Panic! At The Disco @ Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
27th January 2017; Supported by Tigertown
Although these days Panic! At The Disco is just a moniker for what has essentially become frontman Brendon Urie’s solo project, they continue to be one of the best live bands on the planet; each new album further showcases Urie’s incredible vocal abilities, which thankfully also translates into each larger than life show. Having survived a number of line-up changes and the constantly evolving taste of fans both new and old, it’s so encouraging to see the popularity of such an iconic emo band only growing as time goes on. As a long-time fan of P!ATD, I am honoured to have been given the chance to attend and review this show, and had a bloody ripper of a time.
Sydney natives Tigertown were tasked with warming up the rabid crowd, a feat which they tackled with talent and finesse. They were really well received by the crowd as they performed a number of tracks from 2016 EP’s Lonely Cities and Papernote. Their funky fresh cover of Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Starting Somethin’ was a particular favourite, putting a bit more pep in the step of crowd members who weren’t previously paying as much attention to the band. The audience also honoured frontwoman Charlie Collins with a booming rendition of the ol’ faithful happy birthday. They finished off their stellar set with stand-out fan favourite Lonely Cities, undoubtedly leaving the stage with a number of new fans in tow.
They opened their set by way of confetti cannons shooting gold streamers into the roaring crowd, while patriarch Brendon Urie hammered out the opening bars of Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time. His stage presence is genuinely captivating, and every eye in the room follows him as he prances through absolute banger Vegas Lights, classic hit The Ballad of Mona Lisa, and sensual pop masterpiece Hallelujah.
After the slew of newer songs, they finally paid respect to their roots by following on with Time To Dance, off 2005 cult-favourite A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. This gave old-school fans a chance to revel in the glory that was early P!ATD, and be briefly transported back to a time where eyeliner, skinny jeans and big fringes were all that truly mattered.
The banter that prefaced LGBT positive anthem Girls/Girls/Boys was topical, referencing recent president elect Donald Trump; “this song is about how Donald Trump wants to fuck me!”. Charming. Ready To Go followed, getting the entire room off their feet and dancing their absolute hearts out to what I genuinely believe to be one of the best songs the band have ever released. By this point everyone around me is dripping with sweat, and the number of casualties that have been removed from the mosh pit due to exhaustion and heat is rising by the minute.
Only a single glorious song from 2008’s Pretty. Odd. made the cut; Nine In The Afternoon garnered the kind of reception usually reserved for loved ones when they return from a long time away. This one was just a warm up for what was to come though: their rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. For most people, the song would generally be considered an ambitious cover choice; but Brendon Urie is of course, not most people. He glides through the song with ease, the crowd gleefully hitting even the highest notes alongside the theatrical vocal-powerhouse.
The rest of the set was filled with more songs from their most recent album Death of a Bachelor, including Crazy=Genius, Golden Days, Death of a Bachelor and LA Devotee, his stage presence continuing to thoroughly entertain even those who were not familiar with the newer songs.
Then it was time.
I Write Sins Not Tragedies is undoubtedly one of the most iconic songs of the last 15 years, and my god did it show. When the opening notes of this song rang out, the vibe transcended to a whole other level of craziness, the crowd screaming out every last word.
I’d liken seeing beautiful ballad This Is Gospel live to singing along to a hymn in church; it’s cathartic, emotional, and you’ll never be able to hit the notes quite like the original vocalist did. Urie’s dedication of the song to Spencer Smith (former drummer and founding member of the band) tugged at the heartstrings, and it was lovely to see him pay homage to his best friend.
They rounded out the set with Victorious, the boisterous opening track of Death of a Bachelor. There was smoke, there were laser lights, there was confetti. You get the picture.
It’s clear to see why Panic! At The Disco are not going anywhere anytime soon (at least not while Brendon Urie still has functioning vocal chords, limbs to dance with, and a backing band of incredibly talented musicians to tie the whole spectacle together). Each song is performed as vivaciously as it appears recorded, with Urie’s banter, dance moves and crowd interaction only complimenting an already impressive vocal range. He tenaciously holds himself together throughout an undoubtedly taxing performance, genuinely giving his all to an adoring crowd who will remember this night for many years to come. The longevity of this band is most definitely well earned and I am stoked that I can still see bands like this play sold out shows in 2017. Emo never dies.
PANIC! AT THE DISCO
SATURDAY 28TH JANUARY, FESTIVAL HALL, MELBOURNE LIC/AA – SOLD OUT!
SUNDAY 29TH JANUARY, FESTIVAL HALL, MELBOURNE LIC/AA *2nd and final show!
TUESDAY 31ST JANUARY, RIVERSTAGE, BRISBANE LIC/AA
* Upgraded due to phenomenal demand! All current tickets to Eatons Hill Outdoors remain valid!