Panic! At The Disco w/ Walk the Moon & Youngblood Hawke
Last Sunday, Edgefield came host to one of, arguably, the biggest name bands of today. At least, it sure looked that way by the turn out. Asking around, many people at the front of the line were on site at THREE. FUCKING. AM. That’s just insane, but I love to see fans that are so dedicated. Panic! At The Disco sure had a lot of them. And judging by the mass amounts of facepaint, so did opening band, Walk the Moon.
Walk the Moon holds title of my first concert, so this show was special in a way that it felt like my whole experience has come full circle. Walk the Moon did not disappoint me the second time, and the energy and love was just as high as it was the first time around. Before Walk the Moon took the stage though, the crowd faced a set by Los Angeles band, Youngblood Hawke.
Youngblood Hawke feel to me like one of those bands that has a presence on social media that makes you know you’ve heard of them, but you can’t place why you know them or what they sound like. That’s how it felt to me anyways when I heard they were opening. And I’ve got to say, Youngblood were a good choice for this one, especially being placed right before the energy onslaught that is WTM. Youngblood Hawke were fun to watch. They became very interactive with the crowd, pacing the stage excitedly and reaching down to the pool of arms in their presence. The crowd seemed to enjoy their set as well, and I particularly liked the use of percussion. I’m a sucker for lots of drums, and I do credit some of this to Haim’s drum finale, but it’s always a blast to watch all the band members come in with such a booming presence.
Once Youngblood Hawke wrapped up their set with their most well known track, “We Come Running”, there was a little break between sets where I decided to go check the merch table. I only tell you this to give you another little idea of just how huge this show was. The merch line was honestly as big as the line for most concerts I go to. It was ridiculous, yet strangely beautiful.
Walk the Moon brought every drop of energy they had, and every drop makes enough to pour over the entirety of Edgefield. WTM bring such a passion through their energy, and not only is it super fun, upbeat, and danceable, but their music has an inspirational element. The track that especially comes to mind in this sense is the song “I Can Lift A Car”. Leading man Nicholas Pettrica takes a moment before launching into this track to speak to the audience.
“Take all that negative shit,” he tells us. “And bring it up, up, up, through your body, and up into your arms, and out through your hands, and let it all go!”
The song itself packs the same full of life feeling that any Walk the Moon song has, but this particular performance was something special. Everyone comes together for this track, and especially the fans, some bearing paper cars on popsicle sticks, lifting them high above their heads. When a crowd comes together like this, it is a form of magic.
Then, the act everyone had been waiting for, Panic! At The Disco took the stage. Panic! packs so much energy and mood into their music and their live shows, I thought for sure the crowd would go nuts. I was surprised when there wasn’t much movement in the pit. Why? Because EVERYONE HAD THEIR PHONES OUT.
I’m not going to judge you if you record a snippet of one or two songs, but it’s kind of ridiculous when it seems like every single person is holding an iPad above their head instead of actually becoming engaged in the set.
This didn’t last too long though, and it certainly didn’t distract from the mind-blowing stage presence of Panic! frontman Brendon Urie. Why do I say his presence is mind-blowing? Well there are a few key reasons:
First of all, he was shirtless a lot. I didn’t have the best view of this, but I could tell a lot of the crowd (specifically preteen to teenage girls) really enjoyed this part.
Second, he has an amazing voice that is really only captured in it’s wholeness during the live shows. At times you’d hear this super high screech, and your initial thought would be that it was the sound of a guitar hitting that high lick. Then, you watch, and realize that that sound is the sound of Brendon’s voice. It’s pretty insane. Like glass-shattering insane.
Thirdly, this guy does back flips. On stage. Back flips. You really can’t beat that.
But in all seriousness, Panic! At The Disco put on a solid set. From the stage presence of all its members, to the lights, and even to Positive Hardcore at the end (not my usual cup of tea, but it was pretty great) Panic!’s 20+ song set was one that you really need to experience at some point. Sadly, Portland was the last stop on this Gospel tour, but I guess we can hope for a new album? Sooner than later.