Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Panic at the Disco

Heartbroken is the only word I can use to describe how I'm feeling right now. I fall in love with music, and I fall hard, and some of it just ripped my heart out.

Panic at the Disco has split. Ryan and Jon have left the band to pursue a different project while Brendon and Spencer will remain as Panic at the Disco.

In early 2006, walking through a Strawberries in my hometown, back before FYE bought them out, I flipped over a random CD. The back held sentence long song titles and the front held a band name that I had seen scrawled across the planners of the music junkies at my school. I shrugged, picked it up, and bought it on a whim. I got back to my car, ripped off the plastic, and popped it into the CD player as I started to drive. The music caught my attention, from the angry yet eloquent lyrics to the great orchestration to an amazing voice rushing and flowing through the music. I loved the fact that the CD came in two acts, with an introduction and an intermission - it was the first album that I had bought with the format and I was enamored with it.

I remember looking up the band a few weeks in, the CD having been playing on repeat the whole time, and seeing a picture of four scene boys with the same haircut. I brushed them off and payed no attention. I didn't care who was behind the music because those words were exactly what I was thinking, exactly what I was feeling. I wasn't the only one - my best friends and I would drive around, get in the car and circle parking lots and shopping malls, screaming along at the top of our lungs to the words that described out worlds. We learned every note of that album, every twist and every key imprinted on our teenage hearts. Panic! at the Disco was our music.

In the fall of 2007, things started falling apart around me. With the advent of college and the realization that facing life meant struggling with things greater than book reports and prom, some of my best friends were taken away from me. With them went Panic! at the Disco. For seven months I refused to listen to what had been one of my favorite CDs - I was fine through the introduction, fine through the first few notes, but then the music carried me back into my beat up car with people who I could no longer reach, and I would wrench the CD out of the player in order to make the memories stop.

Early April of 2008, I stumbled across the music video for "Nine in the Afternoon" online. I was suddenly struck with three questions: 1) Why is that kid vacuuming his bed? 2) Who wears a fedora with pajamas? and 3) Why the hell is one of them having a dream about furries? I didn't recognize these boys that I had been listening to for almost two years, and immediately caught up on all that I had missed - there had been performances with circus acts, makeup and rose vests, and a lot of time spent in a cabin. I realized that this was not the band I had been listening to anymore, immediately bought a ticket for their tour date in Boston that May, and went out to buy Pretty. Odd.

I first listened to Pretty. Odd in my backyard in the sunshine, lying on a swing. It was perfect, fresh and new, with a happier and softer tone of love. I remember finding perfection in "When the Day Met the Night" and endless circles in "From a Mountain in the Middle of the Cabins." May 11th, 2008 I drove into Boston to see the show, and put A Fever You Cant Sweat Out into the car stereo for the first time in seven months. I listened to it all the way through, went to see the show, and took back one of my favorite bands. Their music was back in my mind and my heart.

Since then, Panic at the Disco has remained in my car, on my mp3 player, and in the stack of CDs by the stereo in my house. They have always put out the music I needed to hear when I needed to hear it, from teenage angst to college aged acceptance that "things have changed." They are one of my favorite bands, and Fever is my second favorite CD. Their music is the soundtrack to my life, and the fact that they have split just sent a tremor through my world built on music. It happens of course, people go in different directions, but the split seems wrong. There are two notes on their website, one from Jon and Ryan written in a very stilted and formal tone about creative evolution and a compromise of personal achievements, while the other is from Brendon and Spencer about individual tastes taking friends in different directions and trying to assert that PATD is alive and well.

It's not alive and well, boys. Half of your band just left, losing its lyricist and founding member. The split divided Ryan and Spencer into two halves, at least creatively, though they have been friends since childhood. You're left with a drummer and a vocalist, and the promise of a new song in August. I don't know what this means, I don't like it, and I'm not happy with it. I wish them all the best, but what I wish more is that they would come back together again to fuel my musical heart. I have my third row ticket to see whats left of them on August 6th, but I'm crushed. Gabe Saporta's twitter of "stay together for the kids?" makes so much more sense now.


Edit: Pete Wentz's blog linked to some audio. Don't worry.


Nora E. said...


eeep! Thank you for this. I am speechless...

Anonymous said...

when did Gabe tweet that? o:

Lexie527 said...

Gabe tweeted that right after they announced the split on July 7th.