WARNING: INTENSE FANGIRLING AHEAD.
I know I’ve waxed eloquent many times on P!ATD’s (vices &) virtues (see what I did there?!), but there is nothing – NOTHING – compared to seeing them live.
Brendon Urie. The first band member I ever truly loved (still do).
This time, my 5th P!ATD show since I started listening to them in 2007, was double exciting because it was Nina’s first time seeing them live!
Despite purposely leaving late to avoid standing in the snow, we still had to line up to get into the Sound Academy (the show was sold out). This involved teaching some drunk girls about the band they were about to see and trying not to fall on the freezing slush.
Due to the line, we missed most of the first opening band (the X-Ambassadors) who seemed like they were fun, but it was hard to tell based on the 2-3 songs that we heard. I don’t know what it is with opening bands, but why do they always insist on playing a slow song? Like, you have 30 minutes to impress me, why slow it down when I’m there to see an energetic head-liner?
The next band, The Colourist, was pretty good; I was especially impressed with their female singer-drummer (I have a huge amount of respect for girl drummers).
Around 9:20, Panic! came out and the crowd went mental. Opening with “Vegas Lights”, they smoothly transitioned to one of the oldest songs in their catalogue: “Time To Dance” (which I credit as the song that turned Ro into a Panic! fan when we first saw them in 2008):
When I say “shotgun”, you say “wedding”.
I would have killed to see them in the A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out era (circa 2005-2007) with the make-up and the circus elements. But they’ve always had very elaborate stage pieces (backdrops, etc), and this time, they were as theatrical as ever: the stained glass background during “This is Gospel”, the huge puffs of smoke, the old-fashioned clocks and cabaret-style images during “Nine in the Afternoon” (the only song played from 2008’s Pretty.Odd.) and “But It’s Better If You Do” (respectively).
It’s nine in the afternoooooon, your eyes are the size of the mooooon.
Well, I’m afraid that I, well I may have faked it and I wouldn’t be caught dead in this place.
The full band (including Panic!’s long-time bassist, Dallon Weekes, whose former band – The Brobecks – are worth looking into) do a great job at keeping the audience entertained, but let’s be real: everyone focuses on the exuberant Brendon Urie. He dances across the stage, pounding the piano, even getting behind the drums at one point, his vocals never faltering (I have always loved Brendon’s voice), not to mention throwing in a couple of backflips (the second one was shirtless. Nina and I almost passed out). And I love that he can still hit that crazy high note in “Camisado”. There’s just something about hearing the older songs live, I can’t quite describe the nostalgia-tinged enjoyment.
Which is not to say that the old songs are the best parts because the new-ish songs from 2011’s Vices & Virtues are just as fun: “Ready To Go” is always guaranteed to make me dance and playing “Nearly Witches” right before the encore was the perfect way to break up the set (bonus: “New Perspective”, the first song they released after Ryan Ross/Jon Walker left in 2009). Songs from 2013’s Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die (aka the album they’re touring for) were equally well-received. My favourite Too Weird song, “Casual Affair”, was played just before the halfway point in the set – as a song that focuses more on instrumentation than vocals, I wasn’t sure how it would sound live, but it was phenomenal. I even appreciated their second-to-last song, “Girls/Girls/Boys” more live than compared to the album version.
Of course, Panic! can’t avoid playing the song that made them famous. So, after running around looking for his misplaced joint, Brendon closed the show with a rousing, mainly-audience-sung, rendition of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”.
What a shame the poor groom’s bride is a whore.