Review of Panic At The Disco's DVD Live In Chicago.

Having thrown something of a curveball with their second album 'Pretty, Odd', Las Vegas quartet Panic At The Disco embarked on the usual promotional route of relentless touring. This package is a CD/DVD combination released just in time for the Christmas market.

As a general rule, live albums aren't very good and perhaps that is why a visual accompaniment is included here. The band themselves are a decent enough act, as anyone who saw them headline the Other Stage at Glastonbury this year can testify, but without reproducing the atmosphere of actually being present is pretty much impossible. The occasional screams of the audience tell give evidence of the young and female demographic, but otherwise it just sounds like an ill-mixed record where the bass is at times inaudible. Brendon Urie is to be found in good voice and does justice to enjoyable tunes such as 'Nine In The Afternoon', 'Lying Is The Most Fun.' and the vocally-testing breakthrough hit 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies'. At 21 tracks the audio disc is certainly packed and no accusations of being short-changed can be placed here.

The DVD of the gig isn't anything special, other than showing off the band's fondness for floral accessories to their microphone stands; there isn't much that is unexpected. The extras are better thought out, with the inclusion of promo videos and a documentary which provides an interesting insight into life on tour. We get to see a band who are very much friends off stage, football skills and other ways to pass the time, their views of being placed in the emo genre and an endless stream of press calls that are the less glamorous side of being in a successful band. Still, they handle it well, but by the last night of the tour you can almost see the look of relief on their faces. Fans of PATD should enjoy watching it, while the rest of the release provides a good memento for anyone who has been to see them in the last 12 months.

Alex Lai

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