Panic at the Amphitheatre

Last night, capping off an extended and eventful weekend, I hit the Panic at the Disco concert at the Mesa Amphitheatre. They were joined by Phantom Planet (I missed them), The Hush Sound, and Motion City Soundtrack. I enjoyed The Hush Sound, but Motion City was just so-so.

This was my second Panic concert experience, having caught their arena tour last year with Cobra Starship and Jack’s Mannequin. I’m happy to say that as their sound has matured, so has their showmanship. Their first tour consisted of them basically standing there playing their album from start to finish (which I kind of enjoyed) with little interaction or excitement involved. I think they might have been a little overwhelmed.

This tour finds them more comfortable and confident. There was a lot of inter-show banter between Ryan Ross, the band’s songwriter, and Brandon Urie, the charismatic lead singer who, earlier this week, celebrated his 21st birthday. Ryan has that sort of quiet awkwardness sensitive teenagers possess, while Brandon is the kind of guy who would depants himself and run through the cafeteria, if you dared him or paid him a dollar.

Highlights of the show: the new material from Pretty. Odd. was engaging, as were the retooled versions of “But It’s Better When We Do” and “There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered, Honey, You Just Haven’t Figured It Out” from the first album. But probably my favorite performance was Brandon’s solo acoustic rendition of “Time to Dance,” which showed off his newly acquired strumming skills and showcased his vocal talents.

Hot stuff, yes.

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