The Brendon Urie show
Fourteen-thousand fans scream as the clock hits zero. The Golden 1 Center goes dark, then purple lights shine on Panic! at the Disco dramatically emerging from below the stage. A center spotlight welcomes Brendon Urie, who springs from a trap door. Sporting a gold dinner jacket and microphone, the frontman and his “Sinners” (Panic! fans) sing the opening song, “(Fuck A) Silver Lining.”
In a sold-out show at the downtown arena on February 20, the Grammy-nominated alternative rock band ended the second North American leg of its Pray for the Wicked Tour with fluid dances moves, a killer light show and a nine-piece band that got everyone moving the entire night.
Urie, in particular, put on a great performance, wading through the Sinners during his 2016 song “Death of a Bachelor,” his first release as the last remaining original member of the band. Elton John may have ridden his piano like a lawnmower when he stopped at the Golden 1 last month, but Urie played the keys suspended in midair, floating through the arena over a pit of cell phone flashlights as he sung “Dying in LA” and a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”
During “Girls/Girls/Boys,” Urie wrapped himself in rainbow pride flags that fans threw onstage. The 31-year-old came out publicly as pansexual during an interview with Paper Magazine last summer, and since the song’s release in 2013, it’s become an anthem for the bisexual community. Fans put together an interactive project for its performance. In every cup-holder were colored paper hearts. Placing them over cellphone flashlights created a colored beam, and pointing made for a crowd-sourced, rainbow light show.
From a post-drum solo backflip to a cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the night was filled with take-the-cake moments. But the cherry on top was when Urie returned for an encore. As soon as the famous harpsichord plucks began, the crowd cheered for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” Panic! at the Disco’s 2006 debut single, made all the more magical when Urie let audience members sing into his gold-plated mic.
Before the final tune, “Victorious,” a song with themes of perseverance and building self-confidence, he hyped up the crowd by telling them how essential they are by simply existing. The singer, who battled depression after the band’s founding members left in 2009 and 2015, was experiencing a winning moment.
“You all are more important than you may or may not know. … I just want you guys to understand your importance in the vast scheme of everything,” Urie said. “You had to beat billions of tadpoles in order to be here on planet Earth. … We are all winners tonight, baby.”