Panic! At The Disco
Newcastle Academy
20th April
Live Review

Panic At The Disco

I would like to make one thing clear. I am not old. With that disclaimer aside, I can continue. I appreciate some bands have younger fans, some older. Go see Status Quo, and you expect to see people old enough to be driving people carriers and wearing sensible shoes. However, go to see Panic! at the disco and be prepared for a shock. Screaming girls, everywhere! And I might add far younger than your average gig crowd.

So, after the initial shock, I retreated to the over-18s area (a small group of people huddled round their pints) to see what Las Vegas's latest offering had in store. I'm afraid I am still struggling to find the words to do justice to just how terrible the evenings support, Men Women and Children, were. The low point for me was the "Monkey Monkey" chant they tried to get going, for no other reason than they had a song apparently about a monkey. Or several monkeys, I forget. Essentially, they were not so much support as a tribute to the evening's headliners, taking much of the shiny-disco-rock vibe of Panic! and attempting to skilfully regurgitate it, only ending up vomiting on the crowd.

So, it would be true to say that I was feeling a little cynical as the Vegas teenager's walked on stage, clad in dapper waistcoats and shirts. The girls went wild, the band smiled, and I just felt a little uncomfortable. You see, I only found out as the walked on stage that the band are younger than me. By a few years.

The set was drawn almost entirely from 'February's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out', with second track and debut single 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' setting the benchmark for the evenings performance. And therein the problem lies. A band certainly not lacking good songs, musical ability or charisma managed to produce a performance that seemed tired, uninventive and fairly average.

Tracks like 'The Only Difference between Martyrdom and Suicide…', 'Lying is the Most Fun…' or 'Time to Dance' were lost in a sea of songs that for all their worth on record didn't sound like the finished article live, lacking any real weight. As the set went on, the initial energy (and novelty) of the opening few tracks became less effective at disguising songs which when played at 100dB sounded all too similar.

The kids down the front may have screamed all the way through, but sometimes going to a gig is like a fine wine – you need a few years experience in the bag before you really know what is really worth screaming about.

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Nick Pickles

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