Fresh off their Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! Winter tour, this pop punk band from Vegas is hitting a handful of festivals and University shows around the country before heading to Europe for a Spring tour. The University of West Georgia brought Panic! to open for Third Eye Blind at The Colosseum at the Carrollton campus last week. With a lineup like that, you’d think the house would be packed, yet the 6,000-seat sports arena barely seemed half full due to very little promotion of the event.
The band rocked an hour long highly energetic set with material encompassing all four of their albums, and they managed to do it without breaking the floor. After performing their first single, “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage” early in the set, lead singer Brendon Urie briefly talked about the band’s last performance in Atlanta, when the main floor in The Tabernacle cracked and the venue was evacuated after two songs.
The set included both singles from the band’s most recent album, “This is Gospel” and “Miss Jackson.” Fans knew all the words and were dancing and singing along. Throughout the performance, “old timey” recordings were featured as intros to several songs, especially for songs on the band’s latest album. In one such recording, the audience was urged to “remember that bad girls go to Hell” before Panic! performed “Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” which tells of a teenage relationship lost due to infidelity. Not enough debauchery for you? Perhaps you’d enjoy smoking the “finest Lucky Strike cigarettes.” At least that’s what the next retro-sounding voiceover encouraged listeners to do prior to the song “Nicotine” (which isn’t actually about nicotine at all, but uses it as an analogy to compare a bad relationship to a drug).
Any avid concert-goer is bound to see one of their favorite artists pay tribute to legends of the past at some point, and that’s exactly what West Georgia Panic! fans got to see at this show. Before closing out the set with their hit “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” the band performed a brief medley consisting of the first verse each of Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC. Yes, you read that right. Panic! rocked the AC/DC. If you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine it was Brian Johnson on stage. Who would have expected that from Brendon Urie?
Panic! fans who missed the show because they didn’t even know it happened can catch the band when they return to Atlanta this summer at Chastain Park Amphitheater.
Time to Dance
The Only Difference
Let’s Kill Tonight
This is Gospel
Ready to Go
Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
Nine in the Afternoon
Medley: Any Way You Want It/You Shook Me All Night Long
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
The typical first three songs/no flash from the inside the barricade was in effect for this show. But then something unexpected: credentialed photographers were allowed to shoot the entire set from anywhere in the arena, including the pit that normally requires a higher ticket purchase for audience members. This was a real treat. I used my 24-70mm f/2.8 when I was inside the barricade. ISO was mostly 3200. After the third song, I roamed the venue, and settled in the back of the pit for several songs where I managed to getter better shots with a kit telephoto than I did with my pro mid-range zoom at the barricade.
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