February 15, 2014

Panic! at the Disco was huge in 2008 and their show this past Saturday proved their resurging popularity. They will always hold a special place in my heart, the tiny spot way in the back of the music section of my heart. There they remain, forever immortal, right next to Fall Out Boy, the All American Rejects, and My Chemical Romance. Needless to say, I was excited to see Panic! at the Fox Theater on Saturday, a number of years after I would have been begging my parents to cough up the cash and drive a friend and me to the theater. But since I’m now an adult, I made my way to the concert excitedly on BART, primarily looking forward to a few choice throwbacks and the fact that Panic! would definitely put on a great show.

And put on a great show they did. Panic! at the Disco tore up the stage as they powered through one song after another for over an hour. After two openers, Ithaca-based X Ambassadors and the SoCal natives The Colourists, the crowd was more than ready for the main act to begin. The openers were incredible, both unique and very complementary to the headliner. However, the crowd was here to see Panic!, so when the lights dimmed, the anticipation grew thick and the deafening screams started.

“Let’s do it!” lead singer Brendon Urie shouted as the band took the stage in a flashy opening featuring bright yellow strobe lights, and flashing images on a screen behind them. In a burst of sound they launched into “Vegas Lights” and didn’t stop singing until 18 songs later for an encore.

Throughout the entire show they worked the crowd expertly. They had us on our feet — dancing, singing, and screaming. This was a powerhouse performance: a perfect combination of older hits and newer top forty material. Songs like “Nine In the Afternoon” and the classic “But It’s Better If You Do,” with which the band closed, brought the house down as everyone jumped and danced, hands in the air.

Along with being the biggest production I’ve seen at the Fox in a while, it was also undoubtedly the loudest. “Nicotine” and other, newer hits reverberated through the theater, bringing a spitfire energy that resonated with everyone in the audience. The fan favorite “Miss Jackson” ended in a flash of red light, which revealed only the silhouettes of the band.

When Brendon and the band came back onstage for the encore, he leaned out towards the audience with his hand cupped behind his ear to hear more cheers. The crowd obediently raised their voices and the encore ensued much like the show that preceded: loudly and quickly. It started with “Girls/Girls/Boys,” was followed by a screamo stunt by Brendon, and ended, somewhat predictably, with “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The crowd sang the chorus twice on their own, belting every single word of the song up until the last final, crooning notes.

“You guys are rowdy,” said Brendon. “I like it.”

Photos by Emily Lassman / Staff