14 years later, Panic! at the Disco still has it: ‘Pray for the Wicked’ album and tour review

Panic! at the Disco released their sixth studio album on June 22, entitled “Pray for the Wicked.”

The album harkens back to the feel of the band’s third album, “Vices & Virtues,” which was refreshing for older fans who were disappointed to find the last album, “Death of a Bachelor,” comprised of many shallow party songs. Panic! at the Disco is well-known for switching up their sound, and while they haven’t changed much in the last few years, this album has a lot more variety than “Death of the Bachelor” had.

The general story of the album is compelling, especially as a follow-up to the themes of partying and drug use in “Death of a Bachelor.” “Pray for the Wicked” takes a different spin on the life of fame. Brendon Urie weaves a tale that fame isn’t all it seems, and many of the songs include lines about drinking away unhappiness and Urie’s apparent confusion about living that kind of life. This sentiment is mirrored in the music video for “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” where Urie is literally a puppet being controlled by this world of fame. The album is a commentary about the life of fame that everyone seems to want, and how it isn’t actually a happy life.

The band is on tour for the new album, with Urie as the last original member. Dallon Weekes, who left the band in 2015 but continued touring throughout 2017, is sadly absent from this tour. While Panic! at the Disco is still an incredible band, it’s getting harder to refer to them as a band and not as simply Brendon Urie.

The tour is particularly impressive, however. Urie’s endurance during the show is hardly matched by other artists. The setlist includes 28 songs and when I saw them at TD Garden in Boston, he stayed on stage for two hours. Urie switched between playing guitar, piano, the drums and hitting unprecedented high notes in his own songs.

The show was designed in a way that appealed to new and old fans alike, which is especially hard for a band that has been producing music since 2004. Most of the setlist came from the past three albums, but they played bigger hits from their earlier albums. They also covered a few songs that even the parents in the crowd could enjoy, like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

I’ve never seen an artist interact with the crowd as closely as Urie did during that concert. He jumped off the stage and spent an entire song walking through the floor, hugging fans, shaking hands and taking photos while singing. He finished the song and continued interacting with as many people as he could until he made it to the other end of the arena. His love and appreciation for his fans was obvious, and he talked about it a lot in the breaks between the songs.

Urie is one of the few artists who sounds better live than he does in the studio. His performances are always incredible and this tour is no exception. 14 years later, Panic! at the Disco is still drawing in fans and shows no sign of stopping any time soon. If losing four band members through the years can’t stop Urie from producing amazing music, then I doubt anything can.


Courtney Gavitt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at courtney.gavitt@uconn.edu.