If I’d still been in high school in the late 2000s, I have the sneaking suspicion that I would have been listening to a lot of Panic! At the Disco (aka P!AtD).
They’ve got the same je ne sais quoi as the bands I did listen to through high school—a balance between pop, certainly being well-known, but not quite being completely mainstream.
What a shame, then, that I wasn’t still a brooding teenager in 2005 who would surely have been attracted to songs with titles like ‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies’ and ‘Build God, Then We’ll Talk’. After all, I was into Green Day and Blink-182 in the late 90s. P!AtD were just a decade too late for me*.
Fortunately, it’s not actually a requirement to be a part of any specific demographic at any specific time to discover a new band for yourself, even if they’re not so new to the rest of the world. I found myself hanging out with my friend Ray at the RMIT Queer Lounge just six weeks ago, trying to figure out how to work the YouTube streaming function on the television. After a test run—Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’, which I was as horrified that Ray didn’t know as they were that I didn’t know P!AtD—we watched the video for ‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies’.
I realised a few things very quickly:
- I had in fact heard the song before, I just hadn’t known the performers.
- Brendon Urie is insanely pretty.
- The production values for the video made it a lovely, eerie piece of artwork.
- AAAAH WHY ALL THE MASKS?
Masks or no masks, I was hooked, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching more videos with Ray before running off to class.
Eleven years after ‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies’, Brendon Urie is the sole original member of P!AtD still performing with the band. The reasons behind the line-up change are varied depending on the performer, but not every band that forms in high school stays together (although they seem to do better than high school romances). Regardless of the band’s line-up, they are still doing incredibly well for themselves.
*This is a lie. I am still a brooding teenager at heart.