Tag Archives: Live

Concert Review: Panic! At The Disco – Alexandra Palace, London, 19.11.16

By Joanna Cosgrove

This year has been one of the greatest for the pop-punk band (technically a one-man-band at this point), and as it began with some great UK shows by Mr. Brendon Urie and his tour band, it’s only right to end the year with some too.

At London’s own Alexandra Palace, Urie made his debut at the beautiful venue that Saturday night, and brought every last bit of that charismatic and sparkling personality we all know and we all sure as hell love.
With his tour band, consisting of guitarist Kenneth Harris, bassist Dallon Weekes and drummer Dan Pawlovich, Urie rocked the place all night long, never missing a beat or skipping a note (but in fact added some extra high notes, as he does them oh so well). With a nostalgic throwback to the 2000s era of the band, mixing in a fair share of the newer tracks in the band’s repertoire, the night was a sure success among all fans in attendance, young and old.

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The show began with an opener of the Black Eyed Peas’ hit “Pump It”, but that wasn’t a long-laster. It was just a short warm-up, getting everyone pumped for the experience that was about to begin. It worked! Because as soon as that music faded and the beginning notes of Death of a Bachelor hit “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” echoed, everyone was dancing and screaming and singing and – if they were like me – were jumping in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the man behind the voice.
Nothing sparks a fire in the crowd more than the LA devotee himself screaming his welcomes at his “motherf*ckers” in the audience of over 100,000 before him. There was not one moment on stage where Urie stopped and breathed – he kept going, kept his feet moving and hit every note he needed to.

I would personally say one of the surprise hits on the setlist was the Fever track “Time To Dance”, because of that fact itself: it’s a track from the band’s debut album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, which was released over 11 years ago. And yet, Urie added this non-single track because obviously, he knows what his audience loves to hear. Everyone in the place was singing along, dedicated to every word of that track, singing their lungs out for the love of their emo idol on that stage.
Another stunner that night was the performance of newer track “Crazy=Genius” from Death of a Bachelor. The energy was electric, and the roaring 20s feel shook through everyone on the floor, but how could you make that effect even greater? Two words: drum off! That’s right, some stage-hands brought on a second drum kit so Urie himself could play alongside/battle against Pawlovich in a once-in-a-lifetime breakdown in the middle of the track. If crazy equals genius, then Urie sure is a rocket scientist! We know of his musical talents, among multiple instruments (as demonstrated on his 2016 release), but to see it with your own eyes just makes the fact so much clearer. It was time to pinch; this was NO dream!
And what’s a Panic! concert without that one song? That ONE single? You hear the beginning notes, you freak out because of course “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” was going to be played. One does not simply go to a Panic! concert without expecting that song. Introduced as “one of our newer songs, so don’t worry if you don’t know the words”, met with an obvious giggle from the crowd, every single fan had that bond for a few short minutes because no matter if you’re an old fan, or newly getting into the band, you know this song. This was the song.

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And I can’t finish this without a mention of a regular now in Panic! concerts, which everyone expected as soon as they saw Urie make that stroll up to the grand piano on the highest platform of the stage. “This isn’t a Panic! song, but I wish it was”, said Urie as he prepared. This was time for “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
As I began with, 2016 has been a massive year for Panic! At The Disco, and this song was one of the reasons. As well as being released as a studio recording as part of the soundtrack for the DC movie Suicide Squad, Panic! has made this classic rock hit a regular in their concerts and every fan gets excited about this as much as they do about the original Panic! hits. It’s that song that brought us all together, swaying, singing, some were crying. It shows that the whole room, they are a family; every one of us are one large family. That is what a fandom should be. What we felt in that moment. One family.

Overall, with the performances and the interactions with the crowd (Urie spreading his love among the thousands in front of him), there was never a dull moment that night.

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This was Panic! At The Disco’s first performance ever at the Alexandra Palace. Thank god we made it a memorable one!

Rating: 5/5

Chesney Hawkes – Live At The Pheasantry in London

Though Chesney Hawkes may only be primarily remembered for that one song, there is a lot more to this musician than that single track. Coming onto the stage at this small venue, he is warmly greeted by the crowd. He begins an acoustic version of ‘The One And Only’, so does the mean he is playing his big hit first? Well, he gets to the end of the first verse and says “Thank you, good night”. Laughs ensue throughout the show, Chesney is not someone who hates the idea of being seen as a one-hit wonder in the public, as he knows he has more to offer than that.

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The night sees a musical journey happen. Beginning with songs from the 1991 film Buddy’s Song, we hear ‘I’m A Man, Not A Boy’ and ‘Secrets Of The Heart’ which brings back memories for many who heard these songs on that first album (or maybe even saw the film?). We also get treated to tracks from his most recent release REAL LIFE LOVE, such as ‘John Lennon Lived Here’ (co-written with Nik Kershaw) and the rather personal ‘Aeroplane’ taking the breath away from this audience (with additional vocals from his sister). As the night goes on, we get to hear his attempt at country music (which is great) and his cover from his father’s band The Tremeloes (also brilliant) fills the impressive playlist (also, high praise to the string quartet who were helping on the night). Then the night comes closer to finishing, and we get ‘Another Fine Mess’ which brings a sing-a-long to proceedings and ultimately leads to ‘The One And Only’ as everyone chants them famous words ever so loudly! A nice touch is the two supports from earlier that night, Anthony Starble and Percival Elliott, come on stage too to make the performance truly spectacular! The night ends, and the encore we get is a top cover of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. Truly, Chesney Hawkes knows how to put on a great show.

I went in knowing a handful of songs from Chesney, and I was glad at how many tracks I did actually remember. He sounds great still, even with nearly 25 years passing since his debut; he still looks younger than I am! The songs are fun, there is a lot to take from this set that is engaging and I honesty enjoyed this show! It is a shame Chesney doesn’t get the attention he deserves, a great showman and a performer who wows his audience with ease. Will definitely see him again!

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove