On Sunday (Aug. 28), Panic! at the Disco is nominated for Best Rock Video at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. It’s thanks to their debaucherous video for “Victorious,” shot for the their also-very-debaucherous album Death of a Bachelor, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 earlier this year. Panic!’s recent work has endeared them to a new generation of teens; a decade ago, they blasted onto the scene with a game-changing debut, whose hot streak peaked with a shocking VMA win.
Flash back to Aug. 31, 2006. The video for “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” — the biggest hit from A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out — was up for four televised awards: Best Rock Video, Best New Artist, Best Group Video, and Video of the Year. The teenaged newcomers from Las Vegas lost the first three, and probably weren’t too confident about topping Madonna and Christina Aguilera in the night’s final round. But then a funny thing happened:
Okay, the first funny thing was an angry filmmaker named Sixx interrupting their speech to complain about MTV never giving him a show and shout-out a website that doesn’t exist anymore. But the Panic! guys took it in stride and gave an endearing (albeit surprised) acceptance speech, which (of course) included a shout-out their pals Fall Out Boy.
“For video of the year, we were up against Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and we won,” Panic! manager Scott Nagelberg told Billboard last year for our oral history of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. “That video was probably shot for a fraction of what the others were. It was a huge statement to the entire music community: This is the future. This band started online. They’re utilizing this new space that nobody’s done before.”
At any rate, here’s Panic!, deep in their vaudeville phase, performing “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” at the VMAs 10 years ago. For our picks on who will win this year, check out our 2016 MTV VMAs preview.