Brendon Urie put on a long brown wig and white robe and claimed to be Jesus for Panic! at the Disco’s playful and fabulous Halloween show at the 9:30 Club. Given the reverence the fans showed for the Nevada quartet’s charismatic frontman, at least some portion of the audience likely felt the savior get-up was redundant.
Urie, only 24, showed lots of worshipful qualities. His vocal abilities, for one. On “Hurricane,” a track off the latest P!ATD disc and one of the night’s many Queen-esque melodic and melodramatic opuses, he jumped between a falsetto that soared to heavenly heights and a death metal roar from way down under.
And he never stopped being funny. “Memories” had him crooning, Freddy Mercury-style, such chucklers as “Memories, where’d you go? You’re all I’ve ever known!” He kept up the deity bit even after going shirtless before the bombastic “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” declaring himself to be “Sexy Jesus,” though without the robe he looked more like a Skynyrd roadie than the son of God.
P!ATD gave the night even more of a party feel by accessorizing the set list with lots of covers. Urie and founding drummer Spencer Smith (in a Ron Burgundy get-up) led the band through faithful versions of Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” Kansas’ “Carry On My Wayward Son” (which Urie changed to “…Only Son” on this night to stay in character), Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” and “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by fellow Queenophiliacs, The Darkness.
The only slip-up came when Urie coaxed his combo into following him through a sloppy take of “Let’s Get It On,” from Marvin Gaye, a legendary D.C. product who went to high school mere blocks from the club. Costume or no, that’s sacrilege.