Panic! At the Disco put on a spectacular show but flopped when their new songs mimicked timeless classics.
Brendon Urie is a pretty incredible singer and performer, but I was caught off guard when the live versions of the new album sounded like Queen, Bowie, and styles otherwise considered classic rock.
Borrowing lyrics or riffs from songs like All by Myself, by Celine Dion, the Ramones and Queen, Brendan Urie seems to have been closely inspired to create a new sound for his next album. Or was he desperately looking for new songs that would continue to gain fans?
Panic! At the Disco came into the lives of pop fans thanks to Brendon Urie’s expansion into grand pop songs, like the hit “High Hopes,” and his accomplishments with movies like Frozen 2 and the cover release of The Greatest Showman Reimagined. The group has become a household name.
Fans of different generations and fashions flocked to the Xcel Energy Center in droves. Panic! are well known in the area for their fantastic live performances, and the packed stadium showed that immediately.
This concert was unique in this Panic! At the Disco performed their entire new album Long live revenge straight.
The show started with a lot of suspense and immediately reached epic proportions. Purple lights illuminated the smoke pouring onto the stage.
The band begins to play as Brendon Urie appears out of nowhere on the podium. He winks and starts, “Say Amen” from 2018’s Pray for the Wicked, and it was nonstop entertainment from there.
Unfortunately, the quality Panic! At the Disco is known for possibly slipping into flashy antics and fluff. Lyrically, the album is full of clickbait phrases and flashy proclamations.
It’s really up to each fan to decide for themselves, but I was surprised by the barely enthusiastic reactions from the audience during the play-through of Long live revenge began.
It is a given that Panic! At the Disco would put on an amazing show; to be clear, this cannot be denied. But there is an important distinction to be made.
Is Brendan Urie’s nod to 70s rock too close?
When “Viva Las Vengeance” started, I thought it was cool that they played a cover. I couldn’t wait for Brendan to shout out the nod to the original afterwards, letting us in on the joke. But it never came. It sounded so much like a song I knew very well. What would another fan think?
Is he rehashing 70s rock songs to get more fame instead of winning fans for creating music with an artistic and profound purpose?
Do we no longer expect so much from a pop star? Or is it brilliant?
New generations haven’t heard these incredible songs from the 1970s. Is it time to expose fans to modern versions?
There is the argument that nothing is new. Do you think this shows how far Brendon Urie can push his musical talents, exploring genres across the decades and putting his own spin on them?
What did the public think of it?
Watching the crowd, they slowed down their dance as the album played. It was visually stimulating and fans seemed intrigued. I didn’t see people raging or screaming endlessly.
I saw people stop and stare, cocking their heads. The person next to me who I had been talking to got up and left saying it wasn’t really worth staying.
I wondered if they weren’t mischievously throwing in a cover of a rock song, and we were part of a special moment that isn’t recorded anywhere! But the nods never came. It was, in fact, highly promoted as original material, to which he seemed very proud of it all.
Now I wonder, what do the reader and listener think? One could turn to YouTube and see several comments naming the famous songs he seemed to be inspired by. Many album reviews also note that many of the songs sound like Queen, who are known to be one of Brendan Urie’s favorite bands.
This particular song has the general feel of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and I can get my hands on it. It’s precious to be inspired by past songs that have marked us. I appreciate when I hear a group greet another group. How far is too far?
Opening Acts – Beach Bunny and Jake Wesley Rogers
Jake Wesley Rogers is the first to play the big night. He is fun to watch and kept us hooked with his songs and dances.
His music seemed inspired by Elton John, and his cover of Black Parade from My Chemical Romance was fun, as MCR was playing the next night in the same arena.
He sang very well and was also very serious. He didn’t hesitate to tell us the story of his life, he opened up about the pain of growing up as a foreigner. His family supported his coming out as gay, but he felt he had to hide it from the community he lived in.
He was inspiring and hopefully made those who felt like outsiders feel seen a bit more. Whether it’s an orientation that doesn’t seem to be the norm or being someone who wants to dress uniquely and outside the norm, I hope people can be open to spirit in response.
Beach Bunny arrived and started the evening by asking everyone in front to get high. The confused looks made her insist.
“Get low, get low,” sang Lili Trifilio, quoting the popular Lil John song.
The crowd in front complied and ducked. She started their set with everyone jumping, dancing and having fun. It was a nice attempt at something different and achieved a memorable effect.
Beach Bunny is probably best known for his Tiktok hits “Prom Queen” and “Cloud 9,” but deserves to be known for more than just one TikTok group.
They were a pleasant surprise and a great choice to play before Panic! At the disco. They have an indie rock surf vibe and played really well. I had a blast watching their energy on stage.
Trifilio has a way of singing in a catchy, cute, and serious way about dating and dealing with all those ridiculous expectations of our bodies.
“Shut up, count your calories
I never looked good in mom jeans
I would like to be like you
Blondie with blue eyes, perfect body”
“Maybe I should try harder
You should lower your beauty standards
I’m not a fast barbie
I was never made for prom queen”
Tying into the theme of feeling like a misfit in the three bands performing tonight, this particular band resonated and stuck with me. Given their success, it seems to have struck a chord with many people.
Panic! At The Disco was dazzling to the eyes.
One of the most notable performance bonuses was the floor-to-ceiling video screen. It showed videos such as writhing red and black snakes and a dark red and black castle-like video.
Another bizarre montage were slow-motion close-ups of people being punched in the face with water balloons. Another was hit by dust, and the effect was mesmerizing, if very strange, watching the dust fly over their faces.
Towards the end of the show, confetti guns blasted paper strips everywhere, and people were excited.
Brandon Urie always looked great changing outfits and turned his mic around confidently, catching it every time. He strutted onstage with ease and confidence. He performed in front of the crowd like it was something he was always destined for.
Even with an accident, he laughed about it and recovered well. He knows he has an amazing voice and a wide range. “God Killed Rock and Roll” and “Star Spangled Banger” are probably the best performed songs on the tour.
There were a lot of pyrotechnics and once the side of the stage started to catch fire. It was set up in no time and the gig went on without Urie missing a beat.
Another unfortunate observation was that the song transitions felt clunky and the timing wasn’t as tight as I expected. Some of the songs on the new album seemed to be sloppy in performance.
However, Brendon Urie’s voice, dance and creativity show his skills and talent. The highly anticipated encore brought out popular and fan-favorite songs “Death of a Bachelor” and “Victorious.”
The stadium went wild!! But not as wild as during the song “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies”, the 2005 debut album, A fever that you can’t sweat. In fact, everyone was singing so loudly that Urie stopped singing and beamed around the stadium during the chorus. He said in shock – “Wow, after all these years…!!”
He ends the concert with “High Hopes”, and his energy is still at its highest. He playfully flexes around the beams of light on the catwalk, smiling the entire time. His ability to have fun after an intense gig with a few issues is admirable.
There’s no denying the fun and excitement of a Panic! At the Disco concert. This is something a music fan should definitely see in their lifetime.