Brendon Urie is one of those people.
Like, really talented. Stupidly talented. Frustratingly good at what he does. Y’know: Really, really, really talented.
For a gathered mob of more than 15,000 roaring devotees Friday at CHI Health Center, the Panic! At the Disco frontman brought his tenor voice to massive heights. He worked a piano like Billy Joel. He flipped clever turns of phrase in hits like “High Hopes” and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
Urie sang “Bohemian Rhapsody” powerfully enough to make Freddie Mercury blush and, uh, outperformed Hugh Jackman in the band’s cover of “The Greatest Show.”
Then he pounded out a drum solo, and when it was over, he landed a perfect 10 backflip off the riser.
It also doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the more active, friendly and enthusiastic frontmen working a stage today. And he’s really good-looking.
(He’s probably good at sports, too.)
In Omaha, Urie put on a seminar in entertaining, leading his band through more than two hours of eye-popping bombast that includes towering flames, rainbows of confetti and a flying piano that, with fans’ flashlights lit behind him, looked like he was floating across the night sky as he sang “Dying in LA.”
Though attention-grabbing, the spectacle stopped short of being over-the-top or too much. Instead, the lights and action fit Urie’s established penchant for musical acrobatics and Broadway-like vocal runs.
(It should be no surprise that with Urie’s enthusiasm and theatrical voice, he has in fact performed on Broadway. He was a hit as the lead of “Kinky Boots” in 2017.)
Being the only remaining original member of his band, Urie has adapted the band’s show and music to fit his style.
And it works.
The bright, rainbow lights and confetti during “Girls/Girls/Boys.” The flames during “The Greatest Show.” The roaring chorus during “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.”
It made everything feel like a big, important show.
And so did the fans.
Panic! sports a rabid fanbase, and they packed the arena from stage to the rear walls.
They knew every word. They danced. They screamed. They shrieked when Urie hit an incredibly high falsetto note. They grabbed their nearest friend and jumped up and down when their song came on.
They nearly drowned Urie out while singing along to “High Hopes.”
They were unprepared when Urie re-entered the stage shirtless for an encore of “Say Amen (Saturday Night),” “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Victorious,” screaming endlessly at the sight of his bare chest.
Urie recognized their enthusiasm, walking the arena floor during “Death of a Bachelor” as he handed out high-fives and hugs. He told one woman that her red hair was “dope,” and caused another to burst into tears after they shared a hug.
“It gets lonely out on the road. It makes you miss home. So thanks for making me feel like I’m home,” Urie said.