Known for its theatrical live presentations, Panic! at the Disco plans to get bigger, albeit in smaller places, when it hits the road this month to promote its new album, "Vices & Virtues."
Frontman Brendon Urie says he and drummer Spencer Smith "are all about evolving. We had played all these big arenas and done these big shows in the past. Something we hadn't done in a while was nice, intimate theaters, a good 2,400-capacity room where you can still see everybody in the crowd as far back as it goes." Those venues, he adds, allows Panic! to "dress up the stage" in an even more elaborate manner than the larger spaces.
"The warehouses and arenas weren't really conducive to what we wanted to do, creatively and visually," Urie explains. "We're able to dress up (the theaters) more. We don't really want people to recognize the plan when we're there; we want to take them out of the element and say, 'You're in our show now, welcome.' So it's going to be exciting."
And while Panic! doesn't plan to employ additional stage performers as it has in the past, Urie says that "we're still going to have some fun stuff to interact with the audience. We've still got a couple tricks up our sleeves, as always. I've mentioned a few times I want to set myself on fire, but I don't know how that's going to go over."
Urie says he and Smith and their touring bandmates (guitarist Ian Crawford and bassist Dallon Weeks) are "most excited" about playing songs from "Vices & Virtues," which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 last month, but the quartet won't dismiss material from 2005's platinum "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" and 2008's sophomore effort "Pretty. Odd." "We are still very proud of our two previous records, and we still will be playing songs from those," Urie notes. "But, yeah, it's really fun to showcase the new songs. It's been so long since we did that I almost forgot what it felt like, but it is really nice."
Panic! kicks off its tour April 28 in the U.K. and currently has bookings into August. But he also holds open the possibility of working on new music during the tour and even incorporating Crawford and Weeks into the writing process.
"They're both writers," Urie says, "so being able to write with them and create stuff for (the live show) is awesome. It feels like a band. We've talked about writing, and I want to start writing on tour, so I'm sure we'll get involved with them. If we happen to (write) a song while we're on the road, we can release that, maybe put it out on the Internet or something. That's something we've never done before, so why not?"