A fever that was sweat out

Amanda Kalaydjian, Contributing Writer

It’s 2014. As I biked home from Middle School, songs from my “holy emo trinity” playlist blasted through my wired headphones. Alternating between “AFYCSO” (A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out) and “Pretty. Odd.” was my after-school ritual, before getting on my laptop and surfing through Tumblr.

By the time I became a die-hard fan, Ryan Ross had already left the band in a break-up that left P!ATD (Panic! At the Disco) fans heart-broken.

To be completely honest, I never liked Brendon Urie. No one could deny that he was a gifted singer, and that his vocal chords were a divine intervention from heaven for misunderstood teens around the world. But it was Ryan Ross’s lyricism that made Panic! At The Disco special, and what propelled the group into stardom.

There is a clear shift in the quality of lyrics after the band’s first two albums, because while Brendon Urie can sing, Ryan Ross was the band’s poet. After Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left the band in 2009 to form The Young Veins, many fans stopped listening entirely because subsequent albums just didn’t pack the same emotional punch.

It was true that Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith wanted to make changes to the band’s musical style, and later albums prove it. “Vices and Virtues”, “Too Weird to Live”, “Too Rare to Die”, and “Death of a Bachelor” display a different kind of sound that feels as if they were produced for the radio and the Billboard Hot 100. But was that the only reason why Ryan Ross left the band? Die-hard fans know the theory that Brendon and Ryan were secretly in love, and that their professional split was also an emotional one. Whether or not you believe it (I secretly do), Panic! was no longer the “son” of the “holy emo trinity”.

Despite Dallon Weekes joining the band in 2010 for live performances, fans often joked that it had become Brendon! At The Disco. Now in 2023, Brendon is ending this solo journey after announcing that he and his wife Sara are expecting a child together. His final performance will be on March 10, in Manchester.

Panic! At the Disco was the first concert I ever went to in 2016 during “The Death Of A Bachelor” tour. In the audience, fans organized an effort to pass out different colored, paper hearts for people to shine over their phone flashlights in different sections. When the entire audience did it together, a rainbow appeared in the crowd. It was a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride, and as someone who had just come out as bisexual to many of their friends, it was a genuinely heart-warming moment.

A year prior, The Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage across the country. Although people were still homophobic, it felt like a win for the LGBTQ+ community. The concert felt like a place of whimsical celebration and unquestionable love. Even though I preferred the band’s earlier music, I knew that I had found a place of acceptance in the fandom.

Panic! has come a long way from rehearsing in their grandparent’s living room in Las Vegas. But eighteen years later, it seems as if the fever has finally been sweat out.

(Visited 214 times, 1 visits today)