Panic! at the Disco to end after 19 years, frontman Brendon Urie says


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Consider the angsty aughts one step closer to the history books: Panic! at the Disco, the pop rock band that went double platinum with its theatrical, borderline-baroque 2005 album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” will be no more.

Brendon Urie, the only musician left from the original group, announced the news in a post on the band’s Instagram page on Tuesday. “It’s been a hell of a journey,” he wrote. “Growing up in Vegas I could’ve never imagined where this life would take me. So many places all over the world, and all the friends we’ve made along the way.”

Urie, 35, shared that he and his wife, Sarah, are expecting a baby and that he plans to focus on his family.

Call it the final “Death of a Bachelor.”

Perhaps it’s no surprise that a band with the word “Panic!” in its name began in a Nevada high school in 2004. It was an era of heavy black eyeliner and equally heavy sentiments. The Scene kids were thriving. The emo kids were thrashing on sweaty concert floors. It was the year of Green Day’s “American Idiot” and My Chemical Romance’s “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.”

But Panic! at the Disco, with its wordy song names, high drama and over-the-top aesthetic that veered toward the burlesque and the vintage, stood on its own.

Formed by Urie and childhood friends Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith and Brent Wilson while they were still teenagers, the band gained prominence with the restless, propulsive track “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” which tells the story of a cheating bride and an interrupted wedding.

A time capsule from a bygone era, the song’s music video features the band members in typically eccentric sartorial choices: Urie in a top hat, red suit and magic cane, and his bandmates in outfits you would expect of chimney sweepers in 1875.

In their early days, they were accused of having ghostwriters and were “hated” by other Las Vegas bands, Urie told the Evening Standard in 2016. “It made me so happy, the fact that everyone was hating on us so hard,” Urie said. “We just thought, ‘Wow, people are really taking notice. Let’s have a ball with it.’”

Bolstered by traditional instruments like the trumpet and the organ, their music gave adolescent woes a sense of grandiosity — particularly fitting for a 16-year-old listening on an iPod Mini and wrestling with enough emotion to fill a cathedral.

“Swear to shake it up if you swear to listen / Oh, we’re still so young but desperate for attention,” Urie belts on “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage.”

Other early hits include the retro, cabaret-inspired But It’s Better If You Do,” and “Nine in the Afternoon” and “That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)” — the latter two from the psychedelic 2008 album “Pretty. Odd.” and laden with marijuana subtext. (We all knew why her eyes were “the size of the moon.”)

Over the years, Panic! at the Disco has built on its early success — even as its band members have left and even as the Scene kids have become adults with office jobs.

The original bassist, Wilson left in a messy split in 2006. In 2009, guitarist Ross and replacement bassist Jon Walker departed, citing creative differences.

Drummer Smith and Urie continued, bringing on multi-instrumentalist Dallon Weekes. Smith left in 2015, saying he wasn’t able to be there for the band in the way “he wanted to be,” followed by Weekes in 2017.

“Getting to see [Panic! at the disco] grow from 4 kids in my parents garage to what it is now has been incredible,” Smith said in a letter to fans that was published by Billboard upon his departure.

Urie carried “Panic! at the Disco” through its final years. He has described his influences as Queen meets Frank Sinatra, and he told the Evening Standard that he kept the name because it carries an excitement that he — a relatively low-profile figure — couldn’t match.

Urie plans to wrap up that solo project after the upcoming European tour promoting his most recent album, “Viva Las Vengeance.”

The final tour date, March 10 in Manchester, England, is sold out.





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