Local Indianapolis radio station, 99.5 WZPL, hosted their annual “Jingle Jam” concert on December 12th and 13th. The first night they had opening acts, Hey Violet and Gavin DeGraw, and headliner X Ambassadors. The second night had opening acts, Daya and Jon Bellion, and headliner Panic! At the Disco.
When I first heard about the artists performing for this years “Jingle Jam” I knew I had to at least go to see Panic!. On that cold Tuesday night I got in line just as the doors opened, by the time I got there it had wrapped around a tour bus and down the street a little. Luckily, the line moved quickly and I was able to find a decent spot to stand and watch the show.
Daya was the first on stage, and performed about five songs. Her two hit songs “Hide Away” and “Sit Still, Look Pretty” were mixed in through her set. I am not very familiar with Daya and her music, but I was impressed with her voice and some of her lesser known songs. She was a great beginning to the show. Her sound is poppy and upbeat, which got the crowd in a good mood for the remainder of the evening.
Next, Jon Bellion entered the stage. He started with some technical difficulties but once the music started the crowd was jumping with Bellion and making the floor bounce under my feet. He had a mix of rap, pop, and pop music, and his presence on stage brought a whole different atmosphere to the venue. He had an energy on stage that was palpable, especially when his current hit song “All Time Low” started.
Finally, Panic! At the Disco hit the stage, opening with one of my favorite songs “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” from their latest album “Death Of A Bachelor.” Panic!’s show was perfectly balanced; they didn’t stop after each song to talk about the next song, but made it obvious where one song ended and the other started. Panic! has been putting out hits since the early 2000’s with their first album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” many people know their hit song from that time “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” which of course was performed that night along with some of their other hit songs from throughout the years.
As they performed, they played some songs from their previous albums as well as their most recent album, but one of the most memorable performances of the night was when singer Brendon Urie walked over to the grand piano stating how he wished they had written this song, and then started the opening chords to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
I personally am a fan of Queen, but like many people, I know the lyrics to the iconic song. So when Panic! began to play this beloved song I was in awe. It had to be one of the best covers I have heard of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and I was transformed to the many times I had the song blaring in my car singing at the top of my lungs. It was a great surprise to an already amazing concert.
I found a new appreciation for their current hit song, “Death of a Bachelor,” after Urie spoke of how he dedicated the song to Frank Sinatra. With the big band jazz sound behind the iconic voice of Urie, the influence of Sinatra is obvious. The song is soulful but has the obvious Panic! sound that fans have grown to know and love.
By the end of the night my ears were ringing from the screams of the girls surrounding me and my feet were sore from standing for hours but I was still so impressed with the whole concert, it was all I could think about. From beginning to end the whole night was filled with amazing artists and great music. I would recommend all three of these artists to anyone who is looking for a night of fun and music, and with three very different genres of music, there was something for everyone.