PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s impressive when an artist spans generations, collecting fans along the way and adding to their crowd collection.
It’s something entirely different and a much larger feat when an artist manages to swap generations almost wholesale, trading in for a younger model in a fan transfusion.
Such seemed to be the case for Brendon Urie and Panic! At The Disco at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday night in Philadelphia. The concourse was covered with teens that were there for the band’s recent string of success more than those who got on board with the band a decade prior during their first mainstream splash.
Sure, there were some from the pop punk debut days sprinkled throughout the crowd, but the bulk was here to celebrate the band’s Grammy nominated 2016 album Death Of A Bachelor and more recent releases.
Urie and company knew it too, with a set that focused on now. Songs from the band’s 2005 A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out would be relegated to a mid-set medley with the exception of the hit “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” that found a spot near the end of the evening.
Dressed in leather pants and a leopard print blazer, Urie has moved into teen idol territory. There was a collective shriek with his smirks through crowd-pleasers like “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” and “Hallelujah”. Urie was commanding with a back drop of Vegas-approved laser lights and skill exhibitions.
After a string of smiling his way across the stage, Urie would pause for a piano to appear as he played the nearly forgotten “Nine In The Afternoon”. Elsewhere he dabbled in acrobatics with a back flip during “Miss Jackson”, showed off his drumming prowess during an impromptu kit solo, and highlighted love and gay rights during the band’s “Girls/Girls/Boys”. Urie even snaked his way through the adoring crowd with hugs and handshakes along the way. It all painted the picture of a well-rounded and revered pop star who has graduated from out of the Fall Out Boy shadow into a new sense of stardom.
As the gold streamers and confetti rained down over the near-capacity crowd in South Philly, Panic! would close the evening with “Victorious”. It was a feeling that swelled beyond the stage, and a statement of fact for a new kind of pop star.