The kings of emo, Panic At The Disco played a tiny, jam-packed, 2000-capacity festival warm-up show at London’s historic Astoria venue. Emma Edmondson was there. This is what she’s got to say about it.
Have Panic At The Disco turned into a budget Beatles? Possibly. As all the signs are there tonight. From Brendon’s ’60s-era head ‘n’ hair rattles when finishing lines of lyrics to the band’s cowboy-esque George Harrison style shirts through to their PG-rated inter-song banter – each and every costumed change only adds to the riddle.
They’re polite. They’re charming (well, apart from Brendon’s intermittent onstage spittle gobbing), oh, and there’s those eardrum splintering screams that ricochet throughout the venue like a hormonal ping pong ball whenever one of the group even dares breathe…
But hey kids, calm down and (please) don’t spit in our faces – remember this isn’t the first time the question has raised its turdy tortoise head.
Ever since the release of their Crosby, Stills et cetera cum Travelling Willburys humping second album Pretty. Odd. it’s become clear the globe’s prettiest pop rockers have ditched their emo teeny-bopper tag and replaced it with wanting to be known for making serious music maaan.
And, apart from the continuous girl shrieks, it seems the quartet have sort of succeeded. Playing tunes from the new album, as well as stripped down versions from their debut (which lack that pogoing chutzpah when performed without the dance beat backing track and stage theatricals), the fivesome trundle through a set of Tom Petty-fied rock-pop mewings to a fanfare of fainters and crowd surfers.
From the piano-infused, magnificent pop-beast of ‘Nine In The Afternoon’, to the splattering of experimental future folkers, this is a band who have medified their emoitis with a big old dose of grown up.
But the one thing Panic can’t seem to shake is that Beatles-esque mania which has surrounded them from day one. As although they’ve begun to sprout adult fluff on their previously hairless boy chests there are no bearded muso geeks nodding at their genius in the crowd tonight. Just girls desperate to get the knickers off for a piece of proverbial Panic pie.
So perhaps Ryan’s question half way through to the gathered girlies, and boys, of, “What are you screaming about?” rings truer than he realises.
As they’re probably not screaming about the legend of your music lads, as you’d like them to, but about the pretty brain cells it came from. And, much like the Beatles, that’s a battle they fought until they got wrinkly, grey or married.
Panic At The Disco @ London Astoria setlist
‘We’re So Starving’
‘Nine In The Afternoon’
‘But It’s Better If You Do’
‘She’s A Handsome Woman’
‘The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage’
‘Behind The Sea’
‘Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off’
‘I Constantly Thank God For Esteban’
‘That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)’
‘There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of It Yet’
‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’
‘Time To Dance’
‘Pas De Cheval’
‘Mad As Rabbits’