On Saturday, March 25, Las Vegas pop-rock band Panic! at the Disco and opener Saint Motel took over Oracle Arena and made it rain — but with confetti and streamers, not dollar bills.
If you didn’t get a ticket to this sold-out show, here are a few things you missed.
1. There were teenagers and 20-somethings everywhere.
I won’t talk shit because I was once a 14-year-old girl at a Panic! Show, but there were so many teenagers in the crowd on Saturday. And of course with teenagers come parents. The dad I talked to in between sets had a beer in his hand and a smile on his face, joking that his 16-year-old daughter was his designated driver. Props to you, sir, because my dad used to drop me off at shows and say, “Call me when it’s over.”
2. The lights, fire, confetti, and screens were over the top — but in a good way.
Onstage floor-to-ceiling screens played footage from the band’s music videos, did a countdown for the start of “Vegas Lights,” and streamed a weirdly interesting interlude film featuring Brendon Urie being kidnapped and tortured, then forced to watch a video of Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz (who actually signed Panic! 13 years ago after they sent him some of their songs through Livejournal). I couldn’t tell you what Wentz was saying, but it held my attention long enough for Urie to get from one side of the arena to the other without the audience knowing.
3. There were some throwbacks to Panic!’s early days.
We got shortened versions of three songs from the band’s first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, along with intricate circus visuals that called back memories of their 2006 Nothing Rhymes with Circus tour and gave me major nostalgia for the over-the-top steampunk outfits and guyliner they used to wear. “Nine in the Afternoon” from their second album, Pretty. Odd., always tends to make it onto the set list because apparently it’s a fan favorite, and Saturday was no different. Of course, no night would be complete without “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies,” which was the second to last song they played. After all, who doesn’t love yelling “haven’t you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door” at the top of their lungs?
4. Urie was sick, but you couldn’t tell.
The frontman was hitting high notes left and right, and if he hadn’t mentioned how sick he was during the show, no one would’ve known. “I even had to quit smoking weed, man. What the shit is that?” Urie said toward the end of the night. He was a performer through and through, dancing, swaying, and even doing a perfectly executed back flip during “Miss Jackson.” I barely want to move when I’m sick, so I have no idea how he powered through a 90-minute set like it was nothing.
5. Urie even played the piano three times.
The first time was during “Nine in the Afternoon,” where a piano appeared from behind some of the screens. The second time it appeared on the other side of the arena where Urie played a chilling solo rendition of “This is Gospel” on a rotating, rising platform as silver confetti rained over him. The third instance, well, I’ll get to that next.
6. Panic! played a ton of covers.
Though the band has five albums worth of material, almost every time I’ve seen them live they play a cover. Sometimes it’s “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness, other times it’s Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” On Saturday, we got to hear Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” with Urie on piano, along with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Urie also played drums over Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.” I was a little disappointed that he didn’t sing, but it was a fun interlude before getting back to business.
7. Fans brought colored paper hearts to create a rainbow of light during “Girls/Girls/Boys.”
Throughout this tour, fans at every show have coordinated and cut out thousands of different colored paper hearts and distributed them through venues with instructions that say “Hold this heart up during the song “Girls/Girls/Boys” and shine your flashlight through it!” Between sets, I flagged down a girl in a flower crown and managed to get a hot pink one. During the song, I watched thousands of phones lighting up with the colors of the hearts, creating a sea of colors as images of LGBT icons like RuPaul, Anderson Cooper, and Ellen DeGeneres flashed across the onstage screens while Urie sang, “But girls love girls and boys / And love is not a choice.”
It was a pretty surreal moment, and after the song, Urie told the crowd, “This is absolutely the best display I’ve ever seen. That out there is inspiring to me.” He also said that change is coming, and everyone in the crowd was leading the way. He spoke about equality, then interrupted himself by saying, “This is a song by one of my favorite gay humans,” and launched into “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
8. The night ended with “Victorious” and what I’m pretty sure was a metric shit-ton of confetti.
I feel for whoever had to clean all that confetti up, but I’m sure fans on the floor picked up a few handfuls to take home. I watched as the crowd went crazy, dancing and singing along to “Victorious.” When the song ended, I could see people looking around at each other, wondering if there’d be an encore. Surprise! Panic! doesn’t play that way anymore, so when everyone realized that it was in fact over, people began to reluctantly clear out of the venue. I’ve never been a fan of the encore — you know they’re gonna come out and play the hits — so I’m down with skipping the whole formality and keeping the party going.
Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time
Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage / Camisado / But It’s Better If You Do
Nine in the Afternoon
This Is Gospel
Death of a Bachelor
Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) (Billy Joel cover)
Emperor’s New Clothes
Let’s Kill Tonight
24K Magic / Bitch Better Have My Money
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
I Write Sins Not Tragedies