Panic! electrifies Duluth’s Infinite Energy

Photo courtesy of Jake Chamseddine

On their Death of a Bachelor Tour, Panic! at the Disco stopped in Duluth to perform at the Infinite Energy Center on April 12. The pop rock band was touring in support of their single and album “Death of a Bachelor,” both of which were released last year.

The show featured two openers, the first of which was Saint Motel. Their entrance was marked with an old-fashioned NASA video featuring a voiceover of the band’s name and their “Saint Motelevision” album cover as a backdrop behind the stage. This album cover features a woman in a vintage swimsuit diving into a pool shaped like an old television.

On stage, the band had an old television showing the same retro videos and text as the venue’s big screens. Saint Motel’s performance was creative, tied together by an interesting theme and full of energy and crowd interaction. Particular highlights were a saxophone solo during “Destroyer” and the entire audience standing on their feet during “My Type.”

The next opener was Misterwives, an indie pop band best known for singles “Our Own House” and “Reflections.” An abundance of different colors and lighting effects made their set memorable. The band played multiple new songs from their upcoming album “Connect the Dots,” set to release in May, including the hit single “Machine.”

The band also covered “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper. Misterwives ended the set with the singer (Mandy Lee) and guitarist (Marc Campbell) playing drums along with the band’s main drummer (Etienne Bowler) to “Our Own House,” giving their set an epic finale.

After Misterwives, Panic! At the Disco’s crew readied the stage for their performance. With 10 minutes until their set, a timer appeared on screen that counted down the minutes and seconds left. Finally, the band stepped on stage at exactly 9 p.m. — or as a Panic! fan might say, nine in the afternoon.

The audience roared as guitarist Kenneth Harris played the opening chords of “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time.” Singer Brendon Urie brought a positive vibe with his smile and flashy outfit. When he hit the high notes, many of which are not in the studio recordings, the crowd
went wild.

The on-stage scenery changed on a song-by-song basis. Stage scenery always contained bright, detailed visuals on LCD screens as virtual stage props. The screens  would also occasionally show snippets of Panic! at the Disco music videos. Some songs featured fire shooting out of the steps surrounding the drumset, near where the band’s horns section would usually stand.

Performance highlights included the band freezing for a moment during “Miss Jackson,” and Urie then performing a backflip. A crowd favorite was a piano rendition of “This Is Gospel” played on a beautiful piano located near the back of the floor.

The piano was on an elevated platform and rotated to face all sides of the audience. After that performance, Urie performed the band’s Sinatra-inspired single “Death of a Bachelor” while walking through the audience to get back to the stage.

The band covered “Movin’ Out” by Billy Joel and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. The audience was especially loud during “Bohemian Rhapsody” with thousands of people singing along. Another highlight was when Urie played a drum outro during “Let’s Kill Tonight” before drumming to a mashup of Rihanna and Bruno Mars songs.

One of the most magical moments of the night was during the song “Girls Girls Boys.” Before the show, Panic! fans had placed different colored hearts on all 13,000 seats in the arena. During this pro-LGBT song, audience members held their hearts on top of their phone flashlights, thus beautifully lighting up the room in rainbow colors. Brendon gave a speech about how this “love displayed right here” was inspiring and proved love would trump hate in what he called an important time in history.

Before the band’s last couple of songs, Panic!’s crew came on-stage to sing “Happy Birthday” to Urie, who turned 30 on the day of the show. The crew also fired confetti guns at Urie. This energetic party atmosphere encapsulated much of what was special about the entire concert. The bands seemed to enjoy themselves and the killer production and audience enthusiasm contributed to a show that outshone many previous concerts.