Panic! At The Disco performed their show at the Wiltern on June 21 as part of their Vices & Virtues Tour, their first album ever since the departure of their guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker in 2009. Despite the change in the lineup, Panic! still fevered the crowd with their energetic stage banter and marvelous trademark display of props hailing from the band’s earlier days of touring.
The night was opened by the Funeral Party, a quartet born in Whittier, California. Playing mainly alternative rock, the band’s edgy set had ignited the crowd for the night with songs from their first studio album, “The Golden Age of Knowhere,” released January of this year.
The second act was covered by the three-piece band fun., led by Nate Ruess, member of the now broken-up band, The Format. Ruess carried the crowd to a joyride, where he and his band members did nothing but prove to the audience that they were named fun. for a reason. Their songs were bouncy and catchy, such as “All The Pretty Girls,” where they replaced the lyrics from “All the pretty girls on a Saturday night” into “All the pretty girls on a Tuesday night,” so as to do justice with the show’s date. They connected with the audience and just enjoyed what they were doing. They also had simplistic but creative display of their band name in lighted letters on stage.
Panic! At The Disco came not long after, where the crowd was already on a roll. Best known for dragging circus acts during their tour for “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” and draping flowers and carpets for the promotion of “Pretty. Odd.,” Panic! didn’t quite change the onstage bravado that they were famous for. Taking their “Vices & Virtues” theme of nostalgia and vintage, they littered the stage with things of the past, such as an old microphone and a small pipe organ. The theme of “Vices & Virtues” didn’t differ very much from “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” thus the band dressed themselves back to vests, pinstripe slacks, bow ties, and long-sleeves as gentlemen playing alternative rock.
Brendon Urie (lead vocals, keyboards) took the crowd to another roller coaster ride of hype and pacing beats of songs handpicked from all of the bands’ three albums. Urie is an impeccable performer, seemingly tireless and hyper on every turn, but infecting the audience all the same. The crowd sang simultaneously with both the old and new songs of Panic! At The Disco, especially on parts that Ross used to sing. Then fun. came back on stage to perform their new single, “C’mon” with Panic! at the middle of their set.
The band ended the set with their very first single, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” and then returned for an encore with three of their later songs, “New Perspective,” a cover of “Carry On My Wayward Son,” and finally wrapped up the night with “Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)” from Vices & Virtues. All in all, Panic! At The Disco clearly hasn’t lost their touch just yet, even with their shedding two members, leaving Urie and Spencer Smith (drums) to get back on their feet. If anything, I think that Panic! At The Disco has made the right decision on straying away from the days of “Pretty. Odd.” and to come back to make another “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out”-inspired album tour.