[personal profile] elucreh
Well, the first I heard about it was Sarah tweeting the FB notice that Brendon was ill.

EXCUSE ME, WHAT SHOW IN SALT LAKE? I demanded, and spent an hour trying to force my phone to admit it knew how to have internet so I could confirm it wasn't all some kind of weird practical joke. At that point I saw the malaria update, the Oregon Trail joke (bless you, Spencer Smith) and Zack's call for karaoke-ers. "I know the words," I said to myself, "but it would take an offer to COMPLETELY PAY OFF my student loans before I agreed to try and sing them in front of a thousand people."

A little bit after that, I got a text from [livejournal.com profile] the_randomist, who said she had been picked to go on stage. I shuddered at the thought, but hey, if she thought it would be fun, I was happy for her. Then she said that they hadn't been able to find...something...and so the band was having some of the frontpeople from the local bands who'd been playing all day sing a few songs each, which is indeed what wound up happening.

So I, meanwhile, had dashed to the plaza to purchase a ticket, and dashed home for clothes I wouldn't FREEZE TO DEATH in, and dashed back down on the train. I mostly sat on the ground, in the spot that I have learned, during past festivals in this venue, to latch onto and defend like grim death. Unless you get there early enough for actual barrier (which, if I'd KNOWN THEY WERE COMING, I would have, but what can you do?), you have to stand on a slightly-elevated bit of pavement with juuuuuust the right angle to see around the sound engineer's tent; there are only two of these spots. I like Neon Trees, but they were playing on a different stage, and I don't like them enough to lose that spot, so I wasn't really watching the music bits till they got up there.

The thing is, not many people have Brendon's vocal chops. Dallon and the guy from Neon Trees both came REALLY CLOSE, but not quite. The second guest guy to sing--I have no idea what band you were from! Sorry, dude!--actually DID pull it off with the same kind of panache and technical skill as Brendon, but it still wasn't the SAME, sigh.

Dallon was front-manning most of the time, and he started off great. Then Spencer said they were going to play a Brobecks song, and I was like YAY, but it was Violent Things, which...actually, I really do like, but it's not a crowd-pleaser for a thousand Panic fans so ignorant they couldn't even sing Ready to Go or Mona Lisa, and barely 9itA. It's AMAZING in the kind of tiny, intimate venues I've seen the Brobecks perform in, but for this crowd...there are MUCH BETTER CHOICES, if you're trying to impress people who mostly like Panic for Fever. The Brobecks have some AWESOME dancey tunes. I assume it was Violent Things because that's mostly Dallon's vocals and guitar with a little simple background drumming, but it went over really badly and it kind of visibly wrecked Dallon's self-confidence because he went from the easy aw-shucks routine he always pulls off really charmingly at Brobecks shows to the kind of "knocking how badly this is going to try and win sympathy but actually just coming off like that guy who tried to get me to date him by complaining that no girls EVER want to go out with him and his WHOLE LIFE will always be BARREN AND EMPTY because NO GIRLS LIKE HIM" thing that DeLeon was always pulling on RBL. It made me want to pull Singer's hair out and only the fact that I love Dallon so much kept me from fantasising about squashing him like a bug. Mostly I was just really sorry for him because it's an AWESOME song and he really was doing a great job frontmanning till his confidence got squished and then it all fell apart and I wanted to give him a kitten to cuddle till he felt better.

They did have one girl who apparently was the best of the ones they pulled back for karaoke, and she was...I think she actually has a great voice for a certain kind of song? But not the one she was singing. Anyway, I mostly mention it because Spencer was explaining how they found her, like an American Idol audition, and he told us that Dallon was definitely the Paula Abdul of the three of them, which, LOVE.

MOSTLY I JUST WANT TO SAY: it was so, so, soooooooooo weird that they all had personal space bubbles, and you could TELL that Ian and Dallon both thought it was weird. Like, they kept sort of angling at each other but clearly not knowing how to get ALL THE WAY across the stage and past these strange guys who were singing. It was distressing. And cute. But mostly just...like, sad, but in an adorable way.

And everybody was really sweet about missing Brendon in general, and that was nice to see. It was a deeply weird experience, but I was really glad that crazy doof didn't try to play/sing/be a crazy sweating man in the October chill when he was sick, and I really appreciated their dedication to trying to create a show for the fans anyway.

IT WAS AS GOOD AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN, REALLY, I THINK. For thrown-together-in-five hours it was damn amazing.

Get well soon, bb!Brendon. We missed you.

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April 2017


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