October 19, 2008 – Following performances by Dashboard Confessional, The Plain White T's, and The Cab, Fueled By Ramen artists Panic At The Disco closed out Rock Band Live Tour in a big, bright performance that had the house on their feet and singing back every word.
In comparison to “Baroque Pop” look of their 2005 tour for A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, the Las Vegas rock band came out in threads inspired by the 1970s, rather that the 1700s, sporting paisley and stripes.
Brendon Urie led the charge on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, joined on his right by Ryan Ross on lead guitar. The two frequently came together on stage to play together and seemed to be having a great time on stage.
Relative newcomer Jon Walker took up position stage left and was the most low-key member of the band at the front of the stage in comparison to the more exuberant Urie and Ross. Walker replaced former bassist Brent Wilson in 2006.
At the back of the stage, Spencer Smith kept tight beat, positioned on a five-foot circular platform stage right. A touring keyboardist was seated on another platform stage left.
After performances by three other bands, Panic At The Disco took the stage at 9:40 PM. Compared to Dashboard Confessional's slightly slower-paced songs, the first three for Panic really flew by.
The stage for this tour is about five-feet tall, so it's actually quite reasonable as far as arena gigs go. In addition, the only crates in the pit projecting out from the stage were isolated to the sides of the stage, while the center was open, so it was possible to get up fairly close.
Coming right after Dashboard Confessional, which had the best lighting of the night in terms of being photo-friendly, Panic's stage treatment was disappointing.
The lighting for the first three songs was rather “dirty,” with lots of contrasting color combinations, such as red and blue or red and green. There was essentially no pure white light, and most of the light at the front of the stage took the form of orange-ish tints.
I shot this set with the Nikon D3 and D700, with the Nikon 24-70mm and Nikon 70-200, respectively. The range of these two was just fine for this performance. If I were only shooting with one body, I think the 24-70mm would have served me very well with few lens changes.
Stay tuned for the full sets from the rest of Rock Band Live! The lighting for Dashboard is good, I promise. I thought the lighting for The Plain White T's was very photogenic as well, especially the first song.
In the meantime, check out images from Panic's performance at the Pageant earlier this year, which had some great lights.
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