Panic! at the Disco kicked off their fall tour in support of their album “Vices & Virtues” on September 1st at Rusmey Playfield at New York’s Central Park. “Vices & Virtues” made a spectacular chart entry upon its release earlier this year, and Panic! at the Disco has been touring pretty much nonstop since, with major North American and UK tours, as well as appearances at an array of summer music festivals. On this fall tour, the band opted to not use the same, highly theatrical and steam punk themed stage from the earlier North American tour in favor of a simpler stage with a black curtain behind the band and a fairly simple lighting set up.
Neon Trees were the direct support band at the Central Park show, playing a catchy 40 minute set. Singer Tyler Glenn is a wondrous frontman with near limitless energy and charisma (apparently lacking only a belt for his pants), and it definitely showed last night. The crowd was curious, most likely due to the enormous success of single “Animal”, but definitely went away highly impressed. The band played an impressive cover of Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” after announcing that there were many PYT’s in the audience. During “Animal”, the band released oversized balloons with eyeballs painted on them, perhaps they’ve been taking notes from Muse. Most inspirational of all though, was Tyler Glenn’s speech about midway through their set – that it was 2011 and guitar music was still being made; rock music is alive in 2011 and it is very exciting even after all these years. Despite the majority of the crowd knowing only “Animal” the crowd was dancing throughout their entire set. Tracks such as “Love and Affection” and “1983″ stood out, mostly due to their simple choruses that allowed the crowd to sing along with the band. Set closer “Sins Of My Youth” never fails to disappoint live, and held a significant meaning to the 18+ segment of the crowd with the line “I had a little too much fun back when I was young”, as Panic! at the Disco was up next, a band that many of these fans have been following since their early teen years.
The moment that Neon Trees left the stage, chants of “PANIC PANIC PANIC” erupted and it was clear that despite having a lot of fun during Black Cards and Neon Trees respective sets, the crowd was tired of waiting for the band that they had come to see. Many fans had waited outside the venue for hours to get a spot close to the stage, and when I arrived shortly before doors opened, the line seemed to stretch for miles. Kicking off with the second single from “Vices & Virtues”, “Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)”, the band delivered a mostly high energy, 70 minute set that left everyone wanting a bit more. They then went into “But It’s Better If You Do” off their debut album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” which pleased the very vocal crowd. Up next was the first single from “Vices & Virtues” – “The Ballad Of Mona Lisa” which got one of the biggest cheers of the night. However, songs from both “Vices & Virtues” and “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” went over equally well with the crowd, unlike with some bands were older songs are much less known. Tracks from the bands acclaimed second album “Pretty. Odd.” were noticeably absent, save for the biggest single from it “Nine In The Afternoon”. Touring members Ian Crawford (lead guitars and backing vocals) and Dallon Weekes (bass, backing vocals and synths) proved that they could rock out just as hard as perennial members Brendon Urie (lead vocals and keyboard) and Spencer Smith (drums).Throughout their set, Panic! at the Disco played multiple snippets of well known songs, however they seemed somewhat lost on the younger segment of the crowd. Midway through their set, the band concluded “Hurricane” with a few bars of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”, and during the opening of the encore, about half of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” was played. The only time the band took a break from the endless dancing and rocking out was for the acoustic “Always” which Brendon dedicated to his band family. The band rounded out their main set with the aforementioned “Nine In The Afternoon”, a stunning rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” performed with all of Neon Trees on stage (video below), and the massive single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”. “Dancing In The Dark” was performed flawlessly, with Brendon and Tyler trading lines and both bands entire lineups rocking out behind them. “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” received the biggest cheer deservedly so – it was the song that got nearly everyone hooked on Panic! at the Disco in the first place.After coming out from the encore break and playing their bit of Marvin Gaye, Brendon introduced Pete Wentz (Fallout Boy, Black Cards) and thanked him for all his support and the band performed “Time To Dance”, which was the first song they played for Wentz, with him. Closing out the encore was the terrific “Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)”, and just like that the show was over, the crowd screaming in vain for more as George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” played over the speakers. Overall, Panic! at the Disco proved that despite losing two members, they are still very much so a functional live band ready to rock.
Panic! at the Disco’s setlist:
1. Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)
2. But It’s Better If You Do
3. The Ballad of Mona Lisa
4. Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
5. Trade Mistakes
7. Hurricane (Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus snippet at the end)
8. The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage
9. Let’s Kill Tonight
11. Nine In The Afternoon
12. Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover, performed with Neon Trees)
13. I Write Sins Not Tragedies
14. Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye cover)
15. Time To Dance (performed with Pete Wentz)
16. Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)
Photos by Michel R Dussack
PANIC! AT THE DISCO