this is part two in the series that @jen–ne–sais–quoi proably didn’t realize was going to be so long.
okay, i’m going to try to make this all one era, we’ll see. when we last left off, the summer league was no more and panic! at the disco was now in the picture, just as trevor howell? (am i making up his last name?) (no, google says it was howell too, cool) was no more and brendon urie was now in the picture. this isn’t a history of panic! so even though we must talk about the history of panic!, we’ll be focusing on ryan ross throughout.
trevor leaves the summer league. tragic. we loved trevor, we’re all crying. (we don’t know anything about trevor) the band is down a guitar player. yes, a guitar player and not a singer. at this point, it is important to know that Ryan Ross wrote all the lyrics, played the guitar, and! sang for the summer league. and he will continue to sing a little bit longer.
it is necessary now to pull away from ryan so as to properly introduce brendon urie. he was a very important person in ryan’s life, so i think he deserves this.
brendon boyd urie had not known ryan ross or spencer smith because instead of going to the catholic school that ryan and spencer went to, he went to the public school in summerlin, palo verde high school. luckily, brent wilson went to palo verde and had a guitar class with one brendon urie. brent wilson could see brendon’s talent with the guitar so he told him that his band was looking for a new guitarist, and would he like to audition. it’s unclear if the band was still the summer league at this point or if it had been changed to panic! at the disco because between no one documenting the name change and all the different situations in fanfiction, i honestly just don’t know.
i also can’t really tell you anything about his audition because it’s done so often in fanfiction that i don’t know if anyone really knows the truth or if it’s something that is so common in fanfiction that it becomes part of cannon. my fuzzy memory tells me that the audition was in spencer’s basement, they were immediately impressed and had brendon join the band, and that ryan was a little bit quiet. these things may be true (they’re probably true) but they may also be pulled from a fanfic. i really could not tell you.
please not that brendon would’ve looked something like this, but probably nerdier because he was dressed for school pictures:
okay, so i’m pretty sure by now the band is called panic! at the disco, and that’s what i’m gonna call it from now on. so now we have the panic! lineup, just still a little jumbled because remember that ryan is our singer. this next part is a bit like a myth. i’m not sure if it’s 100% true, i’m not sure how i learned it, and i’m not sure where the information ever came from. it’s agreed on as canon though, and it’s important. one day our lead singer ryan ross is sick. instead, brendon urie is singing today. brendon sings and ryan gets angry that brendon didn’t tell him he could sing like that. brendon tells ryan “i didn’t know i could sing like that” ryan decides that brendon should be the singer because ryan writes confident words, but does not have the confident voice to back them up. brendon has the confident voice, so ryan thinks he should sing. we now have the panic! we see in the fever era.
it should be said that fall out boy is in existence and that Take This To Your Grave was already out and ryan ross may or may not be obsessed with pete wentz (he was totally obsessed with pete wentz, more on that later)
i feel like it’s important to take a second and explain the importance of livejournal to those who were young when it was big (i was too young for much of ryan ross’ livejournal days, unfortunately) livejournal was pretty big in bandom and the band members used it too. most importantly, ryan, brendon, and pete used it. they would interact with fans and other people and ryan probably put out way too much personal information. you can find a masterpost of his lj posts here. (they’re only from when he panic! was becoming a thing, but if you search the internet, you can find older stuff too)
livejournal was pretty fundamental for ryan. he wrote lots of poetry and song lyrics, he shared music recs, and most importantly: he posted panic! music. with this music, he also harassed pete wentz about his music. harassed might be a little strong. this is also a bit mythological. ryan posted some demos he and brendon had made on their laptops to his livejournal and sent pete the link. you can find the demo for camisado here and the one for nails for breakfast, tacks for snacks here. as you can see, they’re quite different from the album versions. pete wentz saw the talent in these rough demos and decided to drive from la to vegas and sit in on a rehearsal. panic! had never played live before and they didn’t have all the equipment to play their songs live (remember, they were all still pretty young. ryan was the only 18 year old) so they played them acoustic for him and he liked them enough to sign them to decaydance.
this picture is a while after this situation, but ryan’s appropriately greasy, so it will work for our purposes:
okay, let’s focus in a little more on ryan and what he was doing right now. ryan was going to UNLV. he had a full ride scholarship (because he’s a genius and we all know that) and was in the creative writing program. his dad had also gone to UNLV, so he may have gone there per his dad’s wishes or maybe to stay close to home, or maybe even just because that’s where he had the best scholarship. i’ve never seen anything about him living in the dorms, so i would assume that he lived at home with his dad. you can see in his songs, and he’s commented on it before, but his dad was at least emotionally and mentally abusive. he’s never mentioned anything about physical abuse, so even though that is super common in fanfiction, i can’t say it’s 100% true. also, ryan’s dad was sick a lot from the alcoholism, and even though he was abusive, ryan still loved his dad and tried to help him when he could.
it is 2004, panic! at the disco has been signed to decaydance/fueled by ramen. within the next year we will see ryan ross go from a greasy, awkward boy who wrote deep metaphorical lyrics to ….the same boy but now famous. this chapter ends here, and in the next chapter will begin the Fever Era
Drunk history of Panic! At the Disco. A script by me-
The year is 2004 in Summerlin, Las Vegas. Ryan Ross turned to Spencer Smith and was like “yo, we gotta start a band.” So they started playing some Blibk-182 shit then Brent and Trevor came along and were like “yo, let’s join.” So they did. The band started off being called “Summer League”. Tit-Head Brendon Urie came along after meeting Brent at school and was invited to play guitar. But he was shit so he started singing instead and everyone was like “yooo he’s goooood” so he took over as being main singer. Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy signed the newly named band “Panic! At the disco” to his record label “Decaydance” because he needed fresh meat. The first album that was released was “A fever you can’t sweat out” which is oddly relatable during the winter months. In 2006 their video for the slightly overplayed and overrated “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” was featured on MTV’s Total Request Live Show. Brent was fired shortly after this because he was a bit of a dick so he was replaced with the adorable Jon Walker. Pretty. Gay was released March of 2008 and of course everyone started smoking weed everyday like Snoop Dogg. “Do You Know What I’m Seeing?” Is a song Brendon wrote whilst being totally high off his tits on shrooms.
The best album arrived in the year 2011 which of course is “Vices and Virtues”.
After Ryan and Jon fucked off, Dallon Weekes and Ian Crawford were dragged in to help Brendon and Spencer. Then Ian left later because apparently the music the band was creating wasn’t “real music” (Ian, come on). So he left and as a trio, Brendon, Spencer and Dallon created “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die”. Dallon wrote a lot for that album but Brendon was like “fuckers it was all me”.
Spencer officially left the band in 2013 due to reasons that are sad :((((( but he’s good now. So that left Brendon and Dallon to try get shit sorted out. Dallon went back to being a touring member because… I don’t know… no one knows. So Brendon was the only one left and he’s done good. Dan Pawlovich and Kenneth Harris joined as touring members along with Dallon.
2016 was Death of a Bachelor release year and honeslty… that’s some good shit. Not as good as V&V but still good.
Brendon and Ryan had known each other for a while. They’ve been in close quarters and seen each other drenched in sweat. There aren’t many secrets when you’re stuck on a bus. But love is different. Love is easy to hide when no one wants to admit the truth. Suddenly Ryan goes from writing about cheating girl friends and books, into a fairytale world with love stories and sticky sweet melodies. A lot can happen when you lock yourselves away in a cabin in the mountains.
When the moon fell in love with the sun- Brendon called Ryan a golden god before Pretty. Odd. came out, making me believe Ry identifies himself as the sun, and Brendon the moon (another reason Brendon could be the moon is from the way their lives were at a younger age. Ryan was more well behaved due to his fathers issues. Brendon took whatever he could get, a real night dweller) All was golden when the day met the night- when they came together everything just seemed to fall into place. Things were going right for once When the sun found the moon- Ryan was looking for a guitarist to take place of their absent guitarist She was drinking tea in a garden Under the green umbrella trees In the middle of summer- I’m going to assume these are metaphors for different things in high school. Drinking tea is a common thing to do in large groups in different cultures, meaning this could be a cleaned up way of saying he met him at a party, as they were in high school, and tea is beer. Green umbrella trees could be palm trees and the band was originally located in the Summerlin area When the moon found the sun He looked like he was barely hanging on- Ryan had a tough time in life. He had an alcoholic father and struggled with that But her eyes saved his life- everyone’s eyes tell a story, they can speak words your mouth can’t. One look from Brendon to Ryan made him feel warm again, almost a love at first sight story. There was a spark So he said, “Would it be all right If we just sat and talked for a little while If in exchange for your time I give you this smile?”- Ryan is shy. Brendon is forward. At first meeting Ryan probably just wanted to talk with Brendon, find out about him. Brendon probably made a move early on (he has admitted to have experimented with his sexuality in high school, making this a reasonable assumption). So Ryan would share a rare smile with him to let Bren know he liked him, but he just wanted to talk first So she said, “That’s okay As long as you can make a promise Not to break my little heart Or leave me all alone in the summer.”- Brendon is all about promises. He even mentions this in House of Memories, connecting the stories in these two songs. Brendon just wanted to know Ryan felt something for him and that they could go somewhere Well he was just hanging around Then he fell in love And he didn’t know how- Ryan had girl friends. Girl friends who cheated on him. He probably doubted him ever feeling strongly about another person again, let alone loving them. They were just dumb kids playing music, growing as friends, and then it hit him But he couldn’t get out- Ry didn’t want to feel this way about Brendon. He knew it would have consequences. But he couldn’t deny his feelings Summer, summer, summer, summer In the middle of summer,summer,summer, summer the middle of summer, summer, summer, summer the middle of summer, summer, summer, summer In the middle of..- I find this was just Ryan going over everything in his head. Trying to figure out how someone like him, who is shy and hates the spotlight, fell in love with a fame whore (sorry, this is how I describe Brendon). His mind just was drifting off as he mulled over the crazy situation
Wait during Vices??? How so, I'm fairly new to the fandom and am curious?
I mean. Vices was the first post split album so Brendon was pretty sensitive about the whole thing. He was definitely on better terms with Ryan back then because they followed eachother on social media, joked around on Twitter, wished eachother a happy birthday etc. They even shared what would turn out to be the last photo they took together with the fans. It was hard for Brendon to take up Ryan’s role and manage without him (you can see that in multiple videos) The actual album contains songs that are officially about the split! Like not a fan theory. And it’s not surprising. They were best friends, sharing the same living space, codependent in a way, right from when they were nobodies in summerlin, just a couple of teens dealing with their messed up families. It’s not like your band breaks up and the sentiment suddenly disappears.
I always felt Las Vegas was a good embodiment of Set. The desert, the gawdiness of the Strip, the general craziness and chaotic nature, both in weather, and in the untamed nature of Vegas. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas".
To me, if we’re going to compare LV to Set, it’s the juxtaposition of the Strip in comparison to everything else that is LV valley (LVV).
On one hand, you’ve got a small (in comparison to the entirety of LV and LVV) section of LV that is well well well known. It’s gaudy, its bright, it’s what everyone comes to LV to see. It’s the bright garrish exterior that he portrays to everyone. Filled with shiny things and distraction.
Get off the Strip, though, and LVV is a very different place. Sure, there are still elements of the Strip. You’ve still got casinos, booze, escort services, overpriced knicknacks, etc. But the rest of LVV is very much not what the Strip is like. It’s quiet. It’s run down. It’s like any old small town you’ve ever lived in. If it wasn’t for the Strip, I’d argue that there is very little of note for the rest of LVV (point in case: when is the last time you heard about Henderson being The Place to be???? do you guys even known Summerlin exists???)
When you push back behind his gaudy exterior, you tend to find a very different person. And I think that in that respect, the comparison works really well. Because Set likes to appear like he is only the Strip and nothing but the Strip, and those attributes are his most well known. But the truth is that the larger part of him is actually what isn’t on the Strip. And those parts aren’t always pretty or nice to look at.
And so few ppl ever wander off of LV Blvd – metaphorically and literally.
Ah. Vices and Virtues. The record right after the split. Spite and lust. Brendon giving writing a record a try for the first time. Why not use Ryan’s first album as a guideline. The album Ryan did on cheating exes and life experiences. I might go a little NSFW on this analysis because, well, gay sex.
It’s said, “If you don’t let it out You’re gonna let it eat you away.”- I’m going to give two possible interpretations of this because fuck, why not. Now from my previous song analysis's I explored how Brendon didn’t think Ryan loved him. This relates to that. He just wants Ryan to come out and say how he feels. Why they had to give everything up, why Ryan cared so much about staying humble when fame could give them everything they want. Second meaning, and don’t freak out or anything, but cum. Yeah, basically this could be about getting a blowjob, having cum in your mouth and deciding to spit or swallow (in the case of this song it’s Ryan giving a blowjob) I’d rather be a cannibal, baby- Brendon is thinking Ryan would rather let his heart stay shut and risk his feelings eating him alive. Or it could be about swallowing (yes okay, this second meaning isn’t all deep, but we also have to remember it’s Brendon. That man can be quite the fuckboy) Animals like me don’t talk anyway- Ryan is shy as hell. He would have a really hard time talking about something like this, especially if he himself was conflicted on how Bren really felt. He wouldn’t want to chance Brendon using this information and not actually feeling the same way back Feel like an ambulance- Brendon is comparing himself to the saviour of Ryan. Which when I did When The Day Met The Night, we see that Ryan himself states Brendon as his saviour. Which leads me to believe that maybe Brendon was also trying to figure out the secrets of Ryan’s lyrics as well, unless Ryan actually wrote this song for Brendon and told him so Chaser of faith- The way Ryan made Brendon feel was different than anything he had felt. He put himself on the line and just had faith that Ryan felt the same Pray I could replace her- Both Brendon and Ryan use a woman and a man in their songs, as things would be obvious if they used a man and a man. Brendon was just trying to get over Ryan and replace him. But there is no way to get over the person you feel so close with. So here we see a non religious man praying because of the desperate situation he found himself in Forget the way her tears taste- Remembering how you hurt someone you care for is a terrible pit in your stomach and a bitter flavour in your mouth. Brendon is trying to forget everything that happened and all the pain that came out in the end. He doesn’t want to remember seeing Ryan cry, but most importantly, he doesn’t want to remember seeing Ryan walk out the door for the last time Put another ex on the calendar- This is a reference to Ryan (and Jon) leaving. They all were very close and Bren has said in an interview that while writing this song they realized it became more about losing their band members than losing a girl friend. I’m going to assume Spencer pointed that out and Brendon went along because he knew himself it was about Ryan, and debating this fact with Spencer would rise suspicision. Summer’s on its deathbed- This could be a reference to the fact that the band that once was simple and started in Summerlin, has died. No longer is it friends making music and having fun, it is a serious career and there is no going back to what once was. There is simply nothing worse Than knowing how it ends- Blantantly obvious. Knowing what happened and all the emotions that come with it is terrible. It’s hard not knowing why a relationship ended, but knowing everything is worse And I meant everything I said that night- As I’ve said in my other Ryden theories, I believe there was an ultimatum between fame and friendship and Brendon went with fame. But I also think he tried to convince Ryan to stay with him through the fame. That he would die without having Ryan there with him, but Ryan lost trust in Bren already I will come back to life- As I said, he’d die without Ryan by his side But only for you- And no one will bring back his spark other than Ryan The world may call it a second chance- Brendon left the band at one time early on to try and pursue cosmetology, but everyone let him come back after he decided to stay But when I came back it was more of a relapse- He was addicted to the fame and needed to on the winning side (these are a few lines of him reminiscing, once again trying to piece together the story) Anticipation’s on the other line- Brendon, at this point, still thinks Ryan will come back to the band and get over everything. He thinks their love was true and doesn’t realize how much he actually hurt Ryan by letting him go And obsession called while you were out- Brendon is obsessing over everything that happened. He is trying to decipher how Ryan felt, if he still feels that way, why things went the way they did; his life has been consumed by figuring out if there was something there Asleep in the hive- The tour bus was like their home and they were constantly working, hence they were worker bees and slept in their hive I guess all the buzzing got to me- Once again comparing himself to a bee, but also his fans. As I’ve said, he adores fame and let it get the best of him, choosing it over friendship, and Ryan Well, I’m still alive- He thought he’d die without Ryan, but somehow has managed to stay on his feet At night your body is a symphony And I’m conducting- Gay sex. Aha, but no. Gay sex. But if you want a deeper meaning that might tie this whole verse together (because honestly the lyrics go everywhere here), he just referenced that fame got to him and even though Ryan left, he stayed on his feet. Ryan was the one who grounded the band and directed the directions they were going. But now Brendon gets to do whatever he wants. So this could be an analogy for the band. The band is the body, and success is the symphony. And now he is the conductor for where everything goes