Don’t Panic! we are at the disco

Story by Will Hanson, Assistant A&E Editor

Since the age of 13, I have been a huge fan of Panic! at the Disco. I remember my older sister constantly blasting “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” in the car, allowing me to memorize every track on that album word for word. “Nicotine” and “Miss Jackson” were on replay in my head for years after.

The variety of genres and the catchy tunes are what kept Panic! on my mind as more of their music was released.

When I learned that Panic! would be coming to Kansas City, MO. on Feb. 2, I was so excited. I feared I would not be able to attend due to the high price of tickets. In a stroke of luck, my friend and fellow Baker student, Madison Lutgen, had free tickets and invited me.

Brendon Urie proved his talent to me and many others in the Sprint Center. I was excited for the opportunity to attend the concert. His extreme talent for singing and showmanship made for one of the best concerts I’ve attended.

The concert provided two opening acts to enjoy before the lengthy performance from Panic!. They were pop artist Betty Who and electronic artist Two Feet.

I was familiar with Betty Who before the concert and enjoyed her set because I already knew many of her songs. Two Feet was someone I was much less familiar with, but I recognized a couple of his pieces. Both were equally impressive and kept my attention during the length of each performance.

Panic! at the Disco is a band with one official member. The band has many unofficial members that tour with the band alongside Urie. Panic! began with four original members and as the band grew older, members left the group. Panic’s fifth album was the first with Urie as the sole member.

Urie began with a performance of “Silver Lining” and went down a setlist of 25 songs. He ended with my personal favorite, “Emperor’s New Clothes,” and then went on to play a three set encore. The encore included “Say Amen (Saturday Night),” “I Write Sins not Tragedies,” and “Victorious,” which were from three different albums.

Urie utilized a triangle shaped stage and elevator-like platforms for the band. A fire-lit stage was used for the more “hard-core” songs. The show had fantastic visuals that impressed me and the rest of the audience.

I was pleased with the fact that the majority of the songs were from the newest album “Pray for the Wicked,” which I consider to be one of the best from the group. That album proved to me that the band really needed Urie as a member to be successful.

At other concerts I have been to, artists will focus on singing their older music and not as much from the album that they are touring. Urie broke my concert expectations by performing majority newer music.

Towards the end of the show, Urie shocked me and the rest of the audience by performing Hugh Jackman’s “The Greatest Show” from the hit musical film “The Greatest Showman.” I much preferred Urie’s rendition of the song as I believe he has better vocal talent than Jackman.

This was a sweet surprise that brought my sister to mind, because she is a huge fan of “The Greatest Showman.” She was quite jealous I got to see one of her favorite bands perform one of her favorite songs.

Urie also performed a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Urie was spectacular singing the nearly six-minute song. I consider Bohemian Rhapsody to be one of the most difficult songs to sing and Urie absolutely killed it.

What I thought was one of the best parts of the concert was when Urie sang “Girls/Girls/Boys,” which is considered by many to be an anthem for the LGBTQ community. Every seat in the venue was given a colored piece of paper to hold over a phone flashlight during the song. The entire place became a giant rainbow that seemingly unified everyone in attendance.

The concert made me more emotional than I would have expected. Finally getting to see one of your favorite bands after such a long time is such a great feeling. I nearly lost my voice because I absolutely had to scream out every lyric to every song.

The Panic! concert was one of the best concerts I have been to because of the pure talent and showmanship on display, and maybe because of my emotional connection to the band and its music. If Panic! at the Disco comes back to Kansas City again, I will not hesitate to buy tickets. Urie’s raw talent is too great for anyone to pass up.