Growing up, I did not really think that much about music or even the artists who made it. Most of the music I listened to was whatever my parents or my grandparents had playing, which was mostly 90’s country and Cajun music. It was not until about middle school that I really came into a sense of my own music taste.
Enter: my emo phase. Gone were the days of songs about tractors and grandpa’s truck. It was only songs about depression and teen angst for me. As embarrassing as this time is for me to reminisce on, the one thing that I carried with me was the music and the bands that I listened to. One of those bands being emo band turned solo act, Panic! At the Disco.
P!ATD was a really important part of my childhood. I mean, I was obsessed. I used to spend hours watching compilations of funny Brendon Urie moments and, of course, the videos of him “making those high heels work” (if you know, you know). To this day, I still know every word to “Death Of A Bachelor.”
I was in high school when the whole “Girls/Girls/Boys” controversy happened on Tumblr. To sum it all up, the song “Girls/Girls/Boys” was considered a song about being bisexual, which a lot of people identified with. I mean, with lyrics like “But girls love girls and boys / And love is not a choice,” it is hard to dispute.
When Urie confirmed in an interview that the song was actually about his first threesome, many people were upset and disappointed. He had used this song to gather a queer audience, but it was built on something that is used to dispute bisexuality. This was the first time that I was confronted with the idea that maybe one of my favorite artists wasn’t such a great person. Then there came other, more serious controversies.
It was in 2020, during quarantine, when I learned about what seemed like a never-ending list of Brendon Urie controversies. There were the sexual assault allegations that never came out to be confirmed or denied. There was his bodyguard, Zack, bullying former member Dallon Weekes into leaving the band. Among the other racist, transphobic, insensitive comments that Urie has made, there was him singing the N-slur with zero hesitation on live. It was after this, after finally seeing clear evidence for myself, that I left the P!ATD fandom.
I have to say that although I had not followed the “band” since then, I was not surprised when I learned that Urie was bringing P!ATD to an end. On Jan. 24, Urie released a statement on Instagram stating, “…I am going to bring this chapter of my life to an end and put my focus and energy on my family, and with that Panic! At the Disco will be no more.” Urie plans to finish out his current tour and then lay P!ATD to rest.
I really do have to be honest and say that I was almost relieved when the news broke. Finally, no more screeching, high note, strained vocals on badly written songs. I am joking of course…kind of. In all seriousness, I am very glad that someone like Urie will no longer be smearing the image of P!ATD with his horrible actions or causing so many fans and others in multiple communities so much pain and disappointment.
Still, I can’t help but feel a mourning for something that I grew up with. There are still parts of me that want to believe that it’s all fine. That the people you look up to aren’t as bad as they turn out to be.
However, I will keep comfort in the fact that Brendon Urie doesn’t have his sticky paws on my childhood anymore. Rest in peace, Panic! At the Disco, your best days are still missed.