A Look at Panic! At The Disco

Alec MacDonald, Contributor

It’s been a long road for alternative rock band Panic! at the Disco. The band formed in 2004 with original members Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, Brent Wilson, and glamorous frontman, Brendon Urie, who is currently the only original member still in the band. They started off with many 60’s influences such The Rolling Stones and The Zombies. The band got its start because they were discovered by Pete Wentz, who was part of another well-known alternative band at this time, Fall Out Boy. Within less than a year, the band released their first album in 2005, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, which consisted of their mainstream hit “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”. The album was a success and brought the band a small amount of fame. For the next 10 years the band’s success varied.

Panic!’s 2008 album Pretty. Odd gave fans a few memorable hits like “Nine in the Afternoon” and the heartfelt but sad ballad “Northern Downpour.” 2013 offered a new light of music from Panic!. Their album, Too Weird to Live Too Rare to Die exposed the band’s electronic and 80’s influenced sound. “This is Gospel” was a number one hit for the band and made them truly breakthrough, giving emo kids an anthem to rock out to. It wasn’t until 2016 that the band gained global popularity when they released their album Death of a Bachelor. The whole album was recorded in Urie’s private home studio all by himself. The band now had a darker image. This is displayed in their music video for the DOAB song “LA Devotee” which portrays Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp being kidnapped and brainwashed by Urie. The music video was beyond controversial. The album offered hits and fan favorites like “Emperor’s New Clothes,” “Hallelujah,” and “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time.” The band then went on a one-year hiatus.

This also brought the departure of the bands bassist, Dallon Weekes, who was replaced by Nicole Row. During this time, Urie began to write new material for an upcoming album. In 2018, Urie released Panic!’s most recent album Pray for the Wicked. This album gave ‘sinners’ a new era to feed on. This album took a personal turn for Urie, since many of the songs are about his and the band’s rise to the global stardom they have today. Adding in a horn section for every song, this was by far the poppiest album ever made by the band. This album made hit after hit like “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” “Say Amen,” and the widely popular radio favorite “High Hopes.” In September, guitarist Kenneth Harris got kicked from the group after allegations of sexual misconduct arose. He was replaced by Mike Naran. The band is currently on the second leg of their European tour. With numerous music awards and worldwide fame under their belt, things are looking pretty good for these alt rock legends.