Panic! At The Disco: A Look Back on a Peculiar Career


Brendan Urie in the “Death of a Bachelor” music video.

In 2004, a lonely Las Vegas youth decided to stop singing in the back-room of his diner job and begin putting himself out there. That man was Brendon Urie. Over the next 19 years, he became one of the most recognizable vocalists of our generation, thanks in large part to his band Panic! At The Disco’s debut album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.” 

This album led to a string of more, with seven releases between 2005 and 2022. This made a career spanning three separate decades, full of highs and lows. It also led to numerous band iterations, and eventually saw Urie reform Panic! At The Disco as a solo-project, beginning with 2016’s “Death Of A Bachelor.”

Panic! At The Disco was known for their complex live shows, groovy beats and rhythms, frequently compared to early Fall Out Boy and even My Chemical Romance. Such comparisons helped the band make a massive impact on internet culture during the mid to late 2000s. They performed for the 2005 Nintendo Fusion Tour and were popular on social media sites like Tumblr. The band’s appearance was part of their media presence. Panic!’s button-up shirts and formal wear fit the theatrical, almost choir-like feel of their music. Their sound changed with each album, from the emo-rock of their debut to music similar to psychedelic rock reminiscent of the 60s for their second. They settled into the pop-rock genre for their final five albums, from 2009’s “Vices & Virtues” to 2022’s “Viva Las Vengeance.”

Whether their style and sound polarized listeners remains a subjective statement. But it can’t be forgotten that, as a band, they brought numerous people to the emo genre at its height.

The band’s music began right as the internet took off as the service it is today, with websites like YouTube and MySpace offering both established and prospective fans a place to stay. Their music was also easy to lump in with others of this era. Long song-titles with relatable lyrics were their forte, and they made sure this was given in spades. This led to a steady, slow decline beginning with the band losing their other members from their second album onward. This was met with some hesitancy, as certain listeners saw Panic! as more than Urie, and this slow loss of members continued until 2016. When the band “reformed” as a solo-project, listeners began to look at the music critically, no longer blinded by Urie’s appeal. For the group’s final few albums, they were almost unanimously disliked, bordering on hated, by the original fanbase who had been listening to Panic! for years. This decline continued until Urie finally announced on January 24, 2023 that he is ending Panic! At The Disco following the end of their current tour.

This information came with the revelation that he is going to be a father. Fans supported this decision, proof that Panic! At The Disco’s popularity isn’t fading anytime soon. Maybe we’ll get some more Brendon Urie action after a few years of fatherhood. However, it seems he finally decided to close that “goddamn door,” maybe once and for all.