LIVE: Panic! At The Disco @ O2 Apollo, Manchester (08/05/2014)

Date: May 8th, 2014
Venue: O2 Apollo, Manchester
Support: MT / King Charles


Four albums into what has been a rather solid career, not taking into account the ‘Pretty. Odd.’ era back in 2008, Las Vegas rockers Panic! At The Disco are back on UK shores again to promote their fourth full-length, ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!’. Now at a stage where they can confidently almost fill out Manchester’s O2 Apollo, their mix of electro or baroque pop draped across their rock core is just what is needed for a crowd who’ve been stood outside queing in the rain.

London based openers MT (**), which stands for Many Things, musically have some similarities to a modernised and more upbeat Joy Division or The Smiths, but still manage to come across as uncomfortable with the size of the stage they’ve been placed on. Frontman Michael Tomlinson keeps jumping against the barrier every few minutes and running about here and there, before then throwing himself against the stage floor, acting a little over the top. Maybe they’re just not ready for this kind of show yet.

Walking onto the stage with massive hair, a white jacket and the tightest jeans (they might have even been tights) known to the human race, King Charles (**) boasts an ego as big as you might have gathered from his stage name alone. Indeed, giving credit where credit is due, the odd solo he chucks into his songs are worth mentioning and the songs he has crafted are tight, but having the gall to thank Manchester for having “him” when there’s a full band doing most of the work, it just leaves a bitter taste for the remainder of the set to follow.

Welcomed onto the stage with a wave of screams that are loud and high-pitched enough to burst every eardrum in the O2 Apollo, Panic! At The Disco (****) are on top of their game tonight more than they have ever been. Sticking mainly with material from their latest record and their multi-platinum debut, ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’, frontman Brendon Urie and his fellow bandmates are all dressed to the nines, delivering hit after hit from their catalogue, such as ‘Time To Dance’, ‘This Is Gospel’ and ‘The Ballad Of Mona Lisa’, with Urie managing to pull off some impressive high falsetto on several occassions.

Of course, it’s the big numbers that really see the crowd bringing the best out of P!ATD this evening, namely ‘Nine In The Afternoon’, ‘Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off’ and ‘But It’s Better If You Do’, before the band head off and back onstage again for their encore. A surprising turn of events comes with heavy number ‘Positive Hardcore Thursday’, a product from Urie‘s Vine channel, before closing the curtains on breakthrough hit, ‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies’. True showmanship in almost every way.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)