By Anya Otterson
All around us was a sea of colorful hair, jewelry, and makeup. People of all different ages — from kids just beginning their concert-going careers with their parents, to millennials who had been going for years — brought an aspect of diversity that was not unexpected given the artist. Panic! at the Disco is on their “Death of a Bachelor” tour with Saint Motel and MisterWives and stopped in Seattle on March 21.
Outside the Washington Mutual (WaMu) Theater in downtown Seattle, hundreds of eager fans made up a line that stretched several blocks as they waited to get in. Most ended up on the standing-room-only floor, while some were in a moderately-sized seating section. The relatively large venue still managed to keep a somewhat-moreintimate feel.
After 13 years of making pop-punk music, Panic! at the Disco has found a lot of love from all sorts of people, with longtime fans who grew up on their music to new fans who have just discovered the group. First-year Madeline Brown found Panic! at the Disco at a young age and still listens to the group regularly. “I heard ‘Nine in the Afternoon’ when I was in elementary school, and it was love at first song,” Brown said, smiling. This was Brown’s second time seeing Panic! at the Disco, and she had a great experience. While both indie pop bands Saint Motel and MisterWives put on engaging, upbeat shows, Panic! at the Disco’s set was very distinct in its animated backdrops that even included a brief horror movie with an appearance by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. Every aspect of Panic! at the Disco’s performance was very distinct to its style and image.
Before coming on, a 10-minute countdown was set up onstage with a new piece of the band’s logo appearing every minute. This creative idea increased the everyone’s hype to see the band.
First-year Kailyn Wise also enjoyed the very upbeat energy of the concert but found that it differed than when she had seen them previously at Bumbershoot. Unlike Brown, who enjoyed the band’s method of going directly from song to song with little speaking to the crowd until the second half of the set, Wise found it the effect of this performance choice impersonable. She also thought the horror-style movie that played partway through the show was a somewhat over-the-top.
“It seemed a little dramatic,” Wise said. “They could interact with the crowd more to make it more unique.” Mixing it up to give a great balance between old songs such as “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and new ones like “Hallelujah,” Panic! at the Disco plowed through a wide range of music. They even covered classic artists like Queen and Billy Joel.
A couple of moments really stood out and made the show memorable. Lead singer Brendan Urie played an acoustic rendition of “This is Gospel” on a grand piano to the backdrop of hundreds of twinkling cell phone lights. In a complete change of direction, Urie then went to town doing drum covers of popular songs like “24K Magic.” Finally, toward the end of the show, the WaMu Theater was lit up in the rainbow-colored lights made by hundreds of colorful paper hearts placed over cell phone flashlights as the band belted out “Girls/Girls/Boys.” “It was such a fun, vibrant place to be in,” Brown said.
The WaMu Theater has quite a few awesome events coming up. Artists such as deadmau5, the xx, and Snoop Dogg will all be putting on shows there before this school year ends. You can find shows and buy tickets at www.washingtonmusictheater.com