Fun and Panic! in Kansas City

When I think about Panic! at the Disco I can’t help but be reminded of Matthew McConaughey and his role in Dazed and Confused. Because as the years go on, Panic! may get older but the girls stay the same age. Their enthusiasm for the band has remained the same as well, in fact I find it hard to remember the last time I encountered such an excited crowd. I have to admit it’s a little disheartening to see just how jaded some of shows in Kansas City have become. It’s nice to see that there is a crowd in Kansas City that is still awe struck by music and less taken back by the check in status on their Facebook.

Before the chants for Brendon Urie to take the stage began the teenage crowd was treated to a little Fun. Fun is a New York based Pop rock band lead by Nate Ruess and on a Sunday night in Kansas City he came across a crowd  that was willing to do everything he asked. Fueled by anticipation the crowd was pushing itself to the limits, as the staff at the Beaumont fought to keep them cool and hydrated. In between passing out from the heat they were giving every last breath to sing along to the songs. Screaming the words to “All the Pretty Girls” as if they had written it themselves. Nate could do nothing but smile at the spectacle that was before him saying that, “Panic! at the Disco don’t know what their in for.”

That smile didn’t leave his face for the entire show and you could tell that by the end it was a hard task to leave the stage leaving the crowd ready for more Fun. This disappointment of a great band leaving the stage was only replaced by chants of “Panic!”. These chants continued as girls were pulled from the front rail because they couldn’t take the excitement anymore. Soon enough the lights went dim as the sound of Panic! at the Disco’s theatrical intro was washed out by hundreds of screaming fans. Black tarps were raised and old style electrical systems revealed complete with a Panic! at the Disco labeled organ. This attention to detail was welcomed as the crowd realized they were in for a show.

Panic! kicked the show off with a track from their new album Vices & Virtues, “Ready to Go” sent the crowd into a frenzy and got the band started on a good note. While the start of the set began with something new the same old retro Panic! style was there. The mixed critical views of the new album was lost on the fanatic crowd, new & old, every lyric was well studied. The smile on lead singer Brendon Urie showed that he was taking notice. Brendon has a playful stage presence that leaves a smile on everyone’s face even as he jokes about how his parents hate him. Brendon’s ability to engage a crowd like no other showing everyone that he was born to be on stage. This theatrical playfulness bleeds into the songs as Brendon takes liberties showing off his vocal range throughout the 17 song set.

Having seen the band at the beginning of the year I have to give them props for producing a show that felt fresh and new. They never fall into a scripted dialog, even when it came time to talk about their song in the film Jennifer’s Body, Brendon had something new and witty to say.  If that’s not a testament to how great the band is I don’t know what is. The band always gives it 100%, earning every cent their fans have paid. Songs like “Camisado” felt just as fresh as their newer counter parts. Though the set never felt as though it was lacking, the highlight of the night was a cover of “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas.

Before the band could kick the classic into high gear Brendon thanked the parents that brought their children to the show saying, “this next song is for you.” As the song powered on I must admit I was curious as to how the band would pull it off, I’m happy to say that they didn’t miss a note and even added a Panic! flair to an old favorite. The band used the song as an excuse to have a smoke and share some back and forth on the guitar. For this moment alone you can’t miss Panic! at the Disco when they come to your town.

Set List:
Ready to Go
But it’s Better If You Do
The Ballad Mona Lisa
Lying is The Most Fun You Can Have With a Girl With Out Taking Her Clothes Off
Trade Mistakes
The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage
Kill Tonight
Nine in the Afternoon
The Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)
New Perspective
The Calender
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Carry On My Wayward Son
Nearly Witches

photos and story by Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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