Tonight marks a record in my books: I have personally never seen the Brisbane Riverstage pushed to this capacity. Allocation exhausted would be an understatement as the hill becomes a wave of screaming fans, waiting for their self appointed king, Brendon Urie to grace the stage.
Australia’s very own Central Coaster Melissa Bester (more commonly known as E^st), is the sole support for our main act tonight. Three people dressed in huge alien costumes hit the stage before E^st comes dancing out to the start of her latest single aptly titled ‘Alien’ and the crowd are fully invested in her. More well received than most supports acts I’ve seen, E^st wastes no time and fits in as many songs into a half hour set as she can. She has a flawless voice, nailing every note and that’s even with her eccentric and eye-grabbing dance moves. A fantastic pick for a support. I had never heard of her but I will be checking out her work after tonight.
Somehow, I think the crowd has grown since E^st finished her set. Could be the couple hundred fans lined up for merch out near the box office have made their way in. Fans are toppling over the barricade as a sea of excited patrons try to get a closer spot to the stage. The screen at the back of the stage becomes a giant digital clock, counting down from ten minutes. The obvious countdown from the crowd hits at ten seconds, ending with a deafening scream from the crowd. And just when you thought it couldn’t be anymore deafening, heart throb Brendon Urie walks out onstage in all his glory, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
The show starts with opening track ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ from the brand new album ‘Pray For The Wicked’ that was released this year. That’s enough to get the crowd warmed up for what will be an intense two hours. Brendon Urie definitely doesn’t waste anytime fitting in as many songs as possible. With hardly any breaks between songs, it’s a wonder he still has a voice by mid set.
It’s safe to say that Panic! At The Disco fans are among the loudest fans in the world. Every time Brendon wails one of his loud notes (which is a lot), the crowd erupts. They singer louder than any other crowd I’ve heard. They show more passion than any crowd I’ve seen. Sometimes they’re louder than the band, and it’s something else really. And it’s obvious in Brendon’s reactions that he loves every moment of it.
An easily noted highlight of the night is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. They don’t mess with it, they play it just how it should be played, it’s a tribute more than a cover. And Brendon sings it how Brendon should sing it, perfectly. Down to the high notes that Freddy so brilliantly showcased, Brendon doesn’t miss one of them. Everyone sings as loud as you could probably imagine and it’s about as close as I think I’ll ever get to seeing Queen play it live, and that’s saying something.
After a set of hits and hidden gems, the encore begins with ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’. Followed by a classic Panic track ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ and leaving the obvious closing track ‘Victorious’. By the time ‘Victorious’ starts, the rain is pelting down, but no one leaves, everyone puts every last ounce of energy into the show. With an explosion of streamers, pyro and smoke cannons, the show wraps up in the most incredible way. But as quickly as we could get in there, we are out of there to escape the rain and get to shelter. But hey, it was worth every moment and I’m no one would change a single thing about the night. This was a night I and everyone else will never forget.
Photos by Dan Maynard Photography