Music » Livewire

Panic! at the Disco

With The Academy Is . . ., HelloGoodbye, and Acceptance. Tuesday, March 21, at House of Blues.

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Looking like terribly well-dressed Goonies, these supple-cheeked boys in velvet blazers strike serious poses and make such studworthy claims as "I've got more wit/A better kiss/A hotter touch/A better fuck/Than any boy you'll ever meet." Brendan Urie's near-falsetto begs us to snap our fingers and tap our feet. And audiences are obliging with much more than dance moves; kids are practically throwing their underwear onstage when P!ATD performs "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off."

While there's a fair dose of emocore, the band's headfirst approach not only to its music, but to the music industry ("The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage"), shows that there is no ground upon which they will not tread. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out is a full-feature split-personality musical developed after Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz heard one of only two songs recorded by the group. Electronica, accordion, honky-tonk piano, metal-influenced guitar, and disco drumming all play key roles. In this ensemble piece, self-awareness and confident experimentation pave a promising road for kids who are barely old enough to drive.

The band heads out on that road with much less serious tourmate HelloGoodbye, which offers quirky, increasingly heavy-sounding love songs, such as "Jesse Buy Nothing," a crazy, spooky-synth number about a prom invitation. It's no less sexy than anything Urie sings -- if you like boys who can scream and serenade while wearing grass-green "short" shorts.

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