Panic! Brings Vegas Flair to Sold Out Wallingford Crowd

Ashley Winward

The line outside the Oakdale Theater didn’t seem the least bit distraught regardless of the hours spent out in subzero temperatures. Spectators huddled together and wrapped well around the corner of the venue waiting for staff to open the Dome to the sold out swarm outside.

Photo Provided by Ashley Winward
Photo Provided by Ashley Winward

I didn’t expect anything less. Panic! at the Disco fans can be accurately described by the band’s newest album title; Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die. Through every modulation of their sound, the good, the bad, the bizarre (who can forget Pretty Odd?) the fans have stood behind Brendon Urie. Even with the extensive lineup changes, the fans still come out in droves, and I think that says a lot. Opening for the Vegas quartet were X Ambassadors and The Colourist, who both brought bright, playful vibes to a dark intimate stage.

X Ambassadors really impressed me with their sultry sounds and stage presence. Opening with a lot of slow gyrating hips and passionate sax solos, I was instantly in love. Their style was very simplistic, but what they did bring was so powerful. Tribal drums and smooth harmonies were a staple throughout their set and it had the audience hypnotized. My favorites of their set had to be “Love Songs, Drug Songs” and “The Business,” where both really showcased Sam Harris’ voice, which could be likened to American Idol Alum, Chris Daughtry. As they left the stage I was already craving more of their mix of rock and soul R&B. Thankfully they won’t be gone for long; they have a headlining tour coming to The Space in Hamden April 10, and I’m already marking my calendar for it.

The Colourist was the more well known of the two openers, their song “Little Games” has been featured on a few commercials and has made it’s circuit on alternative radio already. The first thing that struck me was that vocalist Maya Tuttle was also their drummer; bonus points already achieved in my book. Girl drummers rock and Maya was no exception! Their music dripped California sunshine before I even knew that they were from the West Coast. They had one of the most memorable moments of the whole show when they played “Stray Away” and the Dome lit up. A sea of smartphones twinkled like stars so bright that you could’ve sworn they turned the lights on in the place. They reminded me a lot of Silversun Pickups with the blend of male and female vocals over alternative instrumentals. I would definitely pick up their new EP Lido while they get working on their first full length album.

Finally after many “Brendon” chants, the lights dimmed and Panic! at the Disco came out in their typical Vegas flare. They opened with full energy playing “Vegas Lights” before delving into a full span of the classics of each and every album they’ve put out. There was heavy emphasis on newest releases, “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die,” as well as “Vices and Virtues,” the main singles off of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, and only showcasing one Pretty Odd track, “Nine in the Afternoon.”

The crowd knew every single word the entire night, which was great because Brendon was sick with the flu, cutting the set by about three songs as compared to other tour dates. He still gave it his all though, nailing notes at octaves higher than I can even reach and landing two clean backflips over the course of the show.

Some of my favorite songs from their set were “Nicotine” and “The End of All Things” off their newest release as well as “Nearly Witches” off of Vices and Virtues. “Casual Affair” was a big surprise for me; I didn’t expect the crowd to respond so well to such a slow song with the high energy that came with the rest of the songs.

Being my fourth time seeing Brendon and the boys, third as a headliner, I wouldn’t say this was their best performance, but the fact they pulled off such a dramatic show being so sick, I can say it was still one of the most memorable times I’ve seen them. If you haven’t picked up Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, please do yourself a favor and get it. Their musical style may have changed overtime, but each reincarnation makes me love them more and more.