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Panic! at the Disco brings the house down in Tulsa

Keaton Bell / Red Dirt Report
Singer Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco, during their Tulsa concert.
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TULSA, Okla. – “This is gonna be my eighth time I’ve seen them this year.” 

“I bought their first album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out when I was in fourth grade and I’ve been their biggest fan ever since.” 

“They were my very first concert across the street at the Brady Theater in 2008. The fact that they’re playing arenas now makes my heart so happy.” 

You really haven’t seen true fangirls until you’ve gone to a Panic! at the Disco show. Tuesday night the BOK Center played host to the pop-rock group’s ongoing Death of a Bachelor Tour in support of their latest album of the same name. Hordes of fans old and young poured into the arena wearing their tour shirts and donning handmade signs as the excitement built to delirious heights. 

Indie-pop groups Saint Motel and MisterWives provided energized opening sets that had the crowd jumping and screaming, with a surprising amount of the crowd singing back the lyrics to every song. MisterWives front woman Mandy Lee was particularly charming, bopping around the stage as she slung out the group’s sleeper hits “Our Own House” and “Reflections.”

With a countdown clock keeping the crowd waiting in breathless anticipation, the seconds ticked away as the stomping escalated and the shrieks got louder. And when the timer ran out and the clock struck nine, a night of rock ‘em, sock ‘em action began when Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie appeared to massive applause. 

Opening with “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” and “LA Devotee,” Urie was a ball of energy as he made his way around every corner of the stage. Rocking a sparkling gold blazer with his signature skin-tight leather pants, Urie looked every part the pop-punk god his fan base has grown to know him as. 

While I never went through the Panic! at the Disco phase that seemed to happen to ever middle schooler in 2006, that hardly matters when they’re such spiffy showmen. The most fantastic characteristic of the Death of a Bachelor Tour is the way Panic! at the Disco so deftly balances between explosive spectacle and genuine emotion. For every confetti cannon-laced performance like “Victorious,” there was an intimate showcase like “This Is Gospel,” which had Urie playing the piano on a spinning pedestal in the middle of the arena. 

Brendon Urie belting it out. (Keaton Bell / Red Dirt Report)

And I can’t say enough good things about Urie’s talents as a performer. Even if Panic! at the Disco’s music isn’t really your thing (and shame on you), Urie’s soaring falsetto is truly something to behold. Whether he was letting it loose on a rousing cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” or transporting us back to 2008 with “Nine in the Afternoon,” Urie didn’t hold back when it came to unleashing his four-octave tenor. 

Even if the show was back-to-back thrill ride packed with stunning musical set-pieces, Panic! at the Disco still found the time to spread a message as well. During “Girls / Girls / Boys,” a song about a love triangle complicated by differing sexual orientations, the stage set displayed various LGBTQ icons like George Michael, Ellen DeGeneres, and Harvey Milk among others. Urie even tied a rainbow flag around his microphone stand as the arena lit up with the rainbow-colored hearts that were passed out to all of the concert-goers. 

I’ll admit that Panic! at the Disco seemed like a flash in the pan when they first appeared in 2005, an emo-pop band cashing in on the success of groups like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. But there’s a reason that over a decade after their debut they’re selling out arenas to fans whose devotion knows no limits. Everyone in the arena collectively lost their minds when Urie launched into their signature hit “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” displaying everything we’ve grown to love about Panic! at the Disco from their cheeky sense of humor to Urie’s boyish charm.

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About the Author

Keaton Bell

Born in Minnesota but raised in Oklahoma, Keaton is a senior at the University of Oklahoma...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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