A Fiery Performance from Panic at the Disco in Oakland

in SF Concert Reviews by

Brendan Urie looked like a mix of Mr. Saturday Night and Elvis Presley last night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, when he took the stage with Panic at the Disco for their latest go-around entitled “Pray for the Wicked.” It’s a tour that’s taken them all across the world, from Latin America to Asia, to celebrate their latest release bearing the same name.

The frontman with the chiseled cheekbones and perfect smile was in fine form, sporting a flashy gold suit along with an impressive highly-elevated pompadour hairstyle. He belted out one hit after the next, with his usual high-energy self, which at times was reminiscent of a modern-day crooner, while at others a bonafide rock star. Yet one thing’s for certain — you can’t take your eyes off the guy. It’s really no wonder why he’s the last and only remaining member of the original band and has been able to carry their torch for so long.

After a 10 minute countdown projected onto a black backdrop at the arena, the band kicked things off strongly with energetic renditions of “(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,” then slowed things down for a bit with “Hallelujah,” which had the crowd swaying in unison with iPhone flashlights held high. Urie, a man of few words while onstage, let the music do the talking for him and demonstrated immaculate showmanship all throughout the night.

Surrounded by a phenomenal laser light show interrupted with just the right amount of flames and other pyrotechnics, Urie turned each song into a Cirque-du-Soleil-level performance, giving each concertgoer more than their money’s worth. He’d get swallowed into the stage, then reappear from out of nowhere. At one point he slowly emerged from out of the ceiling playing a grand piano like some kind of archangel sent from the heavens. The scene created by the surrounding flashing lights from cell phones all around gave the illusion of twinkling stars in a night sky, a real treat for the senses.

Other standout moments included a performance of “Crazy Genius” surrounded by hellish flames emanating from the stage, as well as a very tender moment when Urie, during an impulsive moment of appreciation, brought out three young ladies from the audience. They sang along, their eyes gazing up at the sultry singer in complete adoration. It was an unforgettable moment and the perfect ending to a fairy tale performance.

Photos by Louis Raphael

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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