Friday, February 24, 2012

Panic! At the Disco Concert Review, November 2011,

Well, here it is. The post I have promised for weeks upon weeks, but, when it comes to this blog, I am a bit of a procrastinator. Yikes.
If you are involved in the alternative music circles, or if you owned a radio back in 2006, you probably know who Panic! At the Disco is. In the case that you don't, I'll give you a little background. They're a Grammy-nominated band from Las Vegas, Nevada. They were comprised of Spencer Smith (drums), Ryan Ross (guitar, back-up vocals), Jon Walker (bass), and Brendon Urie (piano, guitar, vocals). Back in 2009, Ryan and Jon left the band, leaving just Spencer and Brendon. Two guys, Ian and Dallon, filled in for them on tour last year, and are now considered full-time members. In 2005, they gained significant notoriety for their song "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." (I'm pretty sure you remember the pretty famous chorus "I chimed in with a haven't you people ever heard of closing the ***damn door...")
They have released 4 CDs, beginning with "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out," then "Pretty. Odd," a live CD/DVD, and finally, "Vices and Virtues."

So, that's a brief summary of their history.

Now, I discovered the band in late 2008-early 2009. I don't remember the exact date, sorry. :) I do remember that I heard IWSNT (I like to abrievate their song titles because 90% of them, from the first album, were really long. Kinda a la Cobra Starship or Fall Out Boy) on the radio as our station was doing a "Blast From the Past" sort of thing. So, I fell deeply, madly, and stupidly in love with the song, looked up their other stuff, hated it and then loved it. Then, I found out they had another album out, bought a few songs, fell more in love, followed them and supported them through the break-up, bought their newest album, screamed when I saw they were coming to my hometown and purchased tickets for my dad and I (still a minor here!). That's my story.
With that concert, I made several mistakes. They came in November (9th, 2011, to be exact), which was a Wednesday night, a school night, in other terms, which I was less than pleased about, but sucked it up for good music's sake. That was mistake number one. My second mistake was assuming that the warm-up (Patrick Stump) was going to be boring, so my dad, who was returning from a business trip, and I did not show up until about an hour after the concert start, but all we missed was Patrick. I wish I had seen more of him. Such talent! My third mistake was assuming that Panic! was a group of nice, talented boys. Talented, yes. Nice? Heeeeck no. I'll get back to the nice part later. For now, as I do not want to be a stupid Debbie Downer all the time, I'll talk about how talented they are/were.
They began the concert with Ready To Go (Get Me Out of My Mind) which has a crazy drum section, courtesy of the ever-talented Spencer Smith, and Brendon's warbling, special voice. Every song was performed with skill and ease, as they glided through the chord changes and tempo changes, never missing a beat. Ian and Dallon fit seamlessly into the band, almost as if Ryan and Jon had never been there. There was chemistry between Brendon, Ian, and Dallon for sure, (Spencer was stuck behind the drum set) but older, more devout fans would probably argue there was no bromance. (If you google Brendon and Ryan's name together, you'll find that fans created a whole gay-romance thing. Okkkaaayyy. :) ) Still, the four-some is talented, you cannot deny that, considering the band began from humble, high-school roots in Nevada...I stood in awe.
For a while, that was.
Believe me, I am a thorough researcher. When I write reports, if my teachers tell me I need 4 sources, I find 8. If someone wants me to find out what movie an actress had been in, or who she is married to, I know where to look and figure it out. Same goes for musicians. I look up lyrics, band history, interviews on YouTube, in magazines, etc. I love to research. I did that for Panic! At the Disco, but unfortunately, I did not do a very good job. I watched 100's of interviews with the band, but never knew the boys were so...messed up, for lack of a better word.
The concert started out fine. They were playing and laughing and interacting with the audience, like normal, mature people. Then, Brendon decided to start running his mouth. I thought, just briefly, that I heard him say the f-word sometime after the second song, but I wasn't sure. Then, I knew he said it after they played the fourth song "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off." (Long title, much?) {Watch the video of that song riiiighhhtt here} Now, I'm not a freaky, uptight prude, believe me. I know what sex is, I know bad words, and I'm not "afraid" of them. Panic! uses some swear words in their songs, mostly on the first album, but not really very often/ at all on their other two, so I knew that going into the concert. The swearing in the song(s) is not what offended me; it was what they said before/after the songs. If you cannot understand what Brendon is saying in that first video here is a brief transcription: "I think {sex} is one of the perks of being a human being. It's pretty fun to discover someone else's genitals." Yeah, and I went to this concert with my poor, unsuspecting father. Bless his heart.
The next big moment where I swear my jaw dropped to the floor came right before "Let's Kill Tonight." I would not describe myself as exactly "religious," per se. I believe in Jesus, believe He died for our sins, and believe in His message of love and forgiveness. I do not attend church nor do I have positive feelings toward Christianity, exactly. Without getting into my story too deeply, grab your tissues y'all, I was hurt by Christians and therefore, do not like Christians/Christianity. But, even so, I do believe in God, make sense? All right, good. :) So, I'm at the concert, with my dad, mind you, and the organ starts playing this creepy Gothic, old-timey Church chord and then Brendon starts talking...again. {Here's the video} And the transcription for anyone who cannot make out the sound (no worries, I know it's hard to hear :D) "Dear Father, who probably isn't up in Heaven, shut the fu** up and let me do my job, you pr***. This song is called Let's Kill Tonight. This is for God." I knew Brendon, the lead singer, had grown up in a strict Mormon house and later walked away from the religious. But, did NOT know he felt that strongly about God. I later, after searching some different keywords, I found that Brendon said he does not believe in God and neither does Spencer, the drummer, but Dallon, the bassist, does. Interesting mix, right?
Next, we found out about their, uh, recreational habits, courtesy of "That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)." When I first heard this song, I assumed the lyrics were talking about a new frame of mind the boys had adopted, thinking that life was great and even though things are different, they were all right with that. I liked it, the lyrics, the meaning, and the melody, all of it. I was able to relate to it. My friend and I loved the song, all the while believing it was just about life. No dice. This song is actually about a certain green friend the boys have. Here's a hint: it's a plant, you probably don't want to bring this friend around your parents (or the police) and it's kind of totally illegal. :) This is Brendon's take on it: watch the video  here. Transcription: "I am 24 years old  and I am at a point in my life where I am just very, very tired of bull****. Sick and tired of half-truths and not completely just telling you what's going on. So, we used to say this song was about something, which wasn't entirely a lie, but wasn't completely true either. So, what I wanna do is tell you exactly what this song is about...this song is about smoking marijuana...I love smoking weed. It has bettered me as a person. And made sh***y movies better and food tastes better and funny movies funnier. It's just all around a great medicine." Cue the blushing...Oh, I was mortified!

I cannot find the video anywhere on YouTube :( but their song New Perspective is about oral sex. And to think I was just about to buy that song...oh, well I should have known "Can we fast forward to go down on me." I was hoping that was just a metaphor. Nope.

The last song that I heard, my dad and I were so disgusted we left right before the Encore, was their biggest hit to date "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." This time, it wasn't the subject matter that creeped me out so much, but the creepy-totally-fake story he told concerning his mother. I guess he was trying to be funny, but I considered losing my dinner. Watch the video here. And the transcript: "{His mom's cell phone rang and IWSNT was her ringtone} and at first it threw me off a little bit. I was like, wait a second, I know that voice...I said 'really, mom?' I thought about it a second and I got a little choked up. I went over to her and I gave her a big hug and said 'Mom, I love you and I'm so ****ing glad I came out of your vagina!" And he went on to describe how he, well, got a little too personal with his mom. Consider me grossed me out.

Half-way through the song, we left and I must have apologized at least 50 times to my dad. Thank God he was so understanding, and was not angry with me. I, however, was FURIOUS with my favorite band! I expected so much more from the band that, along with MuteMath, yanked me out of a tumultuous time these last few months and helped me with some personal issues. I just wanted a fun night with good music, a hot lead singer (ugh!!! Why are all the cute guys freaks!) and that feeling of losing myself in a big crowd. I slipped into a mini-depression for the next week but slowly recovered. I deleted all their songs off my iPod and did not put them back on until mid-January. The concert was in November. Angry? Uh, yeah!
Fast forward to now, and we're on okay terms. I'm listening to their music but trying really hard to ignore their personal lives and just focus on the fact that they are good musicians, for now. Brendon, before one of the other songs, mentioned that he smokes. Honey, you can kiss that gorgeous voice good-bye. Just sayin'.

So, that's my take on the concert. :)
I'll try to do some shorter posts from now on. ;)
After all that negativity here is a happier video. It's Patrick Stump, the warm-up act, NOT running his mouth. :) Watch it over here

Until next week,

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