Few bands sound as good as the albums they release, yet Panic! is, if possible, even better in a live arena.
Scottrade Center, St. Louis
Touring in support of their latest album, Death of a Bachelor, the rock ’n’ roll phenomenon known as Panic! At the Disco pulled out all the stops. The group was in fine form, taking material from all five of its past releases with a set list that kept the crowd roaring.
Vocal powerhouse Brendon Urie possesses remarkable skills. Few bands sound as good as the albums they release, yet Panic! is, if possible, even better in a live arena. This show is a visual spectacle with the use of pyrotechnics and a shower of fireworks. Playing fan faves like “The Ballad of Mona Lisa,” “Ready to Go,” and newer material like “Victorious” and “Hallelujah.” Urie disappeared from the stage, only to reappear in the center of the crowd, seated at a rhinestone piano. As the piano rose into the air, Urie played on and sang his heart out. Descending back to the floor, the band broke into another song as Urie made his way through the crowd of fans, shaking hands and giving hugs.
The almost-capacity crowd was treated to some surprises. Once again at the piano, Urie, along with the band, performed a beautiful rendition of Queen’s massive hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Then, citing Billy Joel as a major influence, the band broke into “Movin’ Out.” The audience loved every minute.
Panic! has risen from a MySpace sensation to one of the biggest bands on the planet, recently celebrating its first No. 1 LP with Death of a Bachelor. Whether you call them emo, emo pop, electric, punk pop or baroque pop, the bottom line is that they are one kickass rock ’n’ roll band, as they proved on stage tonight.
Opening the show were Saint Motel, with its indie-emo style and sound, and Misterwives, whose addictive pop tunes might just propel them to radio stardom. Overall, this was a hell of a show, with a headliner led by one hell of a front man. | Marc Farr
Catch Brendon Urie in Kinky Boots at the Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway May 26 through August 6. Tickets and information available on the band’s website.