Brendon Urie knows how to put on a show!
Friday night (2/1) over 15,000 fans gathered at the CHI Health Center to dance and scream with Brendon and his band Panic! At the Disco.
With only a few days left before the band’s arrival, the show managed to sell out, adding Omaha to the long list of sold out cities on Panic!’s “Pray for the Wicked” tour.
Since 2015, Brendon Urie has been the sole member of Panic! At the Disco, but judging by the number of sellouts, I don’t think the fans mind.
Before Brendon was selling out arenas, his path to stardom started like many others, by forming a band with friends from high school.
Within a very short time, Panic! released their debut album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.” The album was an immediate success on the strength of the record’s second single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Riding high on their success, the band embarked on huge arena tours with fellow pop-rockers Fall Out Boy. I was there, swoopy emo hair and all!
Over the next few years, with each new album and subsequent tour, Panic! started losing members. A very common tale in the music industry. But, like many artists who’ve gone on to have solo careers or carried their band’s torch alone, it’s clear that Brendon was always the real talent of the group.
Panic! kicked the set off with the “Pray for the Wicked” lead track “(F@$k) a silver lining.” Everyone in the building leapt to their feet and started getting down!
Panic!’s stage setup was impressive, yet not over the top. It had everything you come to expect from a large production, flames, digital screens, confetti and cryo-jets, but the coolest feature for me personally was the floating stage during “Dying in L.A”.
During the song “Death of a Bachelor”, Brendon made his was way through the crowd casually greeting fans, “What’s up guys? Thanks for coming out.” It was actually quite charming.
After working his way to the back of the arena, a white baby grand piano was set up on a small platform. As Brendon started to play “Dying in L.A.” the platform rose into the air and started floating across the room! I’ve seen bands set up small stages at the back of the room or come down from the ceiling, but this was the first time I’ve seen a floating stage. It was pretty awesome!
Panic! played for two hours with the majority of the set coming from “Pray for the Wicked” and 2016’s “Death of a Bachelor.” I can appreciate a lot of Panic!’s newer music, but it’s a pretty bold move for a band to play 9 of 11 tracks from their new album. Had this been a rock or metal show the fans would’ve eaten them alive!
Along with their new hits, Panic! did an incredible cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Brendon said “For me personally, it’s the greatest song that’s ever been composed.” The crowd sang along quite loudly. Nothing unites a group of people like a classic rock anthem.
After playing over 20 songs the band took a very short break only to return with a shirtless Brendon. The crowd lost their minds as Panic! played “Amen( Saturday Night)”, the hit that started it all “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, and finally “Victorious.”
I ultimately walked away impressed. My only complaint was that Panic! didn’t play nearly enough old songs. I got into Panic! on their first record, and that will always be my favorite. To quote the genius lyrics of Cake “I have the t-shirt that proves I was there, that I heard of them first!”
Though I had an awesome time during the show, I had an almost even better time mixing it up with the fans after the show!
I talked to a lot of people who came from long distances.
Carlos and his family (see pic below) flew in from Houston and did the VIP package. They also bought floor seats on the aisle hoping Brendon would high-five them when he did the crowd walk, but he went to the other side of the room and missed them!
But they still had a great time and are looking forward to even more concerts including Chicago Open Air with Tool and System of a Down. I’m so jealous! Plus, Carlos wins the cool dad award for that jacket alone!
In the end, there’s really no other place like a sold out show on a Friday night. I definitely walked out of the CHI Health Center feeling victorious.
I want to send a huge shout-out to Jen Schmailzl from 104.1 The Blaze in Lincoln for the last-minute comp ticket!
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