LIVE: Panic! at the Disco / Charley Marley @ Brixton Academy

By Tamsyn Wilce


It’s been ten years since the MySpace generation fell in love with 4 charming men from Las Vegas, with fringes that could make teen hearts beat faster, faster (sorry). But now as only one original member remains, we’re welcoming in a new era for Panic! at the Disco and it is one that is completely and utterly fabulous. With their fifth studio album ‘Death of a Bachelor’ already causing a storm, we headed down to their one-off UK date at Brixton Academy to see if Brendon Urie still contained as much pizzazz as he did when he wasn’t such a lone ranger.

Opening act for the night was an artist by the name of Charley Marley, who appears to be bringing back synth-rock in a way that the likes of Hadouken and 3OH!3 once somehow succeeded. There’s no denying that the younger parts of the crowd lapped up the heavy pop influences and the mockney accent of Charley, however for the rest of us, we were left feeling like parents watching their children at an underage rave.

Though we started off feeling terribly old, as soon as Brendon Urie and his fellow musicians hit the stage, shimmering jacket ‘n’ all, those of us in our twenties fully embraced our youthful memories and the effect Panic! at the Disco made on us ten years ago. And, as soon as ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ chimed in, we realised how that feeling hasn’t changed one bit since the days of ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’.

Though a large proportion of the set focused on the newer singles from ‘Death of a Bachelor’ and previous release ‘Too Weird To Live, To Rare To Die!’ the energy throughout the set was electrifying. The strobe lights flashed, Urie flaunted his impeccable vocal tone and his passion for showmanship while the entire audience refused to stay still. There was never a dull moment, with Urie pulling out all the tricks from his glittery sleeves, including a drum solo in ‘Let’s Kill Tonight’ and a backflip during ‘Miss Jackson’ and where do we even begin to describe the magical moment that was the flawless cover of Queens ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’?

The latter half of the set contained a fine dose of nostalgia with the unforgettable ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ and ‘Lying Is The Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off’ sounding as fresh as ever. With Urie announcing there would be no encore, just more music, he rounded it all of magnificently with recent hits ‘Victorious’ and ‘Emperors New Clothes’.

In a week where it seemed tragedy was upon us all as we suffered the deaths of legendary musicians and actors, it was uplifting to see such a show from Panic! at the Disco, (who donated all their merch profits from the night to Cancer Research). In a time when many are struggling to see what musical heroes we have left behind, perhaps we should look a little closer in our record collections. Because although it’s been a rough ride for them, Panic! at the Disco are powering through and boy are they doing it in style. Welcome to the new generation of the Disco, where your freak flag can fly and everyone is going to have a swell time.