February 22, 2019 Panic! At The Disco Wows Anaheim, CA 2-14-19 w/ Betty Who & Two Feet
Valentine’s Day is a time meant to be spent with loved ones, so who better to spend it with than thousands of other people and Panic! At The Disco? This February 14th, Panic! At The Disco brought their Pray for the Wicked Tour to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California to celebrate love and music. The final night of a 25 plus city North American run that began January 10th, with some help spreading the love from supporting acts Betty Who and Two Feet, fans were in for an unforgettable night, for sure.
First to take the stage was Australian Singer-Songwriter Betty Who. After parting ways with her major label in 2017, Betty Who has been climbing the Dance charts as an independent artist known for infectious music that you cannot help but groove to. In fact, that very night was the eve of the release of her new album Betty, her first since becoming independent.
The sold-out arena was already pretty packed when Betty Who arrived on the massive stage flanked by her two accompanying dancers, and the trio received an exceptionally warm welcome from the crowd as the set kicked off with “Rocket Girl,” “Human Touch,” and “Taste.” Betty Who and her dancers wowed the crowd with their spicy choreography and Who’s excellent vocal performance.
Not only was it the night before the release of her newest record, but it was also Betty Who’s final night on the Pray for the Wicked Tour. After thanking Panic! fans for being so welcoming and dedicated, Who encouraged the crowd to get on their feet and dance along to her final few songs which included a fun cover of “I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Lewis. Then, Betty Who and her talented team of dancers gave their all for their final performance of “Somebody Loves You.” As the arena erupted in a huge cheer, it was clear that Betty Who had very easily won the crowd over with her catchy tracks, stellar performance, and enthusiasm. Her sound fits right alongside that of Panic!, so it is no surprise that she was chosen to open up the show.
The next act, however, was a little more unique: Singer-Songwriter Zachary William “Bill” Dess, known by his stage name Two Feet, is essentially the exact opposite of Betty Who. Hailing from Harlem, New York City, Two Feet has racked up hundreds of millions of plays on streaming services thanks to his unique blend of Jazz, Blues, and Electronic beats. Recently, he signed with Republic Records to release his first LP, A 20 Something Fuck, in 2018. As he mentioned on stage that night, it was only a few years ago that he worked minimum wage jobs just to get by, and now Two is playing in front of thousands of fans each night with only one record and a handful of singles under his belt.
Taking the stage armed only with his guitar and accompanied by a DJ, Two Feet was ready to wow the Honda Center with his technical ability and sultry Blues sound. Beginning the set with “You’re So Cold,” “Had Some Drinks,” and “Love Is a Bitch,” an appropriately titled track for Valentine’s Day, Two Feet impressed with his technical ability and stage presence. The audience erupted into applause whenever Two Feet wailed out a bluesy guitar solo during songs like “I Want It,” “Quick Musical Doodles,” and a stellar cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Before drawing the set to a close, Two Feet took the time to thank Panic! for allowing him the opportunity to play for audiences each night before pouring his heart into his biggest hits “Go Fuck Yourself” and “I Feel Like I’m Drowning.” Even though he forgot the lyrics and had to begin his final song over, Two Feet still easily had the audience’s attention drawn from the minute he walked on stage.
Sufficiently warmed up by Betty Who and Two Feet, the arena began to buzz with anticipation for Panic! At The Disco. The roof nearly blew off when a huge ten-minute countdown clock began ticking down the seconds until Brendon Urie would come literally flying out of the stage. Fans already knew they were in for the show of a lifetime, as Panic! At The Disco has been putting their heart and soul into their performances for the past fifteen years. Since signing with DCD2 Records in 2005 and releasing their 2005 debut record A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the band has been on an upward trajectory with no sign of slowing down. After several lineup changes throughout the past ten years, Urie is now the band’s only official member. Having just released Panic’s sixth LP, 2018’s Pray for the Wicked, Urie is clearly doing just fine manning the show all on his own.
As the clock ticked down to zero and Panic!’s touring band rose up from the stage, seemingly every person in the audience flew to their feet with anticipation. Exploding into cheers when Urie flew out of center stage to get the party started with “(Fuck A) Silver Lining,” “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time,” “Ready to Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind),” and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” the entire crowd was captivated and singing along to every word.
Urie made quick work of the huge stage, made in the triangular shape of the band’s logo, ensuring that every eye in the room was tuned into him and his glorious gold jacket during “LA Devotee,” “Hallelujah,” and “Crazy=Genius,” which featured some insane on-stage pyrotechnics.
Keeping the momentum going, Urie took to the piano to show off his skills for throwback “Nine in the Afternoon,” followed by “One of the Drunks,” “Casual Affair,” and “Vegas Lights.” Following a stellar performance of “This is Gospel,” Urie vanished from the stage only to reappear amidst the crowd as he sang “Death of a Bachelor,” walking from the stage toward the back of the arena through the crowd. Nearly every phone in the room was out recording his personal interactions with fans, and the joy he and the crowd experienced was infectious. When he finally reached the other end of the arena, he took to his piano once again to perform a soulful cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which blended perfectly with “Dying in LA” as the piano ascended toward the ceiling and sailed slowly above the crowd before landing back on the stage just in time to begin a cover of “The Greatest Show” from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman.
One might think the show would be coming to an end after a spectacle like that, but this was a Panic! At The Disco show, after all. Things were just getting started! With “Girls/Girls/Boys,” during which he was joined on stage by Betty Who, Urie told fans that regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, they belonged. Each person in the crowd held up their phone flash light through a colored paper heart, making a rainbow shimmer throughout the room.
If that was not enough, the show continued with “King of the Clouds,” the band’s latest hit “High Hopes,” “Miss Jackson,” and an incredible cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As the first set concluded with Urie showing off his drumming and backflipping skills during “Emperor’s New Clothes,” the band quickly returned to finish out the night with “Saturday Night,” “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” and finally, “Victorious.”
Each song had its own distinct mood thanks to the changing backgrounds and precision lighting, all of which went off without a hitch. It is truly impressive that Urie can captivate an audience for an entire two-hour performance, making each song its own micro-show filled with life-altering falsettos and high production values.
Even if someone in the audience had somehow never even heard the name Panic! At The Disco before, there is no way they would not have been entertained by Urie and company’s amazing show. Despite the fact that Panic! likely performs the same set every night, Urie is a masterful performer with a gift for making each person in a room of thousands feel like he is there just for them. By the end of the night, the audience left the venue practically vibrating with excitement, chattering about their favorite moments in the show. A Panic! At The Disco show is truly an experience from beginning to end, so if you ever get the chance to see it for yourself, do not hesitate to take it!