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Friday, Aug. 15, 2008

Don't panic! It's just a stadium

Staff Writer

Las Vegas four-piece Panic at the Disco changed radically between their 2005 debut album "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out," which made them poster boys for the emo scene, and 2008's "Pretty. Odd.," where they paid homage to The Beatles and "Ogden's"-era Small Faces. Their set in Summer Sonic's vast Marine Stadium saw them indulge this 1960s whimsy with tight melodies, acoustic and electric guitars and tinkly piano, introducing their hit "Nine in the Afternoon" in Japanese (after being taught how to say it by The Japan Times).

News photo
New leaf: PATD's Ryan Ross (left) and Spencer Smith DANIEL ROBSON PHOTO

The band are currently working on new material and hope to start recording album three at the end of the year. Founding duo Ryan Ross (guitar) and Spencer Smith (drums) say it will be different again, but even they don't know what to expect just yet.

Have you played at Summer Sonic before?

Ross: No, this is our first time. I want to see The Fratellis, The Kills; I don't know if we'll get to though, I think they might be playing right before us. I'm not sure how easy it is to get to the other stages from where we're at.

Then it's Osaka tomorrow. Have you played there before?

Smith: One time. We played at Punkspring festival in 2006.

Ross: That was kinda weird. Weird bands to be playing with, like Bad Religion.

Smith: We were kinda the outcasts. But at that time, nobody really knew what kind of band we were, so they just put us on at one in the afternoon.

The kind of band you were and the kind of band you are now has changed a lot.

Smith: Yeah. They still don't really know what kind of band we are. Neither do we! It's kinda weird playing half old songs and half songs off the new album. But we changed some of the old songs a little bit; it meshes well.

You're playing in the stadium. That's a big stage!

Smith: Yeah. We've never played anywhere as big as a baseball stadium. That's probably the biggest venue we've ever been in.

Ross: I'm kind of nervous, but more excited, because it makes you feel bigger than you actually are. We could never play something like that on our own.

When I saw you at England's Reading Festival in 2006, singer Brendon Urie got knocked out by a bottle thrown from the crowd. Do you take precautions now?

Ross: I think we just open our eyes more, haha. Peripheral-vision training is the big thing . . .

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