Maybe I’m getting old and starting to get out of touch with “the youths” but for the second time in my life I didn’t enjoy a concert (let’s not talk about my Linkin Park experience). I was faced with a band that got me through my teenage years on the one hand and a crowd of wild, snapchatting fourteen-year-olds, probably experiencing similar teenage problems, on the other hand. But instead of watching the band perform through other people’s tiny screens I still want to flail my arms and dance like nobody’s watching when I’m listening to live music.
But let’s start with the positive: the supporting act Tigertown (from Sydney, Australia) certainly found a new fan. The epitome of clichéd indie-pop definitely got the crowd pumped for what was to come. Their three-part vocal arrangement worked amazingly well with the funky electronic instrumentalization and gave off a strong Tegan and Sara vibe. Their closing song Lonely Cities undoubtedly left the audience and especially me longing for more.
On to the meat of things: main act Panic! at the Disco. I should mention that I’m 23 and surely not the band’s target audience anymore. I can’t stand phones at concerts but this time there was nowhere to look without seeing one. 1 in 3 people had theirs out and tried to capture lead singer Brendon Urie doing one of his signature back flips or taking his shirt off or hitting another incredibly powerful falsetto note. This might sound picky but I like to see what I came for and not stare at someone’s hand for 70 minutes. Now…I’m usually not one to complain about these things. At 6’4” it doesn’t bother me that much. But this time it was different. And I don’t blame the crowd for it.
It wasn’t fun.
The band didn’t enjoy it which in turn made me not enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong: the music was incredible but when a performer is not letting loose on stage you can feel it. They certainly set the right mood starting off with “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” (Death of a Bachelor) but somehow it seemed hard to keep the crowd engaged after that.
Jumping and singing along didn’t come short thanks to the action-packed set list with bangers like “Death of a Bachelor” (Death of a Bachelor) and beloved fan favorite “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out).
The highlight of the show was Panic! at the Disco’s cover of Queen’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” (A Night at the Opera). This is where Brendon and the band can shine. They are indeed very talented musicians and can own this song with their own twists and turns. Especially Urie’s falsetto shows why this version is hugely popular and was featured on the Suicide Squad soundtrack.
I left the venue, disappointed that I only heard 3 songs from their breakout albums A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd. In the end, I felt a bit sad to see a band, that shaped me and many other teenagers a lot, lose their fun in performing. Because the crowd was absolutely willing and ready to freak out.
Yannick was listening to Vices and Virtues by Panic! at the Disco while writing this review.