Seconds before Panic! at the Disco’s set begins, anticipation rushes through the audience. Everyone stands to get a better glimpse of Brendon Urie as the first notes of “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” begins. The audience roars at the sight of him.
I’ve never been to a concert with a crowd this loud and excited. Throughout most of his set, Urie managed to keep the entire audience on their toes, screaming and dancing. The energy was insane, unlike anything I’d seen before. Even I stood up to dance and sing my heart out. My voice was hoarse the following day.
Beach Bunny and Jake Westley Rogers served as opening acts, both of whom proved to be great artists. Jake Westley Rogers plays like a storyteller, exploring his queer experience. He gives off similar energy to that of Florence and the Machine or Stevie Nicks. Westley’s work is deep and soulful, attracting a wide audience.
Beach Bunny, on the other hand, is a pop-rock band that is most famous for its song “Prom Queen.” Their poppy lyrics typically center on female struggles in love and body image. Their newest album, “Emotional Creature,” was released earlier this year. Beach Bunny played many songs from their new album, and it definitely got the crowd excited.
Beach Bunny’s captivating songs made me extremely excited for Panic! at the Disco’s set. Although they did not have the same stage presence other openers typically have, they definitely did the job of keeping the audience entertained. Overall, Beach Bunny is an amazing band, and I hope to see them headlining their own show one day.
The Main Event
After the two openers, a huge sense of anticipation overtook the crowd. Then, Panic! At the Disco took the stage. The first six songs enthralled the audience, bringing out a load of energy from them. Many people in my row were screaming and dancing along with Urie, although we were significantly further from the stage.
Panic!’s newest album, “Viva Las Vengeance,” lost the audience a bit. While Urie’s singing was still amazing and his stage presence strong, the new music may have alienated some of his older audience as it is too different from what they are used to.
This latest album plays to a more Queen-oriented opera-rock type of style. While some songs are still catchy, the album as a whole was just not as entertaining as some of Panic!’s older work. I noticed a lot of the audience sitting down during the newer songs.
The disengagement may also be attributed to the band’s core audience mainly originating from the “Pretty Odd” or “Vices and Virtues” eras, released in 2008 and 2011, respectively. During that time, Urie was surrounded by founding band members and engaged in more collaboration, leading to a very different sound. However, when the bands wrapped up on songs from “Viva Las Vengeance” and sang “Girls/Girls/Boys” from “Too Weird to Live, Too Weird to Die,” audience engagement rose again.
Many fans brought rainbow-colored paper hearts to the show. When they shone their phone flashlights through them, they created a rainbow around the stadium during “Girls/Girls/Boys.” The effect was amazing. But I think his most exciting song was the famous “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The audience was singing so loud, I couldn’t hear Urie.
Overall, the arena was packed with energy and fun. I think this is probably one of the top three concerts to attend this season, and I am so grateful I was able to go.
You can still catch Panic! At the Disco on their Viva Las Vengeance tour in a city near you. Click this link for tickets.