Three Questions with Spencer Smith of Panic! At the Disco

The local dance rockers will release their debut album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, September 27 on influential indie label Fueled By Ramen.

You got signed before ever playing a show. Were you nervous about living up to the expectations from such a quick deal?

We definitely were kind of nervous, because it was a thing where if a label is signing you off of three songs, there's going to be kind of an expectation of—they like that style of songs, and they're expecting all the songs to be like that. Our biggest thing was we knew we were probably going to write songs that we were happy with; we were just nervous that maybe, because they were a little bit different than what they had signed us off of—that's what we were nervous about, that maybe they weren't going to like the newer stuff that we were writing.

Are you guys the next Killers?

What we get all the time is "Fall Out Boy meets the Killers," which—I don't think so, no. We don't want to be. I like the Killers. We all like that band. But I don't think we really want to be put in that '80s revival kind of a thing, because our record really doesn't sound like that. Right now, people say all these things, and it doesn't really bother us at all, because the record's not even out. People have heard four songs, total. I definitely think I'll be more into hearing what people say after they hear the record. If they still say that, then they still say that.

Do you think the success of the Killers helped you by bringing a focus on bands from Vegas?

It less helped us out in the fact that they're from Vegas. It might have kind of opened people's eyes to the fact that a keyboard is an instrument that can be used and wasn't being hardly at all before they got huge. The fact that they're from Vegas—the reason I don't necessarily think it was a huge thing is because they weren't amazingly huge in Vegas before they got big everywhere else. They were in Europe before they were huge in Vegas. It's kind of strange.

Josh Bell

Most Shameful Show of the Week

Where: Aladdin Showroom

When: 9 p.m., September 3-4

Price: $39.50

Info: 785-5000

First there was Jefferson Airplane, then Jefferson Starship, then a lawsuit, then Starship, then Pete Sears left, then Grace Slick, and then Mickey Thomas, who formed his own Starship, featuring himself. Our heads hurt.

Martin Stein

Not All Out of Love

If you start listening to something early enough in life, it's difficult to later distinguish whether you like it based on quality or familiarity. Even the opening bars of songs can bring back floods of memories or childhood security or—oh, who cares. I like Air Supply.

Whether I rationalize it, call it a guilty pleasure, or freely admit that I still tell myself the higher-pitched member of this male Aussie duo is female (which made attending their concert three years ago a bit of a disappointment), the point remains that I've memorized an array of songs and am often disappointed to find that karaoke establishments have a dearth when it comes to their AS collection. "All Out of Love." "Lost in Love." "Making Love Out of Nothing at All." "One That You Love." Love, love, love.

Now they're bringing their schmaltz back to town for an entire long weekend. I likely won't be in the audience. But now that I've got those lyrics in my head, I will be anxiously checking my mailbox to see if the used CD I just ordered for $4.07 has arrived.

Kate Silver

We're Hoping

w/Mike Epps

Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena

When: 8 p.m., September 4

Price: $52.50-$157

Info: 891-7777

Last year, Aretha Franklin was less than impressive at an intimate, yet too-brief concert at the House of Blues. "Freeway of Love" vamped on for about 12 minutes, which means it lasted about 20 percent of the concert. Then there was that surreal moment in the middle when the Queen of Soul left the stage and some kids came out and break-danced. Still, the greatest singer alive has her mighty voice when she deigns to use it. Keep your fingers crossed ...

Richard Abowitz

In Advance


Say Hello to Sunshine (2 stars)

w/RX Bandits, A Static Lullaby, The Exit

Where: House of Blues, Mandalay Bay

When: 5:30 p.m., September 2

Price: $15-$17

Info: 632-7600

The second album from emo-hard-core band Finch takes them in a heavier direction, and consequently finds them sounding even more like everything else on the radio right now. Fans of bands like the Used and My Chemical Romance might appreciate Finch's more aggressive sound, but in cranking up the guitars, they've abandoned most of the hooks that make bands such as that palatable in the first place. "Ink" and "A Man Alone" break up the monotony with creative riffs, but the album is mostly uninspiring sludge.

Josh Bell

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