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Live Review: Panic! at the Disco w/ Marina @ Capital One Arena — 10/1/22

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Panic! at the Disco blazes through a concert at Capital One Arena on Oct. 1, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Emo kids turned power poppers, Panic! at the Disco burned through Capital One Arena recently in a hot performance that truly showcased their rapidly expanding musical palette and their love of theatric turns.

On Oct. 1, Panic! at the Disco visited DC on their Viva Las Vengeance Tour, celebrating their seventh studio album of the same name. Released only in August by Fueled by Ramen and DCD2 Records, it hit the US Billboard 200 at No. 13 and the US Top Alternative Albums at No. 2, fueled in part by its title track.

Panic! at the Disco played that title song around the one-third mark of the show, kicking off an act dominated by new tunes. Brendon Urie and company injected all 12 songs of the album into the show, giving roughly half of the concert to the new record.

“Viva Las Vengeance,” the song, is a deliriously exciting throwback glam number. Brendon sang it from the middle of the brightly lit stage while his guitarists roamed a stage ring that formed a pit that housed VIP attendees. The idea behind the pit was that VIPs could enter a general admission area where they would see the show up close in an effort to recreate a “club” experience within the arena. The stage encircled this “club within the arena,” and the performers occasionally took a stroll around the resulting ring, giving “middle floor” seats a bit of a better view of the band.

Watch the official music video for “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! at the Disco on YouTube:

Speaking of the band, Brendon alone has long been the only true member of Panic! at the Disco, and he’s assembled a lot of fresh faces this year to support his music on tour. Some touring musicians helped to write the new album, including guitarists Jake Sinclair and Mike Viola.

Brendon was truly a showman throughout the show, shaking his hips and emoting to the audience to punctuate dramatic moments. He closed the show on “High Hopes,” the breakout number from Panic! at the Disco’s sixth studio album, Pray for the Wicked (2018). It of course became a Top 10 hit and remained quite ubiquitous through our lockdown days.

During the song, Brendon paced the stage ring simply motioning to the audience as he hit the orchestral chorus of the song. As it ran up to the end, the audience burst out into a full-throated singalong of that infectious and optimistic chorus.

Watch the official music video for “High Hopes” by Panic! at the Disco on YouTube:

Opening Panic! at the Disco, Marina Diamandis performed on a stripped down stage without the headliners light show. Still, Marina drew a dozen songs from four of her five albums to fill the arena with her incomparable voice.

Strutting from a podium where her microphone stood, Marina dazzled in a flowing outfit accompanied by a keyboardist, drummer, and guitarist. She had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand from opening number “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land,” the title cut from her most recent album. She played a few songs from that as well as a few songs from FROOT, including its own title track.

For the last quarter of her show, Marina made a deliberate tonal shift and introduced the last several songs as belonging to “Electra Heart,” the 2012 sophomore record that continues to rage as a fan-favorite. Marina was extremely impressive for the rollercoaster ride of “How to Be a Heartbreaker,” which she delivered with full disco power. She followed that up with “Bubblegum Bitch,” which kept the audience raving, and closed on “Primadonna.”

Watch the official music video for “How to Be a Heartbreaker” by Marina on YouTube:

All in all, this was a top-notch bill with plenty of truly great music to carry the very full Capital One Arena through the night. Also excellent was first opener Jake Wesley Rogers, who brought some ’70s Elton meets ’70s Bowie vibes into his jam. He sang eight numbers including “Pluto” from his 2021 record, and he seemed to truly enjoy himself, whether seated at the piano or striking a dance pose on the stage.

Here are a few photos of Jake Wesley Rogers performing at Capital One Arena on Oct. 1, 2022.

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Here are some photos of Marina performing at Capital One Arena on Oct. 1, 2022.

 

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And here are pictures of Panic! at the Disco performing at Capital One Arena on Oct. 1, 2022. All photos copyright Parklife DC.

 

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