There was an exotic crowd gathered, ranging from a girl in a taco suit, to another girl in blinking bunny ears, and a 60-70 year old man, singing every word to Panic at the Disco. But I suppose anything would have been better than an arena filled with the “emo” crowd that Panic attracted when they got their big start.
The Cab opened the show at around 7:00 PM, and won over their fans. Those fans being girls who decided not to go to the Metro Station show 20 miles away. Every time The Cab have came down to Florida, they’ve always been the opener.
The Plain White Ts were up next. Their radio friendly hits have created a significant fan base for them and many were in attendance that night; the crowd eagerly anticipated their favorite songs. Unsurprisingly, they had every person singing along with “Hey There Delilah”, and then followed with their equally popular hit, “Hate”. Overall, this band proved they were not a one-hit wonder. The only thing I couldn’t stand during though was lead-singer Tom Higgenson’s cocky voice.
Dashboard Confessional were happy to be close to home, they put on an amazing set, utilizing the amazing lights, and the jumbo screen behind them. The highlight of their set, was surprisingly not “Screaming Infidelities”, it was their unexpected cover of Pink’s latest radio-hit, “So What”. This cover song got almost every person in the arena jumping and singing every word. Additionally, the Plain White Ts and The Cab came out and performed the song with Dashboard. Of course, Alex DeLeon added his boy-band charm to it by performing the rap section of the song.
The crowd was fired up for Panic, a band that has been quoted as saying that they want to be the next Radiohead. The entire set channeled The Beatles, Grateful Dead, as well as folk, psychedelic, and jazz sounds. String lights hung from the rafters and were placed wherever else they possibly could. Oriental carpets laid out on stage, giant picture frames that descended during the middle of the set, and trippie images playing on the huge screen behind them.
Looking like they just raided The Beatle’s wardrobe, the set kicked off with their arena-rock ready song “We’re So Starving”, and extended the song, to lead it up to “She’s A Handsome Woman”, both off of Panic’s last record, Pretty. Odd. A definite departure from their first record A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’s pop-punk sound.
They pleased the crowd by playing every one of their singles, and even played their two most popular singles “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Nine in the Afternoon” back to back.
They concluded the set with a surprise cover of “Shout” by the Isley Brothers, which proved to be a perfect close to an amazing night. During the middle of the song, lead singer Brendon Urie took the time to teach the audience their three dance moves. Two of them being the twist, the pelvic thrust, which Urie said is “not his shit”. He proceeded to present a dance which he says he made up, which was him flailing and jumping around. Unfortunately, the crowd this night did not seem into dancing with him this time, or earlier in the set when the band asked the audience to dance with them.
Guitarist Ryan Ross and Brendon Urie really stole the show, while the remainder of the band, Jon Walker [bass], Spencer Smith [drums], and their keyboardist lacked real stage presence.
Urie praised Barack Obama on his win, and dedicated their song “That Green Gentlemen (Things Have Changed)” to him.
Word & Photos: Norrel Blair