T in the Park - Panic at the Disco

Changing men

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Panic at the Disco

Less than two years ago Panic at the Disco were the thinking emo kid’s pin-up of choice. Since they shot to fame, they’ve dropped the punctuation, abandoned their punk fanbase and discovered their inner pop tarts. Rebecca Moore reports

It’s hard to be cool when you were ‘discovered’ on the internet by Pete Wentz with only three songs in your repertoire and your ‘fans’ were a few thousand e-friends who thought you were totally hot. Still, you’ve got to give Panic at the Disco points for trying.

They dropped the superfluous ! from their name, kicked out their original bassist and infamously told the NME that emo was ‘bullshit’ while proclaiming themselves to be the next Radiohead. These days vocalist Brendon Urie refuses to comment on those particular events, but he does admit that the band were never concerned about alienating their original fans when they abandoned of their old style. ‘We just felt it didn’t apply to what we were trying to do anymore,’ he says.

Things happen quickly for Panic at the Disco. Four years after forming, the band found themselves recording at Abbey Road Studios, which undoubtedly had an influence on the Beatles-y sound of the second album, Pretty Odd. ‘It was just an awesome place to be, and an awesome experience to have, especially so early in our career,’ muses Urie.

Despite the unashamed new direction in sound, Urie says that the band aren’t embarrassed by debut record A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. ‘We are really proud of that record. I mean, we were so young when we started writing and when we play live it holds up really well,’ he said.

The band head to T in the Park to play the NME stage on Sunday, and punters can expect to observe another shift in PATD’s focus: the dumping of the usual over-the-top live performances. ‘The show is really more about the songs now and less about the theatrics,’ explains Urie. ‘We feel the songs really speak for themselves, so we are really into just playing live.’

They’re no stranger to UK festivals, having previously played the Carling Weekend in 2006, where Urie was clocked a sconer by a bottle hurtling out of the crowd. Still, he insists that the band don’t face UK festivals with any feeling of trepidation. ‘You never know what’s gonna happen, but we know that T is one of the best festivals out there,’ he says. ‘The audiences here are just really amazing.’

Panic at the Disco play the Radio 1/NME Stage, Sun 13 Jul.

T in the Park

From relatively humble beginnings, T in the Park has become the acknowledged behemoth of the Scottish festival scene and one of the UK's largest events. In 2015 the festival moved from its longstanding Balado location to the new grounds of Strathallan Castle in Perthshire. Bands appearing in 2016 include The Stone…

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