CONCERT REVIEW: Panic! At The Disco Take Live Shows To The Next Level With "Pray For The Wicked" Tour
Starting with the opening acts, Hayley Kiyoko did an incredible job at pumping up the fans for Panic! as well as setting the mood for the concert: a night of love. Her stance in the LGBTQ+ community helped shine a light on the Highest Hopes Foundation and stir up the excitement of Brendon’s latest news regarding his sexuality. I even had the liberty of meeting her in a Q&A panel setting in which she revealed information regarding her craziest fan experience. (As Hayley was driving away from a venue, a crazed fan chased her in her Uber) Due to the timing of the meet and greet, I was unfortunately unable to watch ARIZONA’s set.
After a five minute countdown (projected onto the stage, of course), three trapdoors on the stage opened to reveal the brass section, comprised of Jesse Molloy, Chris Bautista, and Erm Navarro, the string section, comprised of Kiara Ana, Leah Metzler, and Desiree Hazley, guitarist Kenneth Aaron Harris, drummer Dan Pawlovich, and bassist Nicole Row. The only component to Panic! at the Disco missing was Brendon Urie, who soon after was projected from a fourth trapdoor whilst singing (Fuck A) Silver Lining.
Later songs, though they did not include special effects they were just as entertaining, included Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time, Ready To Go, Hey Look Ma I Made It, LA Devotee, Hallelujah, and The Ballad of Mona Lisa. The stage then opened to reveal a sleek black piano on which Brendon played Nine In The Afternoon, a Panic! at the Disco classic. Following Golden Days, Casual Affair was performed including two killer guitar solos from Kenneth Harris accompanied by lasers beaming down from the ceiling and encircling Brendon, Kenneth, and Nicole.
After performing Vegas Lights and Dancing’s Not A Crime, Brendon Urie proceeded to strap on a guitar of his own and play This is Gospel. As he let out his last note, the trapdoor he was standing on opened and he slowly sank down, leaving Kenneth and Nicole to entertain the audience until intermission.
The band came back onstage with Death of a Bachelor as Brendon stepped off the stage to embark on a journey through the audience to a white piano located at the opposite end of the venue. It was on this piano that Dying in LA was played, whilst floating hundreds of feet above the audience of course, accompanied by the heavenly stylings of Kiara Ana, Leah Metzler, and Desiree Hazley. The piano slowly made its way back to the stage where Brendon stepped off, grabbed a random fan’s pride flag, preached about LGBTQ+ rights, and began Girls/Girls/Boys. Prior to entering the venue, a group of girls were running around handing out multi-colored hearts to hold in front of phone flashlights during the song, so it was no surprise that the audience became a sea of rainbow-hued orbs. This encouragement caused Brendon to grab a second, and third pride flag to drape around himself, which he returned to each fan after the song ended. Cue Nicotine.
As tribute to Cyndi Lauper, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was performed accompanied by beachy visuals that reminded me of Paramore’s After Laughter album. After High Hopes and Miss Jackson, a drum set rose from the same trapdoor that revealed the black piano, and a drum battle between Brendon Urie and Dan Pawlovich was initiated. As it was unclear who won, let’s call it a tie. Following King of the Clouds, an energetic performance of Crazy=Genius was done with help from Jesse Molloy, Chris Bautista, and Erm Navarro, who never failed to stop swaying to the music.
Due to Panic! at the Disco’s involvement in the soundtrack creation for DC’s Suicide Squad, an incredible rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was implemented, crazy vocals and all. The supposed ‘last song’ played (not including the encore) was Emperor’s New Clothes, with fire erupting from the floor, and Nicole Row on bass living up to my expectations.
The encore, which was initiated after a quick ten minutes, consisted of Saturday Night (Say Amen), I Write Sins Not Tragedies, and Victorious which featured confetti raining down from the ceiling. All-in-all, the show was incredible, and I look forward to going to many more in the future.
Written by Ava Caron