Recently, Panic! at the Disco announced that the band was officially splitting. While many pointed out that the band technically disbanded years ago, fans around the world were heartbroken at the news. In honor of the band’s nearly 20-year reign, let’s take a walk down memory lane and revisit the sensational band from the beginning.
It all started in Las Vegas, Nevada, circa 2004. Ryan Ross, a singer and guitarist, joined with Spencer Smith, a drummer, to form a band. They were only in high school, but this was the start of a legacy beyond their wildest dreams.
Later in 2004, the band welcomed members Brendon Urie, a singer, and Brent Wilson, a bassist who was later kicked out of the band in 2006 due to “lack of responsibility,” according to fellow members.
The four-man band released their first album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” on Sept. 27, 2005. The album has 13 tracks, and set the tone for the group’s notorious pop-punk and emo sound. This was also bassist Wilson’s only album with the band before his departure in 2006. He was later replaced by Jon Walker.
Panic! at the Disco’s sophomore album, “Pretty. Odd.,” was released a little over two years later on March 21, 2008. It featured 16 tracks. This album shocked audiences with a sound reminiscent of 1960s pop. It is known for presenting deep, relatable messages and themes wrapped in whimsical, sunny packaging.
“Vices and Virtues,” the band’s third album, hit shelves on March 22, 2011. It has 13 tracks, and this album is thought to be the epitome of Panic!’s emo sound. This is the first album without Ross and Walker, who both left the band on July 6, 2009. This is also the first album with Dallon Weekes, the band’s new guitarist.
Just a little over two years later, Panic! at the Disco dropped its fourth album, “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!” This album included 10 songs and set out to capture the neon-lit vibe of Las Vegas. This was Smith’s last album with the group, preceding his departure on April 2, 2015.
January 15, 2016 gave listeners the fifth Panic! at the Disco album, “Death of a Bachelor.” Recorded just before Urie’s wedding to Sarah Orzechowski, the album featured 11 electronic emo anthems. This was the final album of Weekes, who left on Dec. 27, 2017.
As the sole member of the band that had contained several different musicians through the years, Urie released the sixth album under the band’s name on June 22, 2018 titled, “Pray for the Wicked.” The 11 tracks on this album take on a mainstream pop sound, which left many long-time listeners disappointed. Similar to their debut album, this album includes many allusions to Urie’s religious upbringing.
In the middle of the 2020 pandemic, Urie went quiet on all social media, turning all of his profile pictures to black. This caused many fans to speculate on his personal life, as well as what this may mean for the future of Panic!. Their fears were later resolved, though.
Panic! at the Disco, although Urie remains the only member, released its final album, “Viva Las Vengeance,” on Aug. 19, 2022. Once again, all 12 tracks were pop songs, which resulted in a great deal of criticism on TikTok. Many claimed that Urie’s vocals sounded strained on the various impossibly-high notes throughout this new album.
Through the years, there have been many music videos. Many of them feature a puppet of Urie, which has been named “The Amazing Beebo,” in reference to the singer’s nickname among fans. The videos tell the story of Beebo’s life, including his hardships and rise to fame. The videos that do not include Beebo are also very unique to Panic!, and add a deeper layer to many beloved tunes.
Finally, Urie made an Instagram post on Jan. 24, announcing that this was truly the end for Panic! at the Disco. He also announced that he and his wife, Sarah, would soon welcome their first child. The end of this era left thousands of fans heartbroken, but in the words of Panic! at the Disco’s song “Nicotine,” “It’s better to burn than to fade away.” Thankfully, there are several albums of beautiful songs for listeners to enjoy and reminisce with for years to come.
As an avid listener since 2016, I am not disappointed with the ending. Personally, I was not a huge fan of their two newest albums, so I feel that it is better to quit while they’re ahead and end this chapter before it gets worse. The several great albums certainly outshine the not-so-great ones, and this just needs to be taken for what it is — the end of a fabulous era.
While there may not be new music from Urie, several former members have participated in musical projects following their time in Panic! The Young Veins is the band of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker. Dallon Weekes also has several songs with bands I Don’t Know How, But They Found Us and The Brobecks. The era of Panic! at the Disco has finally come to an end, after 18 years of tours, albums and features on other artists’ songs. The band is currently on tour, though, supporting their final album. Presumably, this is also the final tour. The final days of Panic! at the Disco are now, which are days that many fans never wanted to happen.