This past Thursday night the SJSU campus was buzzing with the first week of school and a home football game down the street but the real action was happening at the Events Center where a long line of eager disciples patiently waited to make their way indoors to see Panic! At The Disco hold service for their loyal ministry on their “Gospel Tour.”
Due to the fervor, the floor and seats were already packed by the time Youngblood Hawke took the stage at 7:30 sharp, tearing through a 30 minute set that wrapped with radio-favorite We Come Running. The sound at the Event Center can be a bit rough at times but it quickly became clear that between the packed-in bodies and some wizardry at the soundboard, tonight’s audience would be in for a treat … the sensory deprivation of Youngblood Hawke’s woefully-dim lighting only emphasizing that fact.
Between sets, a member of the crew came out on stage and asked everyone to step back to relieve the obvious crush on the front row where people who had lined up early were already bailing over the barrier after the opening band which no doubt created additional anxiety for the parental units who were hugging the side walls or seated in the back. Without a doubt, things certainly weren’t going to get any better as the night progressed.
Walk The Moon is a band that has toured relentlessly over the last several years and it’s clear from their performance that that effort has paid off … from the way they command the stage to the way the audience hangs on every note, this band has progressed by leaps and bounds. With only one major label release (the self-titled Walk The Moon), the thing that this band needs more than anything else is new material. Well apparently that new material is on the way. Between the bookends of Tightrope and Ana Sun, WTM plugged in TWO new songs, Spend Your Money and Shut Up And Dance. Let’s just say that if the action at their merch table is any indication, the new record will be a winner.
The crew made quick work of the stage and after another plea to relieve the crush up front, headliners Panic! At The Disco took the stage to a thundering welcome that seemed to double in volume as frontman Brendon Urie entered the stage last.
The huge stage was left uncluttered … three mic stands, a drum kit, keyboards and some LED screens … but that simplicity belied the phenomenal light show that the band brought with them which, together with a spot-on performance (including Brendon hitting some high notes that were rivaled only by the squeal from the girls when he came out shirtless for Girls/Girls/ Boys), made for the type of spectacle that rarely makes it to Event Center. The lighting guy seriously deserves an award.
Urie appeared downright giddy with the crowd response, at one point offering cringe-worthy relationship advice as part of the intro to Miss Jackson. But in the ballsiest of all possible ballsy moves, Panic! threw in a cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody which was executed powerfully and flawlessly and included a not-so-subtle nod to Wayne’s World (you’ll have to check out the show). It even got the attention of the more uptight/disinterested parents in the crowd.
The main portion of the set wrapped up Nearly Witches and after a short break, the band returned for This is Gospel which, given the name of the tour, shouldn’t have come as a big surprise. What came next, however, is what made this show truly great. Urie, clearly not ready to wrap the set, broke out Positive Hardcore which concluded in a fit of laughter before he busted out covers of Journey and AC/DC. As the set wrapped with I Write Sins Not Tragedies, the crowd walked away certain that if not for that 11 pm curfew, the band would still be on stage.
- Vegas Lights
- Time to Dance
- The Ballad of Mona Lisa
- The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage
- Let’s Kill Tonight
- Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
- Trade Mistakes
- New Perspective
- Casual Affair
- Miss Jackson
- Nine in the Afternoon
- The End of All Things
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
- Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
- But It’s Better If You Do
- Collar Full
- Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)
- This is Gospel
- Positive Hardcore
- Any Way You Want It (Journey cover)
- You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC cover)
- I Write Sins Not Tragedies
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