Panic At The Disco with FUN and Foxy Shazam
After all the drama of band members splitting and new music being written, Panic at the Disco is back on the road in support of their album Vices and Virtues. Bringing along opening acts Foxy Shazam and Fun, this tour had the entire music spectrum covered.
Finally! I get to see Foxy Shazam’s live show! For one reason or another, I had missed the last couple of times they came through my town. But, nope…not this time! I was on a mission…rain…snow…sleet…hurricane…or Charlotte traffic was not going to hinder me from seeing Foxy Shazam! I waited anxiously, and was, quite honestly, a little bit bummed that they were the first band up in the show…that, of course, usually means the shortest set…but I was not to be discouraged! They were playing, and that’s all that mattered! I had heard many, many stories about how incredible Foxy’s live show is, and I was about to find out!
I have been a HUGE fan of Foxy Shazam ever since I first heard their major label self-titled album a couple of years ago. If you don’t believe me, feel free to head over and check out the review…there’s love there, I think! I do, in fact, love this band, and have sung their praises to anyone who will listen…and honestly, people are kind of sick of listening by now…just ask Ben. But I still tell everyone to check them out…and those who know and love me, humor me, and do, in fact, check them out! They could only be better if they were produced by Butch Walker (but that’s a story for another time…) But I digress…on with the show review!
There we are…Ben and I…in front of the barricade…awaiting Foxy Shazam to hit the stage! As we wait, front man Eric Sean Nally and trumpet player Alex Nauth emerge onstage quietly, without fanfare, and began a brief, quite impressive a cappella intro. Totally caught off guard by this unexpected occurrence, the rest of band manages to appear on stage and begins an insane version of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” from their second album Introducing Foxy Shazam! There is quite honestly so much happening on stage, that I’m in sensory overload! I was absolutely fuckin’ blown away! It took me a few seconds to realize, “Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be taking pictures!” Next up was, “Oh Lord”, one of my personal faves from the current self-titled major-label debut album! Foxy Shazam blew it away! Sounding every bit as good as the recorded version…with sooo much more energy than any one band should have! Just HOLY SHIT!!!! I wasn’t alone…as I looked around, the entire audience was standing there slack-jawed, and completely in awe of what they were witnessing! I think Foxy Shazam made fans of all the Panic! At the Disco and fun. fans in attendance! The rest of Foxy’s set list included “The Rocketeer”, “Bye Bye Symphony”, “Killin’ It” (oh yeah, I was going apeshit at this moment!), and “The Only Way to My Heart…” Even though, it was only a six song set, there was NEVER any doubt that this band is special and deserves far more recognition than they currently have!
Between the absolutely quirky, endearing, peculiar but perfectly-in-place antics of Eric Sean Nally, the headstands on the piano by pianist Sky White, the balancing of the guitar on his fingertips of guitarist Daisy to the absolutely outstanding stage presence and tightness of the entire band…my first foray into the world of Foxy Shazam live is nothing other than breathtaking! It has honestly been years since I was blown away by a live performance like this (for the record, the last band was Aranda)! So, having said that…this is a band to NEVER miss as they pass through your town…or even 100 miles away! I’d drive to see these guys play! I believe that the entire crowd at the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC will back me up by waying that Foxy Shazam is the SHIT! If they don’t, they were either drunk and passed out or in the bathroom the entire time! For those of you fortunate enough to have Foxy on your Warped Tour bill in your town, DO NOT miss them! It’s a religious experience…trust me!
Once Foxy Shazam finished their outrageous wild set, Fun took the stage playing fan favorite “We Are Young.” Nate Ruess and the rest of the crew put on a show with great stage presence and powerful music. While their set was rather short, only 7 songs, Fun packed enough energy into those 30 minutes for an entire headline show. They hit on fan favorites such as “All the Pretty Girls” and “At Least I’m Not as Sad.” Claiming that Charlotte was essentially their “hometown show” due to most of the band and crew members being from the city, Fun seemed to put on an extra special show, and the fans loved it. Ruess’ vocals were on point, and the band played each song just as well live as they do on CD. Continuing their tradition of opening for such major bands as Paramore, Jacks Mannequin, Relient K, and now Panic, expect Fun to be headlining shows of this same status very soon.
The real screams started from the anxious crowd as soon as the lights went down. Panic at the Disco emerged from behind their elaborate set to the roar of hundreds of girls who had been waiting all day to see them. Fresh off of spraining his ankle, Brendon Urie took no notice of that, jumping up and down almost trying to re-injure himself. Kicking off the night with the appropriately named “Ready to Go,” Panic played 17 songs that the fans have been craving ever since the breakup of the original band. With large movie lights and hanging light bulbs setting the mood, Panic’s stage set was a refreshing change from the boring and ordinary most bands have. The set list was an even mix of old fan favorites and new material, keeping every level of fan satisfied. “Camisado,” “Lying is the most fun a girl can have,” and “I write sins not tragedies” rounded out the old school while “Hurricane,” “Lets Kill Tonight,” and “The Ballad Of Mona Lisa” got the fans excited for their current material. Urie proved his limitless musical talent by playing the keyboard on multiple songs and helping out Spencer Smith on drums, on top of his impressive vocal range singing perfect on every song. On a personal note, Panic at the Disco put on one of the best overall shows I have seen in some time now, it’s nice to see that bands still take the time to create such a great atmosphere for their fans to enjoy their music. With Vices and Virtues being such a big hit, and a rumored fall tour with Pete Wentz’s band The Black Cards, Panic at the Disco show no signs of slowing down. No matter the lineup, Panic will always have millions of supporting fans, and that’s good enough to guarantee their place in music history for a long time to come.
– Ben Packard and Jen Conrad contributed to this article.
** For an exclusive photo gallery from this show, click HERE **