What’s it like to be a member of Panic! At The Disco on their 2014 headlining tour? There’s plenty of glamour and attention, a little day-to-day drudgery, and sometimes, a ping-pong match with a lucky fan. Billboard’s cameras were treated to intimate backstage glimpse when the tour hit the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater on Feb. 8.
|PHOTOS: PANIC! IN MIAMI|
“Getting along with people on tour is one of the more important things,” says frontman Brendon Urie. “Our crew and us, we get a long really well. We’re all the same degenerates, so it works out.”
He might call them degenerates, but the Panic! team knows how to put on a smooth show. There’s tour manager Tony Marino, typically the first to enter and the last to leave each venue, as he ensures conditions are perfect for the band. There’s lighting director Alex Specht, who operates the band’s elaborate visual show. And finally, there’s road manager Zack Hall, who does a little bit of everything: photography, social media, onstage security, and even picking out lucky fans to play a game of ping-pong against Urie. In Billboard’s video above, watch a challenger go head-to-head against the frontman with a piece of free merch (or a spot at the back of the line) at stake.
But it’s not all fun and games. It’s a challenge for the Panic! members and their crew to keep up with fans, friends, and family on the road. Fortunately, they’ve got technology on their side, whether its Hall updating the band’s social media accounts, or Urie recording one of his legendary Vines.
“Technology is almost everything on tour,” Urie says. “With social media it’s really nice, before and after the show, to get a reaction from fans and to be able to talk to them.”
After scrolling through a fan-created video compiling 15 minutes of his Vine performances, Urie treated Billboard to an exclusive acoustic performance of “Girls/Girls/Boys,” one of the highlgihts from Panic!’s 2013 album “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” A couple hours before the headlining performance his vocals were already top notch:
Through it all, Panic! rocked Miami with an impassioned performance that featured a shirtless, backflipping Urie, and a dizzying mix of Panic! bangers. From behind-the-scenes to center stage, Billboard’s cameras were there every step of the way.