Your Middle School Emo Phase Cleaned Up Its Act

Allison Stubblebine
Panic! at the Disco played (Le) Poisson Rouge Jan. 14 2016.

Its been a long time since the days of closing the goddamn doors.Ten and a half years, to be exact. Since the song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” was released in 2005, a lot has changed for Panic! at the Disco. On their latest album, “Death of a Bachelor,” only one member — vocalist Brendon Urie — of the original band remains. Urie has sung in Panic! from their formation to the new album’s Jan. 15 release.

On Jan. 14, Urie was joined by Dallon Weekes — a touring member who was previously a part of the official lineup — for an early preview of the newest album at (le) Poisson Rouge.

The set list catered heavily to new and current fans, with nearly half the playlist pulled from the bands newest release and their 2013 album Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!” The new songs received almost the same reaction as old fan favorites like “Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” and “The Ballad of Mona Lisa”.

The evolution of sound that Panic! developed seems eerily reminiscent of the exact changes Fall Out Boy made when reentering the music world with Save Rock & Roll.” The band has tuned down the punk to make room for a clean-cut package more accessible to the world of popular music.

Panic!’s fresh sound manifested itself in the crowd drawn by the band, complete with the usual post-scene fan girls, but filled out by families and the occasional middle aged man in a sports coat.  

Their act seemed almost too planned out, too rehearsed. The musicians transitioned between songs with old-fashioned sounding recordings. Each song, regardless of its original style, was weighed down as Brendon Urie over-indulged himself with vocal runs and falsetto accents. It was with this that the usually tight act seemed to lose its way, as big notes in their older songs came across pitchy, as if they had received less attention than the rest.

Panic!s set concluded in a lackluster fashion, without any encore after their new song Emperors New Clothes.Just five songs prior, Urie had announced that it was the first time ever that they would not close with I Write Sins Not Tragedies,a decision that left the set feeling out of balance.

The concert as a whole was a nice, neat, poppy package for listeners new to Panic! at the Discos music. They catered to their musical past with a few old favorites, particularly those that acted as more of a middle ground between the two styles, in order to make a cohesive performance. However, it definitely left something to be desired for those who came to reminisce over their middle school angst.

Email Allison Stubblebine at [email protected]

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