Since 2004, Panic! At The Disco has come a long way. Brendon Urie has taken them from the emo kids in Las Vegas singing about shutting "Goddamn doors" to a powerhouse arena act that can sell out venues like the U.S. Bank Arena.
Before going into this show, I had only been familiar with what Panic! At The Disco had released from my middle school and high school years, songs like ‘Nine in the Afternoon,’ and ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies.’ Some of their songs from the very successful album ‘Death of a Bachelor’ had come through my headphones as well, but I in no way would say I was well associated with the band in the past few years.
So to walk into an arena that was packed with fans of all ages was surprising to me. I was seated between a couple in their thirties who had been fans for years and a mother and her young daughter who celebrated Urie as though he was a four-piece boy band.
This show was also, in very Las Vegas fashion, nothing short of a spectacle. The stage set was massive featuring five platforms that would elevate from below the stage and a giant cat walk in the shape of a triangle that resembled the symbol the band was touring with for their latest album ‘Pray for the Wicked.’
While waiting, music blasted through the speakers hyping up the crowd, and people were dancing as though this was the show. Ten minutes before the band came out, a countdown clock came on and that was the first of many ear rupturing roars from the crowd, nothing had even happened yet.
Once the lights dipped, the band rose from beneath the stage like an epic orchestra, with strings and horns on the platforms and then as if being shot out of a cannon, Brendon Urie is projected onto the stage and without hesitation begins singing in his now famous falsetto.
Opening with a hand full of songs off the latest album, Panic! came out running. Much of their new music took me a while to sort of figure out. What was their sound? It was pop of course but it was also rock and there wereso many theatrical elements to each song. I finally came to the conclusion that this was like seeing a Las Vegas or Broadway show and Urie was the lead in what is now almost a 15-year musical.
Which is fitting since he now has experience from his stint on Broadway as Charlie Price in Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots.
With pyrotechnics, fireworks, confetti, backflips, and a white grand piano being elevated over the crowd during their song ‘Dying in L.A.’ there is no denying that Urie is a showman. Even doing their rendition of ‘The Greatest Show’ from the very successful ‘The Greatest Showmen.’
Finally, the band ended their set with what Urie has become well known for, a rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ This was a very exciting part of the show seeing that it really did the song justice. There are very few people today who could hit those notes of Freddie Mercury, all while still having the showmanship to play piano and give the theatrics that the song calls for.
With Panic! At The Disco’s stop in Cincinnati, Urie and company left fans in awe and just from observing the crowd walking out, left them wanting more. People shed tears of joy, that is a long way from a band that was once lumped in with Fall Out Boy and All American Rejects as your “angsty teenagers band.”