Last night Cleveland was graced with the presence of not only one amazing band, but three.
The night started with Magic Man, a five-piece indie pop band from Boston. They formed in 2010, but they’ve already released three albums in the past four years, their most recent one being Before the Waves which was released earlier this month. The band was full of energy throughout their whole set, and Alex Caplow, the lead vocalist of Magic Man, has definitely mastered the art of simultaneously dancing, singing, performing, and engaging the audience. At one point during the concert he even got off stage and went into the crowd.
After Magic Man got the crowd pumped for an amazing night, Walk the Moon began prepping for their set. Victoria and I were sitting in the bleachers overlooking the area where bands enter the stage when we were lucky enough to witness Walk the Moon jump around in a cult-like circle. After they did their pre-show ritual, they entered the stage to the Game of Thrones theme song, also known as the infamous Rains of Castamere. I must admit that I enjoyed this part of the show way more than I should have, but it was nice hearing this hard core adrenaline-pumping song before a concert rather than an hour of pure bloodshed. Other than Walk the Moon’s use of the Game of Thrones theme song to make their grand entrance, the rest of the show didn’t really have any more surprises, but it was still great. They perform well live and have definitely come a long way since Victoria and I saw them at the Beachland Ballroom two years ago.
Once Walk the Moon finished their long set, it was finally time to get ready for the mania that surrounds Panic! At the Disco. Victoria and I saw Panic! back in January at the House of Blues, so I thought I knew what was in store for this show, but clearly I did not. First of all, the stage at Jacob’s Pavilion is fairly larger than the stage at the House of Blues, so Panic! was able to do more with the space that they were given. They had several screens on stage that played little silent vignettes throughout the show. Panic! first came on after a Western themed video played, featuring some cowboy boots and tumble weed which was pretty awesome. The videos that played throughout the show definitely added a nice touch and made the entire concert into one big story, each song furthering the story one step at a time.
In addition to the videos throughout the concert, the energy last night was just completely different than it was in January. Maybe it was the fact that Yahoo was taping last night’s performance for a live stream, or maybe it was because of the venue, but Panic! brought a whole new level of charisma to their show. Brendon Urie (lead vocalist) took off his shirt a lot earlier in the set then he usually does, Dallon Weekes (bassist) tore his quadricep on the third song while getting crazy, and half way through the show a torrential down pour of rain, lightening, and thunder commenced as an obvious result of the heat being produced by Panic! and the wild crowd.
As for the way Panic! sounded, it was also different than in January. I think that no matter where Panic! At the Disco performs, they will always sound good, but I happened to prefer them at the House of Blues only because the sound quality was better. Every time I’ve seen a band at Jacob’s Pavilion, I’ve always been underwhelmed. Amphitheaters were first made in Ancient Greece and Rome for the purpose of amplifying the sound so everyone in the arena could hear the performance at a time when microphones weren’t a thing, so when you see a performance with microphones today, it’s just way too much. The sound tends to shoot way past you and echo, versus wrapping around you like it does at the House of Blues. That being said, Brendon Urie has an unbelievably powerful and rich voice, and did a great job dealing with the tricky acoustics at Jacob’s Pavilion. His vocal range is beyond impressive and just leaves you gawking after each song. In addition to sounding great, the sound is also unique and unlike any other band out there. Their songs are unique in that they not only have great rhythms, but the lyrics are also brilliant. I find that now a days bands either have great lyrics or great beats, but never both. Panic! is the rare 21st century exception. However, even though I love all of Panic’s songs, the real highlight of the show was when they did a cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Brendon’s voice is perfect for that song, the rest of the band nailed it, and a scene from Wayne’s World was playing on the screens behind Panic, so basically it was perfect. Words cannot do justice to their performance, so I’ll just let you watch it for yourself (the link to Yahoo’s live stream of the performance is below, or you can just google it).