Brendon Urie embraces annoying punctuation and a love of Frank Sinatra, Freddie Mercury
Who would have thought that Panic! At the Disco would still exist in 2017? And not only that, but playing arenas?
The band's beginnings were humble. When singer Brendon Urie teamed up with high school classmate and former Panic guitarist Ryan Ross in Las Vegas in 2004, the band was an obvious Fall Out Boy knock-off, but it did the impression well enough that Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz signed the youngsters to his fledgling label to release debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, which made Panic MTV darlings and emo-punk superstars.
With each successive album, Panic has tried to distance itself from those pop-punk beginnings, even temporarily dropping the exclamation point in its name (good riddance, Panic! at the Disco! Welcome back, Panic! At the Disco!). Since Ross' departure in 2009, following 2008's Pretty. Odd. (a Beatles-indebted record that also cemented the band's addiction to annoying punctuation), Urie has been the driving creative force. With Urie at the helm, the band's popularity has skyrocketed. Last year's Death of a Bachelor, which found Urie paying homage to Frank Sinatra by way of Freddie Mercury, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
More than 10 years removed from Panic's debut, Urie seems to have known all along that his giant vocals and flare for theatrics were made for arenas, and while his execution doesn't always match his ambitions, there's a reason Panic isn't on the Warped Tour. (Think twice)