Fans expressed variations of shock and relief on Jan. 23 when alternative rock band Panic! At The Disco announced via social media its disbandment following the conclusion of the European leg of the Viva Las Vengeance Tour.
The post cited front man, and only-man, Brendon Urie’s commitment to his expanding family as the reason for calling it quits, but fans and haters alike suspect otherwise.
The message opens with, “Well, it’s been a hell of a journey…,” and continues to explain that every journey must end in order for a new one to begin.
The new journey in question for Urie is “[t]he prospect of being a father and getting to watch my wife become a mother,” which he admits is both “humbling and exciting.” Urie continues to thank fans for their support over the past 19 years, concluding the post with a simple, “I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for existing,” before signing off. Of course, fans were anything but silent.
While a number of fans expressed their gratitude for the band’s existence, explaining that their music got them through some of the hardest portions of their lives, others are more grateful for the former emo-band’s exiting.
One Instagram user (@fishy.teacup) commented, “DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD!!” Countless others spewed similar rhetoric under the post’s comment section.
Recent allegations regarding Urie’s conduct in years past has contributed to this strong divide among followers of the band.
At the beginning of 2020, sexual misconduct allegations were fired toward former bodyguard and Urie’s current close friend, Zack Hall. The wife of former Panic! bassist Dallon Weekes, Breezy Weekes, also came forward during this time to address her own sexual harassment by Hall. This was simply the beginning of the end.
Urie faced backlash about his own behavior soon after. Twitter user @kam02700814 shared that in 2009 Urie sexually harassed him, despite knowing he was a minor. This sparked an outpouring of further allegations against the singer, including additional situations where minors were involved.
The concerning past has yet to stop there as Urie has also made racist, misogynist, transphobic, and ableist comments according to Meaww. Moreover, videos have surfaced of Urie stating to an audience of primarily underage women, “If I see you after the show, I’m gonna f–k you. I don’t care if you want it. I more care if you don’t want it. Because then I really want it.”
Prompted by Breezy’s comments about Hall, Urie addressed these allegations on a Twitch stream and denied all of them wholeheartedly. He assured that Hall no longer worked for the band, adding that every team member was undergoing anti-harassment training. “The safety of our fans is a priority,” Urie said, “and I do not take that lightly. ‘Cause the last thing I want is for anyone to feel unsafe when they’re coming to see Panic! At The Disco.”
Regardless of these allegations, fans also credit the recent flopped album of Viva Las Vengeance with bringing an end to Panic! At The Disco. Having sworn to “shake it up” in the first track of their debut album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, Panic! left fans breaking their promises of “swear[ing] to listen.”
Viva Las Vengeance is full of Vaudeville theatrics that appear more tasteless than refreshing. Many of the lyrics are corny at best, almost as if pandering to the idea of becoming a TikTok hit sound rather than being actual, enjoyable music. That, coupled with excessive compilation videos of Urie’s live vocal fails, has prompted fans to leave the fandom for good. The hate comments far outweigh the supportive, thus the disbandment of the one-man band is but a breath of fresh air to an otherwise polluted legacy.
Nevertheless, many gave their well-wishes to Urie and his wife Sarah. Others speculate that Urie may eventually jumpstart his solo career, which Panic! has almost been the front for since the departure of the last formal band member in 2015. Whether or not fans can expect a reunion tour of the lone member at any point in the future, nostalgia still rests with seeing a third of the famed Emo Trinity disband for good.