cover of “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness followed. Things got very heated as Brendon kicked off “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye. His overly sexual thrusts and promises of ‘dreams of the audience’ made a small portion of the audience uncomfortable, with the rest of it openly screaming in delight. Panic! at the Disco finished off their month-long tour with “Nearly Witches.” After the song concluded, they sang a sweet “Goodnight”, and then all four of the smartly dressed men took a bow to the audience, smiled, and left the stage.
If anyone doubted that Panic! at the Disco could be successful after their main songwriter left the group, they are completely wrong. The slick, enjoyable, fun-filled band gives off a warm-hearted pleasure to fans that they will never forget. Forget the past. This band has proven that life in fact does go on after mishaps and miseries. I can write pages and pages more on this brilliant band. All in all, Panic! at the Disco put on a magnificent show and I highly recommend trying them out whenever they are in your area next.