Well, I can confidently say that my year of concerts started off on the best foot possible. I’ve been a huge fan of Panic! At the Disco ever since my older sister blasted their first album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” while my 5-year-old self sat in the back of her Honda Civic.
Their sound and attitude have changed so much in the past 15 years, and it has never made anyone love them any less.
I was still on my way to my seat when Betty Who had started, and I was caught off guard the moment her first bass line was introduced. It shook the floor underneath my feet. I knew immediately that I’d like her performance. And she continued to prove me right.
The Australian Pop artist showed the crowd just how far her voice can take the show, and with the help of her two male background dancers, She performed an incredible opening set.
A perfect follow up from Betty Who. Zachary William Dess, lead singer and guitarist of Two Feet, offered an amazing change of pace to the crowd using his soft voice, heavy bass, and smooth guitar solos.
Accompanying the band were fitting visuals and lights, setting the mood for each song played.
They finished their set with two of their most well-known songs, “Go Fuck yourself” and “I Feel Like I’m Drowning”. The familiarity helped the crowd get into a pleasant mood, singing along to the minimalistic lyrics about sex and being held down by love.
To help Place Bell shake with excitement, a countdown from 1000 was displayed on a large screen on stage. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one staring at it as I sang along to “Africa” by Toto. Soon enough, everyone in the theatre was chanting down from 10. And suddenly a six-piece brass and string orchestra along with drummer Dan Pawlovich, bassist Nicole Row, and guitarist Mike Naran rose from the beneath the platform.
The crowd could not contain themselves, and lost their minds when lead singer Brendon Urie leapt from under the stage to start this huge party off with “(Fuck a) Silver Lining” off their 2018 album “Pray For The Wicked”.
Every member on stage was visibly having a great time, especially Brendon. He just could not stand still, entertaining everyone with his comical singing facial expressions and extravagant dance moves. The band members were not alone though, on the screen right behind them shined awesome visuals to match lyrics and aesthetics of each song they played, such as “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time”, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”, and “LA Devotee”.
Every time you thought they couldn’t throw anything more at you, they did. Flames burst from the stage during “Crazy=Genius”, a grand piano lifting up from below for “Nine In the Afternoon”, and lasers pointing in perfect formation for “Casual Affair”. Everything fit the aesthetic of each song, and had everyone on their toes, unable to peel their eyes from what was up front.
Brendon made sure to get up and personal with the floor during “Death of a Bachelor”, walking around with his golden microphone, hugging and shaking hands with fans, all the while showing off his insane vocal capabilities by perfectly exaggerating every other note. He expressed his love for the crowd, telling us that we’re some of the nicest people he’s ever met on tour.
And, of course, now that Brendon has just put everyone is shock by hugging them, he sits at an all-white grand piano in the middle of the venue. He explains that when he was a child, his mother taught him piano. And although he hated lessons, he loved watching her play a certain song for him. And so, he introduced us to “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.
He and his piano were slowly lifted into the air on a circular platform and started dramatically moving forward to the stage. He followed his song “Dying in LA” into his cover and created an incredibly emotional experience and connection with Place Bell. He sang down to his fans, waving and clutching onto the wire that suspended him and his piano.
A fantastic follow up to that moment was introduced with “Girls/Girls/Boys”, where a fan project took place again. Different coloured hearts were placed around the venue, and once everyone shined a light through them, a rainbow was formed, signalising the LGBTQ community. Brendon and his touring band gave an extremely lively performance of the empowering song, while every person in Place Bell was singing along to every lyric. By the end of the song, Brendon had draped about 6 Pride Flags on his shoulders.
The show stayed at a high once “Miss Jackson” started. Mid-song, a drum kit had lifted up for Brendon, so he and Dan played in perfect synchronization, hyping the crowd even more than we already were. Brendon finished off the song with a backflip, and continued with a fan favourite off their newest album called “Roaring 20s”.
Of course, the grand piano made a come back for Brendon’s rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Such a great cover. He and his band members do the song amazing justice, and it’s truly an experience to see it live.
They finished their set with “Emperor’s New Clothes”, leaving the venue hungry for more as the band sunk back down into the platform.
The screaming and chanting were loud, booming through the venue, and it didn’t stop for a second. After a couple minutes, each member rose back up from the floor, and gave the crowd an amazing three-piece encore, including “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Victorious”.
It was honestly one of the best shows I’ve been to. Panic! At the Disco have been alive for 15 years, and they have never let anyone become bored with them. Their sound may change with every album, but their love for music and entertainment has stayed the same.
I’m so excited to see them again in the future and to see what Brendon Urie has in store for his fans in the future.
(FUCK A) SILVER LINING
DON’T THREATEN ME WITH A GOOD TIME READY TO GO (GET OUT OF MY MIND) HEY LOOK MA, I MADE IT
THE BALLAD OF MONA LISA
NINE IN THE AFTERNOON
ONE OF THE DRUNKS
DANCINGS NOT A CRIME
THIS IS GOSPEL
DEATH OF A BACHELOR
I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME (Bonnie Raitt cover) DYING IN LA
THE GREATEST SHOW GIRLS/GIRLS/BOYS
KING OF THE CLOUDS
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Queen cover) EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
SAY AMEN (SATURDAY NIGHT) I WRITE SINS NOT TRAGEDIES VICTORIOUS
Review – Jamie Siddall
Photos – Arianne Bergeron