Throughout the band’s nearly 15-year span, Panic! At the Disco has seen quite a bit of turnover. In fact, the only remaining original member is front man Brendon Urie. However, Friday night Urie still managed to deliver a potent sample of the band’s past, while still promising a bright future.
In front of a jam-packed CHI Health Center, Panic! At the Disco played a nearly two-hour set for their “Pray for the Wicked” tour. Playing songs from their 2005 debut album up until their 2018 album sharing the name of their tour, the set featured songs for every kind of Panic! fan.
Urie kicked things off with “Silver Lining,” a track off their most recent album. As the countdown clock on the big screen hit zero, Urie shot up from out of the ground jumping into the air and right into the song’s popular refrain.
Panic! essentially played nonstop for their whole set, with only brief stage changes and the occasional monologue from Urie. Fans appreciated this constant barrage of music, getting to hear the most music possible in a two-hour span.
The entire set-up was unique. Complete with both a brass and strings trio, as well as a rocking bass and electric guitar, the band was able to provide a wide-ranging sound of music with its many talented musicians.
The real uniqueness came in the stage design. Urie would constantly disappear both sinking down into the triangle-shaped stage and suddenly rise up in another spot playing a piano or drums. The craziest set change came as Urie walked his way through the entire length of the arena, surrounded by fans, all while singing the Sinatra-reminiscent “Death of a Bachelor.”
Upon reaching the other end of the arena, a piano descended from the ceiling that Urie got on and rode all the way back to the other side of the stage, all while singing the unbelievable power ballad “Dying in LA,” a song that truly demonstrates Urie’s incredible vocal range. “My life is complete,” a nearby friend said as he finished his journey and song across the sky of the arena.
For those unfamiliar with Urie’s vocal ability, think Freddie Mercury’s range and confidence. Urie gave the opportunity to compare the two as the band covered Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Urie nailed the rendition, leaving fans thinking Urie may be the closest thing the world has to the late, great Mercury.
A highlight came when Urie told the audience he “Always wanted to be Hugh Jackman,” right before diving into the band’s cover of “The Greatest Show” from the 2017 film “The Greatest Showman.” The band takes the original’s version to the next level, with Urie’s high-strung energy and simply more fun version.
“I was surprised they sang that one to be honest,” a super-fan friend said, “but I’m glad they did. It may have been their best song.”
Panic! truly offers something for everyone. From their punk rock beginnings to their more pop-sounding recent stylings, with some Sinatra-inspired sounding tracks sprinkled in, Panic! has a very wide-ranging catalog that they utilized to the fullest Friday night.
As the crowd took the lead for the final refrain of the band’s current top single “High Hopes,” Urie shook his head in amazement. The band has come a long way and seen quite a bit of change. However, with fans like this and Urie clearly still enjoying himself, it’s easy to see why Panic! still sells out shows and hopefully provides new music for years to come.