First of all, we were afraid there wouldn’t be a show.
The day before our epic Panic! At The Disco show in Reno October 9th, lead singer Brendon Urie was laid up with 102-degree fever and fears that he had contracted malaria during a recent trip to Asia. During Panic!’s show that previous night in Salt Lake City, the band bravely went on without Brendon and played an unusual set that included a song from Dallon Weekes’ old band The Brobecks and several guest appearances by Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn, plus a lot of karaoke singing by the fans.
It was pretty clear that if Brendon didn’t get better, probably no show in Reno. Bad for all the Reno fans, and bad for us since we were flying in from San Francisco! Yikes.
But then, good tidings appeared via a Brendon tweet:
"Glad to see everything went splendidly in SLC tonight! It hurts too much to be away. So I’ll be returning to tour tomorrow."
Even more good news on twitter the next day revealed that Brendon didn’t have Malaria after all — just something with a nasty fever that he was keeping at bay with Tylenol. So, we were on and also were in line to meet all the members of the band.
To make sure that Brendon Urie didn’t have a relapse, one of our new fan friends from Reno, Jennifer, actually put together a creative “get well kit” (with Malaria medicine crossed off the list), and a great card that we all signed before going into a Meet & Greet with the band.
(There were several album references in this clever card to start, and you can bet we added a lot more by the time everyone was done signing.)
The Band Meet
Geeks that we are, we actually are members of the Panic! At The Disco fan club, and as such got to buy our tickets early and get a chance to meet the band. The Meet & Greet with the band was great. Panic! has a guardian/bodyguard named Zack who is kind of amazing all on his own, and gave a short version of his standard speech. And then we got to meet the guys: Ian Crawford (Lead guitar), Spencer Smith (Drums), Dallon Weekes (Bass) and Brendon Urie (Lead vocals and guitar). Yes, as sick as he was, Mr. Urie still made the special effort to come and meet his local fans, even though they would have totally understood if he’d wanted to rest instead. (Brendon was still looking pretty contagious and was all bundled up in a down jacket, but we figured there was probably good medical attention in Reno if we caught anything. :-)
All of the guys signed my Little Martin travel guitar (which has been earlier signed by Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath and Metallica’s James Hetfield, Lars Ulich and Rob Trujillo). I was pretty excited to have Spencer, Ian, Brendon and Dallon complete it! My wife Jan brought a Diet Coke can inspired by the recent Ready to Go TV spots, which they also gladly signed. Oh, and I gave them the list of Songs Panic Should Cover that the fan club put together.
During the picture, we mentioned we’d been married almost 30 years, and congratulated Brendon on his new engagement, and I told him it can last that long or longer.
(That’s my travel guitar, being played by Ian!!!! I think he was actually picking out a little Metallica riff, too.)
OMG The Music
Before we knew it, the meet up was over and it was time for the music. Great performances by Foxy Shazam and Patrick Stump (see below), and then Panic! took the stage. To make things even better, the set list for Reno was back to normal and incredibly great:
Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
But It’s Better If You Do
The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
Hurricane (with Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode) outro)
The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage
Let’s Kill Tonight
Nine in the Afternoon
That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love (The Darkness cover)
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Time to Dance
Let’s Get It On (snippet) (Marvin Gaye cover)
Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)
You can’t imagine how great this was if you haven’t been to a Panic! At The Disco show. But if you’ve seen them before, imagine your best Panic! show ever, but with the extra benefit of Brendon being a little wiggy and extra-creative because of his high fever; and yet being relaxed because he was playing to a small crowd in his old stompin’ grounds of Reno.
Brendon had 1,000 degree fever, but performed like a crazy person throughout the show. He was clearly stressing his voice through some of the songs, but just kept bulldozing through.
You get a sense of the amazing performance via these videos from my wife Jan and our new fan friend Jen (and there is lots of funny repartee between the songs)….
Trade Mistakes (captured by Jen M). If I could trade mistakes for sheep….:
Mona Lisa and Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have With Her Clothes On:
Time to Dance, a bit of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On and then ending with Nearly Witches in the encore. Plus some funny and O-M-G squirm-inducing repartee with the audience.
Video Credit: Jan Hardee
P.S. Yes, Time to Dance is part of the fall tour set!!!
And, here are some pictures from Jen M and me (hers are from the floor and mine are from the balcony):
Below, singing Always on acoustic guitar (where it normally ends “Blink back to let me know” Brendon ended with “Blink back, I love Re-no.” :-):
Ian Crawford is such a natural guitarist and spins and dances around throughout the songs without missing a note.
Dallon actually moves around quite a bit, but here he’s in a classic bassist pose.
But Wait, There’s More
Oh and P.S. as part of the tour you also get Patrick Stump and his new Soul Punk material… (Jen’s video of the song Allie):
And the indescribably wacky FoxyShazam (Jan’s video of With an Axe):
What a great show!
Parting advice: If you ever get a chance to see Panic! and their lead singer with 1,000 degree fever, drop everything and GO!