Every so often, the world is introduced to a band that’s as equally transcendent as they are irresistible. For millennials, Panic! At The Disco fits the narrative – although in this case, it’s simply frontman Brendon Urie after basically going solo in 2015.
When Panic! At The Disco first arrived on the scene, there were few teenagers that didn’t cling to Urie’s intricate tales of sinners and whores. Urie swept a generation – that woke up every Saturday morning to a bowl of Fruity Pebbles and the “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” music video on MTV – off their feet. With bold eyeliner, straightened jet-black hair and a wildly unnecessary, yet certainly iconic exclamation point, Panic! At The Disco cemented themselves as a staple in every teen’s black, click wheel iPod Nano.
A lot has changed in 13 years. Those teens are now working, college graduates and Urie traded the emo-kid haircut for a GQ worthy, undercut pompadour. Although, one thing that’s remained the same is Panic! At The Disco’s overwhelming popularity. 11,000 young adults (and a few accompanying parents) filled the Greensboro Coliseum in the same fashion they would’ve in 2007: ready to party.
The evening began with deafening applause, welcoming Urie’s emphatic, golden entrance. The California-inspired low roar from the electric guitar introduced “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” before Will Byers (from Stranger Things for those not in tune with the Netflix phenomenon) and the “LA Devotee” music video lit up five 20-foot tall LED boards. Gold confetti streamers erupted from on-stage cannons and fiery pyrotechnics warmed the arena.
Although, Urie’s stage presence commanded more attention than the lighting spectacle and stage production. He was downright exuberant – smoothly dancing across the stage. His sparkling gold sport coat twinkled with every twist and turn. His tight, deep black leather pants reflected the night’s extravagance. At one point, Mr. Urie trudged through a sea of boisterous diehards, played the piano 30-feet above them and backflipped off a flight of stairs. His antics stole the hearts of thousands of raving fans – and he made it look easy.
The frontman’s vocal dominance radiated amongst his day-ones and a handful of teary-eyed teenagers. His voice is Broadway worthy and there’s few male vocalists in the scene with pipes like Urie’s. He’s truly an impeccably talented and gifted singer. While his own music doesn’t typically do his voice justice, Urie’s brilliance upstaged all else when Panic! transitioned into a cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a song from his “favorite gay people.”
Urie paused to share a few words about equality before performing “Girls/Girls/Boys.” The extravagant LED array behind him displayed Andy Warhol-style images of Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris while fans held colorful heart-shaped cutouts over their phone flashlights to create a rainbow in the audience.
You could be home watching Friends on Netflix with some popcorn, but you’re here.
Urie graciously thanked his audience for the support since his arrival in the music scene. After 13 years Panic! At The Disco – despite infecting a new generation with Death Of A Bachelor – “I Write Sins Not Tragedies still remains Urie’s career zenith. “It’s an unreleased track,” Panic! joked before chiming in with the renowned lyrics – however after calling out the groom’s promiscuous bride, he cleverly omitted the famous “whore” – just as MTV would’ve a decade ago. “You said it, no me,” Urie stammered with a smile.