Music review: Panic! At the Disco, Hydro, Glasgow

Since 2015, frontman Brendon Urie has been the only official member of these slick millennial poppers. The other founding members have long since jumped ship. They’re not so much a band, more of a powerful global corporation with an ever-changing board of governors.

Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco

Panic! At the Disco, Hydro, Glasgow ***

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With his shiny jacket and pompadour, Urie looks like Brandon Flowers spliced with Peter Andre. His main selling point is a fairly impressive vocal range; he can swoop from a palatable croon to a Gibb-straddling falsetto with ease. The crowd went wild every time he unleashed that startling gimmick. Urie smiled, sang and pranced a lot, but barely spoke to his devotees all night. They didn’t seem to mind.

His latest hirelings were accompanied by a string trio and a two-man horn section whose chewy parps recalled Huey Lewis & The News at their most indefatigably cheerful.

Panic! At the Disco’s oeuvre sounds custom-made for rom-com soundtracks and American Idol contestants. The likes of Dancing’s Not a Crime are big, shiny, primary coloured Duplo blocks smeared with readymade hooks. Quite difficult to resist in this context, even for a jaded old hack like me. Their best songs are the camp cabaret pastiche Death of a Bachelor and Crazy=Genius (“You’re just like Mike Love but you’ll never be Brian Wilson”), a raucous big band swinger retooled for arenas. It sounds not unlike Adam Ant’s Goody Two Shoes. That’s a compliment. It’s (mostly) harmless corporate pop with an ever so slightly eccentric bent. - PAUL WHITELAW