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Panic! At The Disco

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Panic! at the Disco (often shortened to merely Panic! or P!ATD) is a band from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA whose sound incorporates elements of pop, electronica, dance, and rock. Their 2005 debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out reached #13 on the US Billboard 200, and has sold over one million copies since its September 2005 release.

2005: Origins and signing

The band was formed in the suburban area of Summerlin, Las Vegas, by childhood friends Ryan Ross on guitar and Spencer Smith on drums. Since the age of thirteen, the two played blink-182 covers in bands of different formations, under the name of "Summer League," possibly a reference to the town in which they lived, Summerlin.

After recruiting Brent Wilson on bass and Brendon Urie on vocals and guitar, the band settled on the name 'Panic! at the Disco.' The band has stated, on their DVD and in interviews, that the name "Panic! at the Disco" comes from the song "Panic" by The Smiths, which includes the line "burn down the disco," though a more popular theory is that the name has its origins in the song "Panic" by Name Taken, which includes the line "panic at the disco."

In order to promote their music, the band contacted Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz through LiveJournal, and sent him a link to their PureVolume site. Wentz was apparently so impressed that he took a trip to Las Vegas to meet the band in person. After seeing them play in their garage, he asked if they would sign with his Fueled by Ramen imprint label Decaydance.

2006: Debut album and departure of Brent Wilson

'A Fever You Can't Sweat Out,' Panic!'s Debut AlbumPanic! at the Disco released their debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out on September 27th 2005, quickly building up a fan base through PureVolume and Myspace, though achieving little commercial recognition. After a consistent presence in PureVolume's top 10 signed artists, and reaching number one in Myspace's indie charts, Panic! at the Disco were featured on MTV's Total Request Live on January 17th 2006, where they premiered their music video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." Featuring Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque and an eerie circus wedding theme, the video débuted at #10 on the TRL countdown, later winning the Video of the Year award at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, beating out artists such as Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The single itself, released April 27th 2006, peaked at #7 in the US charts.

The band was originally third-billed for the Truckstops & Statelines Winter Tour in early 2006, which was headlined by The Academy Is... and included Acceptance as direct support and Hellogoodbye on the line-up. Due to their alarming increase in popularity before and during the tour, the band ended up getting pushed above Acceptance to second-billed every night playing right before the headliner and "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" outsold The Academy Is...'s debut album, "Almost Here" during the tour.

Their second single, "But It's Better If You Do," was released in the UK on May 1st, 2006 where it debuted, and peaked, at #23. The accompanying music video, released the previous month, portrays the band playing in a speakeasy in 1930's America, which, according to Brendon Urie shows "the dark and secluded style of Panic."

'I Write Sins Not Tragedies' Music VideoThe band officially announced the departure of their bassist, Brent Wilson, with a message on the band's website on 17 May 2006. Wilson has since claimed that the decision to leave was not his, and that he was fired without warning for monetary reasons, though the rest of the band deny this. Wilson is now demanding a cut in royalties, and has threatened he will take his former band to court if need be.

Just days after Wilson's departure, the band embarked on their first headlining tour of Europe, with long-time friend of the band, Jon Walker, filling in for the summer tour as a temporary bassist while a permanent replacement was sought. All of the dates were sold out, with some, notably Manchester, selling out in a matter of hours. Upon their return, the band embarked on a two-month North American headlining tour with supporting acts The Hush Sound, OK Go, The Dresden Dolls, and Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque, still retaining Jon Walker as a temporary bassist. On July 3rd of that year, the band's MySpace profile was edited to list Walker as bassist/vocals, and he became a permanent member of Panic! at the Disco.

The success of their first two singles helped catapult their debut album to to the top of the Billboard Independent chart and to #13 on the Billboard 200 in July 2006. The video for I Write Sins Not Tragedies has been streamed from YouTube over 5 million times and the song itself is also the most requested song on New York City radio station Z-100,[citation needed] leading Urie to say he feels the song and video have been overplayed; "[it] isn't the only song we've written."

Towards the end of July 2006 Panic! at the Disco released their third music video, "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off." The video features people with fish tank helmets walking the streets of what appears to be a studio back lot. The video only shows the band in one shot, reportedly because they felt that their looks were distracting from their music.

In early August 2006, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out went platinum, having sold over one million albums.

During P!ATD's opening song on August 25, 2006 at the Carling Weekend: Reading Festival, an unknown audience member threw a bottle at the stage, which struck and temporarily knocked out Brendon Urie, forcing the band to stop playing. After some minutes, he got back up and shouted to the crowd, "You can't take me out! Let's see how well you guys do with my left side," and continued with the same song.

The band embarked on a world tour in the later part of 2006. It included dates in Australia, New Zealand, and continental Europe. On November 7th, 2006, they kicked off their first-ever arena tour with Bloc Party (who shortly dropped out because of drummer Matt Tong suffering a collapsed lung) and Jack's Mannequin. The Plain White T's were added to the next few weeks of The Nothing Rhymes With Circus Tour. They opened up the shows beginning in New York through November 26th in Iowa. After that, Cobra Starship were on the tour through December 9th in San Diego. The band appeared along with Fall Out Boy, Marilyn Manson, and other bands on the special edition soundtrack of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas covering "This is Halloween," which was re-released in 3D on October 20th.

Their most recent and final single from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, "Build God, Then We'll Talk," was released on March 5th 2007. The accompanying music video portrays the fallacy of relationships.

2007: Second Album

According to their manager and Rolling Stone, the band has started working on their second album, of which they have written eight tracks. Recording is tentatively scheduled to begin June 1st, 2007. A title and release date have yet to be confirmed. The band is currently working on the album in a cabin in Nevada. The band commented, saying that it is about a 'love story'. The band planned to have producer Danny Elfman, who worked on the original Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, but have reported to have moved on to producer Rob Mathes, who worked on the re-release of the soundtrack, which Panic! was featured in with a cover of "This is Halloween".

Pete Wentz, the Fall Out Boy bassist who signed Panic!, said in an MTV article that he is "pumped for the [upcoming] Panic LP". He has reportedly heard some of the new material, and also said, "I think it will be all over for anyone else in 2008 if this [one] track is picked as the first single. It has the biggest hook I have ever heard." Wentz also commented on guitarist Ryan Ross, saying, "Ryan [Ross] always likes to keep me guessing or try to freak me out with stuff. So he will message me to tell me that they have just written an amazing song, and I will get excited, then he will message me again to tell me it sounds like 'Aladdin,' and I will feel kind of bemused. Or last week he messaged me to say they had written a song that makes him think of France. He can say some weird stuff."

In May, 2007, it was announced that a Smashing Pumpkins Tribute LP would be released, compiled by Myspace and Spin. The LP will feature Panic!'s cover of "Tonight, Tonight". The CD will be included free in the June 26 issue of Spin.

Panic!, along with Fall Out Boy, was said to be appearing on The Simpsons Movie soundtrack, but both bands confirmed this untrue.


Panic! at the Disco is known for old-style circus shows, where they bring an entourage of contortionists and dancers on stage with them as they perform. At their recent shows at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York and at the Patriot Center in Virginia, Panic! at the Disco performed covers of "Killer Queen" by Queen, and "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles. They also had a notable performance in Times Square during the New Year's Eve celebrations in December 2006/January 2007 with Carson Daly. They performed two of their hit songs, "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" (last performance in 2006) and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" (first performance in 2007). Because the songs were performed on live network television, swear words in the songs went uncensored.

Live, they have also performed cover versions of Third Eye Blind's "Slow Motion", Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight", Counting Crows' "Round Here", and Radiohead's "Karma Police" (in addition to the covers mentioned above).

Band Members

Current members

Brendon Urie - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard, piano, accordion, organ (2005-present)

Ryan Ross - lead guitar, vocals, keyboard, piano, accordion, organ (2005-present)

Jon Walker - bass (2006-present)

Spencer Smith - drums, percussion (2005-present)

Former Members

Brent Wilson - bass (2005-2006)


The band's debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, cites novels by American author Chuck Palahniuk on at least four occasions:

The debut single, "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage" is a quote from the novel Survivor.

The song, "Time to Dance," is a musical synopsis of the novel Invisible Monsters.

The song, "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines," borrows a concept from the book Diary of comparing weather to moods and feelings with very literal meteorological metaphors (i.e. "Just for the record, the weather today is slightly sarcastic, with a good chance of indifference...").

The title of the song "Build God, Then We'll Talk" originates from a quote in the novel Choke.

The songs "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" & "But It's Better If You Do" put together make a quote from the movie Closer, spoken by Natalie Portman.

The band appeared in a YouTube-only version of a video for "Backstabber" by The Dresden Dolls. The two bands toured together and there was endless rumours of conflict between the two bands, so they decided to make a video of members of each band trying to eliminate another as a mockery of this.

While heading on stage to accept the award of best video for "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", Panic! was interrupted by a man named Six, who promoted himself for about five seconds before he was pulled off stage by security. The camera then zoomed back to the band. Walker jokingly said, "That was totally planned," and the band accepted their award with Urie commenting, "He's trying to throw off our thunder."



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