Panic! at the Disco are finally past being a Fall Out Boy spinoff band – capitalizing on the raw sexuality in their lyrics with concerts your parents would have never let you attend in 7th grade.
At the Fillmore Tuesday night, an echoing, throwback voiceover warned the crowd, “Don’t you know that bad girls go to hell?” Of course, that set off the lyrics to everyone’s favorite makeout song, “Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off.”
Frontman Brendon Urie led the crowd in debauchery, strutting around the stage and posing the challenge, “Show me how fucking nasty you can be!” while videos of coquettish women from the mid-20th century in their undergarments played behind him.
It was okay to give in to the cheesiness. Panic! was everything your inner 13-year-old fangirl self could have ever hoped for – an eccentric mix of nostalgia and overt sexuality. From the exuberant lead singer’s array of backflips to the chaotic and suggestive roll of images playing behind the band on video screens, spectacle and showmanship reigned supreme during the sold-out show.
Urie stood out in a sequined jacket and Elvis-like pompadour behind strobe lights. The rest of the band wore matching, demure black suits while Urie gyrated throughout most of the songs and, to the delight of much of the crowd, eventually stripped off his shirt, going topless for the encore performance of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
Early on, Urie explained that he was still “recovering from the plague.” His sickness was sometimes evident in his strained voice, especially during some of the more vocally intense songs like “This is Gospel,” from the band’s newest album, “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die.” Drenched in sweat by the end of the first few songs, Urie gave the performance his all, and despite any vocal strains or sickness, the audience matched his enthusiasm throughout the entire 90-minute set.
Panic! At The Disco’s live show mirrored their cheeky, clever and overtly lustful music catalogue. There was a general sense of revelry in the air, evident from the crowd’s intense reactions – screaming, dancing, and sometimes throwing their own articles of clothing onto the stage – particularly during some of Panic!’s cheekier songs off the first album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.”