Wednesday, 8 February 2012

An Abstract Substance Addiction.

I think that perhaps I have an addiction. On Monday and Tuesday of last week (30th and 31st Jan) I went to the concerts of All Time Low and Panic! At The Disco and now, seven days later, I'm experiencing that lousy come-down realisation that life is pretty much rubbish away from the rush of all that.

It was the fourth time I'd seen All Time Low, but this hardly dampened the euphoria. They create a stupidly addictive sense of enjoyment that is quite beyond most bands' capabilities, and you can feel it in the energy of every single audience member (not a sappy comment - the truth). The O2 Academy in Bristol is not giant, but that didn't matter to the masses of people crushing together in a half-jump-half-squeeze dancing combination. The only thing they were focussed on was the band up on the stage, systematically switching between songs, innuendos and calls for more dancing. It's an electric feeling that means I don't care how many times I see them. It'll probably go on for ever.

That being said, Panic! At The Disco prompt a different kind of psychosis. It was my second time seeing them play live and you could tell from the offset that the crowd were much more serious about these guys. That's not to say that ATL's crowd weren't as serious in their admiration, or to say that Panic! request a serious audience. It was just a different level of respect, more akin to worship than the new-best-bud atmosphere ATL tend to evoke. The setlist was much longer than the standard, at 20 songs including two covers, but the evening went by in a flash. And by this I'm not even referring to the stripping of lead singer Brendon Urie doing the encore. You could say it's because the crowd asked, but I'm pretty sure it has become Urie's signature goodbye-gift to his fans, and I won't pretend it isn't crazily appreciated. The banter between songs is personal but entertaining, from (basically serious) jokes about the songs and stories of Urie's mother, Panic! present everything with insane addictive energy. It was because of this that after I first saw them in concert back in May 2011, I was subject to three whole months of unending obsession where I couldn't go 30 minutes without listening to one of their songs or checking their twitter feed/website homepage etc. etc. This time, I forced myself (for health reasons) to be cautious, so the subsequent fever has been mild enough to cope with. That being said, I can't really fully express how much I like their music and the atmosphere they so easily create, and how affecting it is to me and thousands of other fans. I guess it's just something you have to experience for yourself.

One question to ponder over, however, is whether Dallon Weekes and Ian Crawford, the guitar and bass players who have been touring with Panic! since the start of last year's tour, will become permanent members of the band? They certainly fit in with Brendon and Spencer as if it was always these four guys, and not Ryan Ross and Jon Walker in the original outfit. Either way, it looks like it's set like this for a while, and I'm certainly cool with it.

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