Panic! at the Disco | 01.22.14

panic75“This may be the Two Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die tour, but tonight might be the day that I die.”

  

 

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Photos by Alex R. Kirzhner

The Pageant, St. Louis

The title of Panic! at the Disco’s first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, was especially ironic tonight. No matter how hard vocalist Brendon Urie tried—dancing, doing backflips, and singing his heart out—he couldn’t shake the very real fever and flu that ailed him. That said, aside from a bit of hoarse chatter and the occasional pause to cough (off mic, of course), the illness wasn’t obvious to the sold-out Pageant, as vocally, the singer was in fine form. He belted out the lines, hit all the notes, and threw in enough falsetto to out-impress the already adoring crowd.

Panic! took the stage with a bang, launching into the high-energy “Vegas Lights” off their latest release, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! Behind the band were seven screens—one disguising a piano—variously displaying images, videos, and colored lights. Accompanying scanning spotlights were three front-of-stage exploding smokestacks and a bench before each axe-wielding member. Although the entire set was well received, “The Only Difference between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage,” “Camisado,” and “This Is Gospel” were among the most popular, with the crowd enthusiastically singing along, or even taking over the vocals at times. This was probably a welcome break for the suffering front man, who at one point remarked, “This may be the Two Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die tour, but tonight might be the day that I die.”

Although Urie pressed the occasional button on a small programming console and slid behind the piano from time to time, this was largely a guitar-driven Panic! at the Disco: not a bad thing, but a sign of the change in sound heralded by Too Weird to Live. While this largely worked, at times—on “Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind),” for instance—it altered a song’s structure and, it seemed, its heart. Current single “Miss Jackson” saw Urie drawing oohs and aahs by throwing in a backflip, an acrobatic move to which the crowd was again treated later in the show. “The End of All Things” was gorgeous, Urie crooning the romantic lines while accompanying himself with stark, stripped-down piano. The ivory keys also featured prominently on “But It’s Better if You Do.”

Maybe “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” but on this night, a vast proportion of the females in the audience—many of them minors—were having a damn good time singing the truth. As Urie posed and postured, they screamed and cheered, clearly eating it up; when the singer reemerged shirtless for the brief encore, they squealed even louder. Urie fed the fire, telling the sold-out crowd, “I’m not just saying this because of the fever, but you guys are fucking great. This might be the best show so far.” The band wrapped up the night with two strong numbers, “Girls-Girls-Boys” and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” the latter drawing a tremendous amount of crowd sing-along. A final backflip, and over 2,000 satisfied concertgoers exited into the cold night, feeling warm. | Laura Hamlett

 

Set list

Vegas Lights

Time to Dance

The Ballad of Mona Lisa

The Only Difference between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage

Let’s Kill Tonight

This Is Gospel

Camisado

Hurricane

New Perspective

Casual Affair

Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)

Miss Jackson

Nine in the Afternoon

The End of All Things

Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off

Nicotine

But It’s Better If You Do

Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)

 

Encore

Girls-Girls-Boys

I Write Sins Not Tragedies

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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