Panic! At the Disco – a Vegas-based group of synth-pop meets dance-punk heartthrobs – may be young, but they’ve already established the kind of frenzied adolescent fanbase that translates to gazillions of records sold. As the lights dim tonight, NME hears a chorus of screams unleashed by overwhelmed girls with serrated haircuts and regulation backpacks before Panic! singer Brendon Urie claims the stage and the band launches into the explosive, exhibitionist ‘The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press’ with all the bravado of a group fuelled by total adoration. By the third song, at least one bra has landed at Urie’s feet.
P!@TD could be relegated to the land of not-half-bad kiddie pop were it not for the oddly self-aware, poetic quality of the group’s lyrics (not to mention famous, cred-building fans like Mikey My Chem and Matt from Taking Back Sunday – both of whom are here tonight). “Yet another bra,” says Urie, practically yawning, before launching into a pounding version of Panic!’s most famous song, ‘Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off’. As several kids (male and female) begin to strip in honour of their favourite track, we start to feel like we’re totally missing curfew. Oh well. Some things are worth getting grounded for.