Panic! At the Disco perform hits and entire album “Viva Las Vengeance” at Houston show

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Fans outside the Panic at the Disco concert at Toyota Center on Saturday, August 10, 2022. Photo: Dave Rossman/Contributor

Panic! At the Disco’s current Viva Las Vengeance tour is really two shows in one.

The first and last acts were filled with familiar singles and hits: Janet-inspired “Miss Jackson,” upbeat lead single “Nine in the Afternoon,” and “Victorious.” An impeccably styled Brendon Urie kicked off, appropriately, with “Say Amen (Saturday Night),” an instant showcase for the piercing, full-bodied moan that is his signature vocal.

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The Saturday night show at Toyota Center was the second on the tour, following its Thursday night debut in Austin. Panic! last played locally in 2019 at RodeoHouston.

Panic at the Disco singer Brendon Urie performs during his show at Toyota Center on Saturday, August 10, 2022. Photo: Dave Rossman/Contributor

Between the hits was the new album “Viva Las Vengeance”, released less than a month ago. All. Every song. Back to back. Urie led his group through the 12 tracks, in the order they appear on the album. It’s a bold move in front of a crowd that’s there to sing along with what they know and just an unfamiliar refrain away from a bathroom break or a bar.

It’s to Urie’s credit as a showman that he kept most fans enthralled and in their place. The title track plays very well live. “Don’t Let the Light Go Out” sounds like a lost gem from the “Grease” soundtrack. “God Killed Rock and Roll” riffs on Queen, from piano buildup to rockabilly breakdown.

Urie was backed by a band that included string and brass trios on an elegant stage with tracks that enclosed a fan pit in the center. Multi-colored lasers shot to the top of the room and added extra sparkle to a series of confetti explosions.

Fans outside the Panic at the Disco concert at Toyota Center on Saturday, August 10, 2022. Photo: Dave Rossman/Contributor

There were passed out girls and guys singing along with every word and picking up multiple items from the merchandise stands. Fist-pumping bros. Young children with their parents.

Urie seemed surprised by the song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, the 2006 single that gave Panic! his first shot. He

“Seventeen years and this song has never been harder,” he said.

Panic at the Disco singer Brendon Urie performs during his show at Toyota Center on Saturday, August 10, 2022. Photo: Dave Rossman/Contributor

The song “Girls/Girls/Boys” inspired a more orchestrated reaction. Thousands of lights representing the LGBTQ+ Pride flag lit up the hall at the start. The exhibit was organized by PATDHearts, a fan-run group dedicated to “love and acceptance.” Volunteers create multicolored hearts that include the message ‘Love is not a choice’. They’re placed on the seats before the show starts, along with instructions for shining your phone’s flashlight through the cutout during the song. The colors are blocked by section, creating a rainbow effect.

Urie doesn’t talk much between songs. But why talk when you can sing like that? “Death of a Bachelor” was outstanding, and Urie sounded as good or better than the recording. He closed it with “High Hopes,” his biggest hit about staying true to your dreams, even if they seem impossible.

As Urie sang the upbeat chorus — “Shoot for the stars when I couldn’t kill / Hadn’t had a dime but still had a vision” — he sounded almost muffled. He covered his hand with his mouth, his eyes wide in disbelief as he watched the cheering crowd repeating every word. Prophecy fulfilled.

Fans outside the Panic at the Disco concert at Toyota Center on Saturday, August 10, 2022. Photo: Dave Rossman/Contributor

Viva Las Vengeance – Houston Setlist

“Say Amen (Saturday Night)”
“Hey look mom, I did it”
“Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time”
“It’s gospel”
“Miss Jackson”
“The Emperor’s New Clothes”
“Long Live Revenge”
“In the Middle of a Breakup”
“Don’t let the light go out”
“Local God”
“Star Banger”
“God Killed Rock and Roll”
“Say It Louder”
“Sugar”
“Something About Maggie”
“Sad Clown”
“By yourself”
“Do It to Death”
“Girls/Girls/Boys”
“House of Memories”
“Nine in the Afternoon”
“Death of a Bachelor”
“I write sins, not tragedies”
“Victorious”
“High Hopes”




  • Joey Guerra

    Joey Guerra is the music critic for the Houston Chronicle. It also covers various aspects of pop culture. He’s reviewed hundreds of gigs and interviewed hundreds of celebrities, from Justin Bieber to Dolly Parton to Beyonce. He appeared as a regular correspondent on Fox26 and served as head judge and director of the Pride Superstar Singing Competition for a decade. He has been named Journalist of the Year multiple times by OutSmart Magazine and the FACE Awards. It also covers various aspects of pop culture, including the local drag scene and “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.

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