“I Pray for the Wicked on the weekend, Mama can I get another Amen?”
With ‘High Hopes’ for an outlandish performance, Panic! at the Disco bought their ‘Pray for the Wicked’ tour to a well-deserved, sold-out Arena Birmingham.
Supports for the evening came from electropop trio Arizona and Danish artist MØ, warming up the eager crowd for what was to come.
The atmosphere around the large arena seemed genuinely welcoming, as fans chattered in excitement to each other – many wrapping themselves in the LGBTQ+ flag. The enthusiastic hum turned in to a fanatical buzz, as a large 10-minute countdown graced the back of the stage – preparing us for what was going to be a whirlwind of a show.
“Out with the old, in with the new. We dedicate this song to you…”
With the clock coming to the end, the intro to ‘(Fuck a) Silver Lining’ began playing out over the speakers, moments before front-man Brendon Urie vaulted out from underneath the stage. Showing off his wide vocal range within the first couple of songs, Urie really played the audience to the fullest – but then, if you had his confidence and talents, why would you pass on the opportunity?
One benefit to a 28-song set list is that there is usually something in there for everyone. Within the first three songs, Panic! had already touched on three albums from their discography, and still had time to go back and forth between celebrating the newest album (the tours namesake) and older albums. While Urie didn’t necessarily take the time to interact with the audience for the first part of the set, the whole band still had everyone up, dancing and singing without any need of introducing the next song.
Urie bought a lease of life to each song respectively, however what bought more of a sense of depth to the set was the backing band, including orchestral instruments. This made the songs feel so much larger, hyping the audience up more. Sailing flawlessly through tracks such as ‘Hallelujah’, ‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’, ‘Nine in the Afternoon’ and ‘Dancing’s Not a Crime’, Panic! at the Disco kept the energy soaring. No matter what era you joined the band at, there was no denying the atmosphere that each track contained.
“Do I Look Lonely?”
Eventually, it was the time that many fans at the barrier had been waiting for – Urie was to walk down from the stage, and interact with fans as he sang ‘Death of a Bachelor’ whilst walking towards a white grand piano. As he shook hands, high fived, and hugged a variety of fans, it was at this moment you truly realise that Panic! at the Disco have aged like a fine wine, all while still pulling off a faultless performance.
As a large grin spread across Urie’s face, it was clear that even after 15 years he was still as grateful as ever to his fans. He took a seat, thanked the crowd from being his “home away from home”, and began to play a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’. The impressive show production really did not stop there, as we were treated to the large, ivory white piano rising up and moving towards the stage as Urie began to play ‘Dying in LA’.
The rest of the evening went by in a blur of technicolour madness – with two more covers (‘The Greatest Show’ and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’), fans dancing with their friends and hugging them close as they sang their favourite songs – all complete with a drum solo and a backflip. What more could you ask for?
To conclude, Panic! at the Disco are truly a mesmerising watch. Despite the amount of movement around the stage, the energy stayed consistent for the entire night, with not a single note out of place or time. It was a real experience, and I would highly recommend any fan of the band to catch them if they have the chance.