The last time Panic! At The Disco played in London it was at The Forum, Kentish Town, to a much smaller crowd than what was in front of them when they took to the stage at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith last Friday. It’s needless to say that Panic! are able to rock a stage regardless of its size with their colourful melodies, intricate lyrics and theatrics – something that easily keeps a crowd entertained whether they’re fans or not. The band’s current lineup only consists of singing, guitar-shredding, piano-playing extraordinaire Brendon Urie, bassist Dallon Weekes and the help of a touring drummer and guitarist while the band’s actual drummer Spencer Smith takes time off for personal reasons, but they still managed to put on an incredible show that wowed the large audience before them.
The band’s entrance was nothing short of spectacular, with smoke filling the stage and an array of screens above the stage that depicted images relevant to the first song of the set – entitled ‘Vegas Lights’. An uptempo dance number, it did an excellent job of getting the crowd jumping, dancing and singing along, before leading in to an older fan favourite, ‘Time To Dance’, from Panic!’s first album that managed to successfully please the veteran fans in the room looking for a nostalgia kick. Since the band’s inception, they’ve had quite a few changes to their lineup, but fortunately they’ve managed to keep themselves known as a band known for their talent and creativity, and they can still pull off older tracks as well as excelling with the newer ones.
Panic! At The Disco
The set continued on with a variety of songs from Panic!’s four albums, as well as a performance of ‘New Perspective’, a track that appeared in the film Jennifer’s Body in 2009. As well as being a movie hit, the song also gave fans at the time a taste of what the band were capable of after former members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left earlier in that year. Years later now at the Apollo, and they still manage to pull it off with such style, sparking an incredibly loud singalong from the audience.
Towards the end of the set, things were starting to get sweaty within the room – an opinion obviously shared by Urie who shed his shirt, much to the delight of many a teenager throughout the crowd. Screams could be heard and Urie replied only with his signature smirk before the band led into a song entitled ‘Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)’ which has such incredibly detailed lyrics. One that particularly sticks out is, “here I am composing a burlesque, out of where they rest their necks…” and it really does have you envious over how someone can be so imaginative!
Panic! At The Disco
Panic! At The Disco left the stage then, but then returned once the crowd had worked themselves up by chanting “Panic! Panic! Panic!”, as is the tradition at a lot of shows. The encore was kicked off with one of the newer, critically acclaimed singles ‘Girls/Girls/Boys’, that subtly tells the tale of the band’s support of gay rights. Despite it being the end of the night, their performance continued to ooze an energy and flair that really can’t be beaten. The set was finished off by a short, hardcore-style performance emulating a tradition that Urie carries out on his quite popular Vine channel. Crowned ‘Positive Hardcore Thursday’, the idea is to ‘scream’ something really positive in the style of a number of hardcore bands. While the idea was somewhat lost on some of the crowd who weren’t as big fans, it did its job nicely of entertaining the most dedicated.
Panic! At The Disco
The night ended on the highest of notes with what is arguably the band’s most popular track that is considered to be the one that shot them in to fame. ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’, which is still pulled off flawlessly by the 27-year-old Urie and co., as it was back in the days when he was just 18. Some of the audience were on the brink of tears reminiscing, while others were dancing their hearts out while they still could. In summary, it’s clear that Panic! At The Disco are able to cater brilliantly for both their older fans looking for a trip down memory lane, as well as the younger generation who are only now discovering their music tastes. 10 years down the road as a band, and they are still able to render a crowd speechless; in awe of the incredibly theatrical Panic! At The Disco.
Photos by Nicola Cane.