Reviewed on Friday January 27 (photo by Ashley Mar)
You’ve got to hand it to Tigertown – they’re pretty heckin’ adorable. They play happy-go-lucky electropop with the bombast of your Grouploves or even your St. Lucias, with all the sugar rush of playing M83’s ‘Midnight City’ at full volume on repeat. The already packed crowd goes with their every movement, from dutifully bouncing in time with the pounding 4/4 rhythm to clapping along when they seamlessly transition into Michael Jackson’s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” They even have a C-shaped balloon onstage to celebrate singer Charlie Collins’ birthday. To borrow and paraphrase a line from The Beatles, they’ve been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile.
The concern it does raise, however, is just how long the party can last for this Sydney outfit. Bubblegum is bound to lose flavour on the bedpost overnight, to be replaced with something fresher and snappier. Still, one can put aside such thoughts for the moment and spend a little longer going through the gold-paved streets of Tigertown.
A word of warning to anyone who might have considered heading along to see Panic! At The Disco on grounds of nostalgia: you and figurehead Brendon Urie have gotten older, but their fans have very much stayed the same age. The venue is packed wall-to-wall with screaming teenagers, crushing up against the barrier to the point where the stage manager has to get the entire audience to take two steps back before the band has even played a note.
When Panic! arrive, the opener is the ‘Rock Lobster’-sampling ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ from last year’s Death Of A Bachelor LP – an album that, amazingly, gets a far bigger response than early cuts like ‘Time To Dance’ and ‘Nine In The Afternoon’. Who’d have ever picked these punctuation-heavy pop-rockers as cross-generational?
While many of the band’s mid-2000s peers have either imploded or perished, Panic! At The Disco have adapted and survived. Tonight is a living, screaming testament to that – and, full credit to Urie and his cohorts, it’s a very impressive pop show. With streamers, confetti, steam rockets and even a backflip for good measure, it’s a feast for the senses and an all-ages entertainment spectacle.