By Kristen Hawley | 13 March, 2023
Ah, the end of an era. A whole generation of emo kids’ hearts just collectively broke. In the midst of touring their latest album, “Viva Las Vengeance”, Panic! The Disco officially announced their breakup on January 24, 2023. The band’s front man, Brendon Urie, penned a note to fans that was shared via social media stating after the tour’s European and UK leg, the band would dissolve.
Brendon expresses gratitude and love to all Panic! At The Disco’s fans, new and lifelong, while citing “sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin. We’ve been trying to keep it to ourselves, though some of you may have heard.. Sarah and I are expecting a baby very soon.” He goes on to say the band’s chapter is coming to a close so he can focus on becoming a father and starting his family.
The online response has been mixed, but long-time fans reflect on the band’s nineteen year run, their impact on the alternative scene, and of course sharing moments and memories from album releases and tours.
This announcement may come as a shock to music fans as the early 2000’s pop punk and rock has been making a resurgence. For example, similar bands that are considered alternative royalty like Paramore and Fall Out Boy are dropping albums and even the pop punk princess herself, Avril Lavigne, resurfaced to work with artists like Travis Barker, Machine Gun Kelly, and Yungblud before releasing an album in 2022. While other artists’ recent work, such as Huddy, jxdn, Nessa Barrett, Demi Lovato, and WILLOW has clearly pulled inspiration, both aesthetically and sonically, from that genre’s glory days, the nostalgia has been rampant for all emo kids at heart.
Even Panic! At The Disco seemed to be thrusted more into the mainstream in recent years with radio hits like “High Hopes”, “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”, and “Say Amen (Saturday Night)”. While nothing could ever reach the iconic status of their early hits like, “Nine in the Afternoon” and “This is Gospel” or leave a lasting effect the way “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” did on millennials, Panic! At the Disco did have an impressively long stretch in the industry that will surely leave fans missing them. Try to play “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and see if anyone in the room is left not belting out “Haven’t you people ever heard of closing a goddamn door?” It’s pretty much impossible.
It almost seems like the least optimal time to end a band during the renaissance of their genre’s sound. But of course, Brendon Urie’s desire to start a family and focus on his personal life is completely understandable and respectable. I mean he has been writing, recording, and performing for the band since their start in 2004. And as of 2017, he’s been the only original member left to carry the group’s legacy. His decision to reallocate energy into his family and take a break from his art is more than well garnered.
But this goodbye doesn’t have the finality to it I would expect with a permanent breakup. In the era of reboots and reunions, I predict we will be seeing Panic! At The Disco reunited once again in some shape or form in the upcoming years. Whether it be a legacy hits tour, a reunion album with a fresh perspective (similar to the Jonas Brothers), or my personal prediction - a documentary looking back on the highs and lows of the band’s almost two-decade long career - we will be sure to see Panic! At The Disco again.
I’m sure Brendon will take the well-earned time off while he starts his family, but he doesn’t seem to be hanging up his microphone for good. He featured on plenty of other artists’ tracks, from Taylor Swift to Lil Dicky, to benny blanco. So, solo work isn’t completely out of the scope for him.
As for now though, the music industry is processing this news, while fans are left to reflect on everything the band meant to them. Listening to every track, reliving the memories tied to them, and dusting off their concert merch. Panic! At The Disco has a few more shows left before they take the stage one last time to ask fans “if you love me, let me go”.