As Panic’s Ross and Urie part ways, we ask, what comes next?

Photo: Ryan Olbrysh

On July 6, guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker posted a message to announcing their departure from the platinum-selling band due to creative differences. In a separate statement, vocalist Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith indicated that plans for an upcoming third album and continued touring would go forward, and Hard Rock reps have confirmed an August 7 opening gig for No Doubt at the Joint will go on as planned. Beyond that? A few possible outcomes:


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• Primary lyricist, songwriter and founding member Ross’ new direction follows in the vein of Beatles-inspired, painstakingly arranged sophomore effort Pretty. Odd. The Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen family promptly drops the decidedly more mature (if somewhat recycled) sound. Promising critical yet tepid public reception throws Ross headlong into a Dylan-funk phase.

• Urie, comparatively new to the composing side, and founding member Smith’s third album returns to the emo-punk, cabaret-pop stylings that caught the ears of a finicky young fanbase. Sales fall short of debut effort A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’s two million-plus copies. An “edgy” fourth-album publicity stunt features guest vocals from one-time feudee Brandon Flowers.

• Persistent ambivalence leads to indefinite hiatus of both bands. A hits-and-rarities collection and 2021 Coachella appearance eventually spark rumors of a full reunion tour. Late-20s nostalgia whores delight in singing along to “That Green Gentleman”: “Things have changed for me, and that’s okay/A falling-out we won’t tiptoe about.”


Julie Seabaugh

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