Panic! at the Disco brings the energy to Miami while Weezer brings the classics

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When it was announced that Panic! at the Disco and Weezer would embark on a summer tour in late 2015, it seemed like a head-scratcher. Weezer attracts the older generation who grew up in the 1990s while Panic! at the Disco’s primary fan base is made up of pre-teens, teenagers, and early 20-somethings. What may have seemed like an odd combination at first proved to be an entertaining show, to say the least. On Tuesday (June 14), the co-headlining tour made its official fourth stop at Miami’s Bayfront Park.

Opening the evening, and the full tour, was Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin fame. The musician and his new group, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, treated the crowd to a seven-song set which featured several tracks from their debut album including “All Our Lives,” current single “High Dive,” and “Canyon Moon” which found the frontman jumping off the stage to interact with the crowd. During the set, McMahon thanked the audience for coming out to the show even after all the tragedies that had befallen on the state of Florida. The Saturday before the show (June 11), The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was shot during a meet-and-greet with fans after her show in Orlando. The following day (June 12), a shooter went on a rampage at an Orlando nightclub killing 49 club goers. McMahon thanked the fans for not giving into fear and going out to live life to the fullest before launching into “Holiday from Real,” a song from Jack’s Mannequin’s 2005 release, Everything in Transit. The set wrapped up with the song McMahon wrote specifically for his baby daughter Cecilia, “Cecilia and the Satellite.”

Following a short set change, Panic! at the Disco took the stage. As all the members, including their newly added trio of horn players, made their way onto the stage, frontman Brendon Urie was the last one. He sauntered to his golden microphone, like he owned the place, dressed in a blue blazer, cheetah print shirt, leather pants, and a pride flag draped over his shoulders in the 100+ degree weather. They kicked off their set with one of their newer songs, “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time”; a threat they intended to keep. Their 18-song set mostly consisted of new songs off of their recently released album, Death of a Bachelor. Songs like “Hallelujah,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “L.A. Devotee,” “Golden Days,” and more represent the new record. While the summer tour is in support of the new album, they did try to incorporate some of their older tunes into the set list like “Time to Dance” and “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” from their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out while “Nine in the Afternoon” was the sole song to represent their sophomore effort, Pretty.Odd. “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and “Ready to Go” represented 2011’s lukewarmly -received Vice & Virtues while “Vegas Lights,” “Miss Jackson,” and “Girls/Girls/Boys” represented 2014’s Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die.

While most of the show was on the lighter side, there were times when Urie got serious and addressed several important issues. During a speech before “Girls/Girls/Boys,” the frontman addressed the Pulse Orlando shooting, just like McMahon had earlier in the show. Urie, who is a strong supporter of the LBGTQ movement, encouraged all the LBGTQ haters in the crowd to “come at him” if they had a problem with believing that “love is love.” Later in the show, Urie got serious again before the band launched into “This is Gospel.” The singer took the time to encourage the audience members to help out anyone they might know who may be suffering from drug addiction. He then dedicated the song to former Panic! at the Disco drummer, Spencer Smith who officially left the group in 2015 following his own battle with drug addiction. But with the seriousness also came the fun and entertaining. During “Crazy = Genius,” Urie had an intense drum-off with the group’s new drummer and like their previous tour, they  serenaded the crowd with a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The cover only confirmed the type of vocal range Urie is capable of while “Death of a Bachelor” proved that if the rock-and-roll lifestyle never panned out, Urie could have always have a second career as a lounge singer.

While Panic! at the Disco brought the high energy, Weezer undid everything the Las Vegas-based band managed to do during their set. Weezer has never been the kind of band to rely on stunts like back flips and audience banter; they let their music do the talking. Sadly, that may have been the reason why a large chunk of the sold out audience took that time to either go buy food and merchandise or just leave for the evening. With such an easily distracted crowd, it was interesting to see how the older generation fared better that those pre-teens/teenagers in the crowd. During the show, there were some instances that made you wondered if the band even wanted to be there. “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” is one of the band’s most energetic and bubbly songs, but instead of acting on it, they just stood there and played the song. Though their energy and interaction with the crowd was lackluster at best, it did not take away from the fact that they sounded just like their records. During their set, they made sure to incorporate many of their older songs like “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “My Name is Jonas,” “We are All on Drugs,” “Pork and Beans,” “Perfect Situation,” and “Island in the Sun” with material from their recently released record, The White Album. Tracks from the new album included “California Kids,” “L.A Girlz,” “King of the World,” and “Thank God for Girls.” During “Thank God for Girls,” a montage of powerful women played behind the band which included icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Tina Fey, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and more.

Like many bands, Weezer chose to give the audience a two-song encore to complete their 17-track set list. The group retreated from the stage for a few minutes, only to return when their logo appeared against the black backdrop of the stage. As soon as they returned to face the crowd, they launched into “El Scorcho” from Pinkerton. “El Scorcho” was followed by the one song the vast majority (if not all) of the audience was waiting for; “Buddy Holly.” For the first time since their set kicked off, you could hear the crowd singing in unison “Oo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly,” almost drowning out the band. As the song reached the last notes, confetti was blasted to the crowd. The blast of confetti was so powerful that it was still raining down on exiting audience members ten minutes later.

Whether you were there for Andrew McMahon, Panic! at the Disco, Weezer, or just because you had nothing better to do, it was definitely a fun way to bring in the summer concert season to South Florida.


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