Panic! At The Disco – Leeds Met Uni

By paul

I’m getting worried that I’m almost old enough to be the grandfather of some of the kids that are attending gigs nowadays. I swear I saw children at this show – like six or seven years old. Now that’s a worry. You know when a band has hit the bright lights of fame when they have an enormous backdrop – oh, and a thousand hormonal teenagers screaming along as they wait for their heroes to take to the stage. However, for all the bravado surrounding Panic! At the Disco, tonight they were outshined by the supports.

The Fight Club-inspired FORGIVE DURDEN share a record label with panic! yet sound nothing like their labelmates. With a sound which has a little Muse in it, the four piece are a captivating live act. With a lead guitarist who resembles Elliot out of ET, resplendent in a tank-top-esque red hoodie, there are more shapes and moves busted in this band that the Pussycat Dolls. But don’t let the band’s energy detract from the wuality of their songs. Forgive Durden mix the melodic with the meaty, and there are some real riffs to contend with. ‘Beware The Jubjub…’ is a lot heavier live, and although they only play for 30 minutes they certainly do enough to leave me anticipating new record ‘Wonderland’. (7.5)

I quite enjoyed MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN’S self-titled debut album, but that’s nothing compared to the band’s live performance. It should sound like a car crash live – but their mix of funk, dance, jazz, rock and pop sounds perfect. Infact, I’d go as far as saying they’re the best and most entertaining live band I’ve seen in ages. The MW&C live experience is exactly that – it’s more than just a band playing songs, it’s a show – and all they needed was 30 minutes to have the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. By the time ‘Dance In My Blood’ comes round as a set closer – a song which, incidentally, could easily be a chart hit – the crowd are baying for more. And that’s simply because the band are so incredibly fun live. ‘Photosynthesis (We’re Losing Oxygen)’ is another with all the hallmarks of a dance classic, but if it’s not the camp dancing and stage costumes, it’s the energy and vibe the band give off that makes them so good. ‘Monkey Men’ has the crowd chanting the chorus and MW&C leave to the punk rock equivalent of a standing ovation. Best band I’ve seen this year by a million miles. (9.5)

What’s left to say about PANIC! AT THE DISCO? On CD, I love this band. I think they’re clever, catchy and a lot of fun. But live they just don’t hit the same spots. Having seen them earlier this year I knew they would be ropey, so I was surprised that the full band songs often sounded better than I expected. Brendan has a decent lead vocal, but too many times the band’s only guitar leaves the sound coming across as weak. At others times the bass sounds too high in the mix and the samples too low. The kids don’t care though, as pretty much every song on the album is played passionately – and sung back with even more vigour. There are occasions when Panic! are really bad live – one song, and I don’t remember which, was so bad it sounded like each member of the band was playing a different song – but they remain a fun band to watch. You just can’t take them too seriously. Crap covers mind – a Counting Crows cover which was too long and a really poor choice of a Third Eye Blind song. ‘Slow Motion’ is nowhere near their best and should have been left alone. I will say, however, that the drumming was fantastic throughout. So there you have it. Panic! sell a million but aren’t half as good live as the supports. Says it all about the current state of the ‘scene’…(7.5)