“Pretty. Odd.: Panic! at the Disco Announces Disbandment”

After almost two decades of having a solid place in mainstream music, pop-punk band Panic! at the Disco announced they were disbanding via Instagram on January 24th, sending waves of mixed emotions through their fanbase. Students at Marriotts Ridge share their thoughts.
Despite their place in popular music for many years the release of their 2018 album Pray For The Wicked caused fans that had been following them since their debut to drift away.
“I was a very big fan of the band for a really long time, but I’ve honestly stopped listening to them very much,” senior Kyle Blum explained.
At the band’s inception, the members consisted of high school friends Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith and Brent Wilson. Wilson was fired from the band after their 2009 world tour, being replaced by bassist Jon Walker.
The main songwriter of the band was guitarist Ryan Ross, who is credited with writing the first two albums, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd.. In July of 2009, creative disagreements within the band caused both Walker and Ross to leave the band to pursue other projects.
“In my mind, Panic! split up in 2009 when [Ross and Walker] left. Panic! was started as an extremely personal project to Ryan [Ross],” Blum stated.
Soon after the departure of Ross and Walker, Dallon Weekes joined the band and took over the songwriter role. Slowly, the band began to morph from the gritty and psychedelic sound of their first two albums to a purely pop-punk feel that can be heard in their third and fourth studio albums, Vices and Virtues and Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die. The genre change is when a small number of fans began to distance themselves from the group.
“Many of the newer songs were made to be mainstream, and that’s not what many fans stuck around for,” senior Em M. explained.
Despite fans beginning to distance themselves, there was no denying the impact the band had on the music scene and teenagers as a whole.
“The band definitely kickstarted my journey into finding my music tastes. A lot of their fans bled into other groups such as Paramore and My Chemical Romance, too,” Em Muryhina expressed.
However, the giant in music that was Panic! fell when harassment allegations came out against the band’s lead singer Brendon Urie in 2020. Fans began to voice their disappointment in his actions and many stopped their support of the band.
“I was not a huge fan of the band, especially after the accusations came out against [Urie],” senior Jack Vennard expressed.
Eventually, bassist and songwriter Weekes parted from the band to pursue personal projects, while Urie continued to release music under the name Panic! at the Disco. To fans, however, it was obvious that there had been a change in quality from their fifth album, Death of a Bachelor, to the sixth, Pray for the Wicked. After a five year hiatus from music, the band came out with their seventh and final studio album Viva Las Vengeance. The album was released to poor reviews amongst fans and critics alike.
“[Panic!]’s new album has extreme quality differences compared to the rest of the albums,” Blum explained.
After the final show of the 2022 tour was performed, Urie posted on the official Panic! at the Disco Instagram account that the band would no longer be active.
“I am going to bring this chapter of my life to an end and put my focus and energy on my family, and with that, Panic! at the Disco will be no more,” the message said.
The announcement left many fans surprised, but an equal number were wondering what took so long.
“I honestly believe this is the best outcome for Panic!. The [fan] base had a strong foundation, but it cracked when the style turned more mainstream and fans left because of the controversy surrounding Urie,” Muryhina said.
Despite fans giving the most recent album poor reviews, the band remains a strong piece of nostalgia for many people. Their earlier work brings back memories of smudged eyeliner, burnt to a crisp hair, chain necklaces, and simpler days. Panic! at the Disco will forever remain a pillar of the pop-punk scene and always in fans’ hearts, even after all of the fevers have been sweat out and sins that have been written.