Panic! at the Disco & Foxy Shazam at the Intersection, Grand Rapids 11.05.11

 

Foxy Shazam
Foxy Shazam

It was a toss up whom sold out the Intersection this night, Panic! At the Disco or Foxy Shazam; local openers Number the Stars certainly made little contribution.  There was this noticeable increase in cheers and applause as Number the Stars announced their last song of their set.  They had a certain appeal to young teenage girls but most of the crowd was at least 15 and didn’t seem to appreciate what this local had to offer.

Foxy Shazam took to the stage with little delay and the real show began.  Each member of the band had their own unique look and persona; singer Eric Nally is obviously the centerpiece of the band, but each member was truly fun to watch.  My personal favorite was the trumpeter, Alex.  The things that man did with his horn on stage were both impressive and strangely erotic.  The band as a whole emanated a certain sensual energy throughout the night.  The antics of Eric Nally were mostly enjoyed, although I felt the crowd losing patience as he lead into songs with lengthy intros.  I personally enjoyed the stories he shared, but I believe the lull in energy was found distracting by many who just wanted more action.  Such and active performance, though, it is understandable there are times when a band must regroup a little.  Many bands do this, I don’t understand why the crowd was so restless and occasionally I heard “Shut up!” yelled out by a few.  The chanting of “Foxy! Foxy! Foxy!” before and after the set more than made up for the stray remarks during the actual show.  Pictures and descriptions do this band no justice, they need to be seen and experienced to fully enjoy and understand their draw.  I have since become a great fan of their music, seeing them live only fueled my interest in them.  Foxy Shazam is absolutely a band that must be experienced to truly appreciate what they bring to the table.  After they played I noticed that one member, Daisy, came out to see a few of the fans.  Two girls dressed in wigs, mustaches and the sparkliest shirts at the venue swarmed him and performed this almost ritualistic dance around him (and through his legs) that one could only describe as a “We are not Worthy!!” from Wayne’s World.  He took it with great amusement and even posed with the girls for photos and stayed to chat with them and with others.  Many of their fans chose to sport fake mustaches in a tribute to that of Eric Nally.

Panic! at the Disco
Panic! at the Disco

With a good amount of time spent tearing down the Foxy Shazam stage then recreating the stage in a sort of steam punk theme, Panic! At the Disco came to the stage.  Either the crowd’s energy was depleted by the enjoyment of the previous band, or the fans were just not as much there for the headliner as one might have expected.  Panic! were not as good as I have seen them in the past, even singer Brendon Urie seemed a bit less put together physically and vocally, but they still managed a good show.  They played everything that they should as well as their beautiful rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. To me this was the highlight of their set, they really did the song justice.  The intro that led them into the song explained that for each show they let the fans vote online prior, to decide a current popular song to cover.  I thought this was brilliant in getting fan interaction as well as in choosing a song that most of their fans at this stop in the tour truly wanted to them to perform. A few other songs had brief spoken intros to explain the song, some disturbing considering the young age of the majority of their fans, but I suppose the kids grow up faster these days.

Overall the show was quite excellent, with Foxy Shazam as the standout of the night even going so far as to literally hang from the rafters of the venue.  I feel I have seen Panic! At the Disco do a better job in the past but they are still a solid act.  I enjoyed the detail they put into their stage set.  It was simple but different.  I can only imagine the fun Foxy Shazam could have with a set, given they were a headliner.  I am sure we will see that soon enough.

 

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