Panic! At The Disco

Photos by David Watson

Photos by David Watson

By Wal Reid

Artist: Panic! At The Disco

Date / Venue: Thursday February 2nd, 2017 - Vector Arena, Auckland

Maybe it was the Panic! version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that aptly set the mood for the night?  “Here’s one we didn’t write...Fuck it, we did.” singer Brendan Urie confessed, a dab hand on the piano also it seems. His falsetto would’ve garnished approval beyond the grave from Mr Mercury – surely?

It was as if the mostly ‘youngish’ audience were rediscovering a new rock dirge, while some of us OLD enough to remember Wayne’s World yanked the ‘air guitars’ out of retirement for the ‘Brian May’ bits.

This satisfied the pangs of having had to wait for the band to revisit our shores after a 10-year hiatus (which Urie addressed apologising).  It was a festive night that had the Vector crowd rollicking, as the band played most of their new album Death Of A Bachelor.

“I want to personally thank every one of you for being here.” singer Brendan Urie implored as the band launched into Time to Dance, then transitioning into new-ish track Emperor’s New Clothes before the crowd barely had time to regain themselves, pulled space being over run by out an energetic Blur-esque Girls/Girls/Boys.  

The night was a short, sharp hit that left the crowd quietly stunned as Brendan Urie, now the only original member of the band cajoled the Kiwi crowd, “This is a song I wrote for Frank Sinatra.” as he exaggeratedly moved about the stage, ‘crooner’ stance fixed for the superb Death Of A Bachelor.

Urie’s voice for the most part was right on the money.  His ability to vocally ‘shapeshift’ on songs while spewing forth lush cryptic lyrics was deftly executed - a consummate performer who’s onstage antics more than made up for his sparse, but poignant audience rapport.

The live sound was rapturous, spatially gratifying.  “I met a girl once at a party who I thought I was in love with,” proceeded Urie.  “She said to me “Cash me outside howbow dah?” (see Dr Phil) ..the social media irony hitting the right chord with the ‘youtubers’ as Miss Jackson was dealt to live on stage.

“This one’s about the good life.” Yelled Urie as they churned out Golden Days, while perennial favourite I Write Sins Not Tragedies was drily started with “Here’s a new one.”.  This Is Gospel and first track from new album Victorious rounded off the encores, with a confetti cannon being shot over the audience, as sparkling PATD lights lit up the ceiling of Arena.

Tonight’s  one-night-only concert originally sold out in less than 90 minutes when tickets went on sale last week – it’s wasn’t hard to see why.  

Great night, wish they banned mobile phones hindering my viewing ability, you know, blocked by phones held up in the air – ok, now I SOUND like an oldie..oh well, ”Cash me outside..”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL GALLERY BY DAVID WATSON