Review: Panic! At The Disco, HMV Picture House

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Panic! At The Disco

HMV Picture House

***

LOVED and loathed in equal measure, Panic! At The Disco are one of the most divisive bands out there.

Along with peers My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, they are ones you either love or you hate.

But while the Las Vegans have gained the Marmite status over the years, they’re clearly doing something right in the eyes of their devoted disciples, a fair few hundred of whom turned out for their appearance at the HMV Picture House on Saturday, as part of the Edge Festival.

Since the Grammy- nominated outfit’s last visit here, they have lost half of their number following the departures of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker in 2009. Not that it’s weakened them any. Indeed, having battled on as a duo, founder members Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith’s best ideas are only just starting to get realised.

The set was drawn largely from debut album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and recent third album Vices & Virtues, with early offering I Write Sins Not Tragedies setting the benchmark for the evening.

Despite the irritatingly-long titles, Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off and The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage were surging electro-emo anthems rather than just a mouthful of words.

Other standouts in the set were recent newbies The Ballad Of Mona Lisa and Hurricane.

The crowd lapped it up, of course, and never more than when lead singer Urie was teasing the perma-screaming crowd with the promise of a striptease finale.

In the past, Urie looked awkward and unconvincing in the frontman role, but he’s certainly put that right now.

Having strutted, preened and cooed seductively for an hour, his big finale came just before the encore when he whipped off his vest, and simultaneously whipped the crowd into a frenzy, during a credible rendition of Marvin Gaye’s classic Let’s Get It On.

Predictably, this was a gig that preached to the converted, unlikely to ever win over the doubters, or even the accompanying parents propping up the bar at the back of the venue. Typical P!ATD, you could say.