Sunday, May 11, 2008

Not quite a Panic! on this year's Honda Civic Tour

Justin Pierre of Motion City Soundtrack performs at the Chevrolet Theater

By Jennifer Penna
photo by Amy Willard

The Honda Civic Tour, which hit Connecticut, on Saturday May 10th proved to be a night of entertainment, great sound, and of course rock. The concert opened just before 6:30 PM with Doug Neuman, a jazz cover artist. While he demonstrated he has a good voice, singing songs like Fall Out Boy’s "Dance Dance," placed him outside of the style of the concert.

It wasn’t until 7:00 PM when Phantom Planet took the stage, dawning their own band shirts and jackets, that the audience rose to their feet. Even though they got off to a rough start with some rocky vocals, the band had electrifying energy and guitar solos performing songs off their Raise the Dead album such as "Geronimo," "Do the Panic," "The Living Dead," and their hit single "California" off The Guest record.

After a fifteen minute intermission, The Hush Sound performed keeping the momentum that Phantom Planet had generated. After Brendan Urie, lead singer of Panic at the Disco, came out to perform a quick solo, The Hush Sound continued by rocking out their hit songs "Honey" and "Wine Red." These songs show the audience that they are a band to watch out for and that they have a surprisingly good sound. The alternative rock quartet from Chicago have a jazz type feel with the piano that adds an element a lot of other bands today do not have.

Motion City Soundtrack's set soon followed and really got fans excited. They had such a strong opening with "My Favorite Accident" and their high energy continued throughout their performance. The few technical difficulties they experienced did not take away from the intense enthusiasm the band showed. After hearing and seeing them perform "Everything," "Broken Heart," "Time Turned," and many others, anyone can tell that Motion City Soundtrack has really come into their own and improved their stage presence and it seems they are only going to get better from here.

Everyone in the audience was standing from the moment they entered the stage to the last note of the last song even through the slower songs like ‘Last Night.’ The entire band was constantly moving and jumping around including the keyboardist and the drummer. The performance ended with their hit "The Future Freaks Me Out" and the entire band throwing everything off stage from drum sticks to water bottles and set lists leaving the audience to try and grab anything they can from the band’s amazing set.

The main event for the evening, Panic at the Disco, took to the stage with their sophomore album Pretty Odd With the new songs came a new sound that has a mix of hard and soft rock with positive lyrics. While they played a good amount of new and old tracks, the audience seemed to have more energy then the band, which is unlike their previous shows.

Many of their hit singles such as "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies," were slowed down in tempo and did not have the same power that they once did. "Strike Up The Band" showed a little excitement with the guitar solos, but it seemed like the entire band and especially the lead singer, Urie, were holding back. "Folkin Around" also added a country sound to the mix whereas songs like "Northern Downpour" had more of Beatles type sound. Even though many of the fans were excited just to be at the concert, Panic at the Disco seemed to be just a shadow of their former selves.