Panic at the Disco riding high on CD sales

He sounds like a guy born with a knowing grin on his face, and now he has another reason to smile.

"Yeah, we're feeling so good," Panic at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie chirps sunnily on his band's latest hit single, "Nine in the Afternoon," and he ought to be in strong spirits: Panic's sophomore album, "Pretty. Odd" debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard "Top 200" album chart Wednesday.

Released March 25, the disc moved 139,000 copies its first week of release, the highest debut for a Las Vegas band since The Killers also debuted at No. 2 with their second album, "Sam's Town," in October of 2006.

The follow-up to Panic's platinum selling 2005 debut, "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out," "Pretty. Odd" earned the band their best sales outing yet, far outpacing their previous high-water mark of 45,000 CDs sold in a single week in the winter of 2006.

The album fared well digitally too, where it also came in at the No. 2 spot on the albums chart and accounted for 26 percent of the disc's overall sales.

In addition, "Nine In The Afternoon" recently broke into the top 25 of the Soundscan Digital Song Chart, riding a 39 percent sales increase from the previous week.

It's all a culmination of a long buildup to the record's release and plenty of promotional hoopla.

"We don't really focus on it too much," Urie said recently of all the hype surrounding their latest disc. "What's really important to us is the music, of course, and just trying to better ourselves and do better than we've done."

The band has been riding a wave of good fortune of late, scoring positive reviews in Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly for their buoyant, busy-sounding second album, which carries with it a strong Beatles influence.

While writing the album, the band looked mostly to classic pop and rock acts for motivation.

"This time around we're discovering new bands -- or old bands, that are being rediscovered by us, like The Who or Tom Petty or Creedence Clearwater Revival," Urie said. "Bands like that really inspired us to do something different and make our own sound and just kind of have fun with music."

Next up for the band is an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend and a headlining slot on the latest installment of the annual "Honda Civic Tour," where they will top a bill also featuring Motion City Soundtrack, The Hush Sound and Phantom Planet.

The tour starts April 10 with a pair of sold-out concerts in San Francisco before eventually making its way to Las Vegas for a show at The Pearl at the Palms on June 13.

"We like to put on more of a show when we're playing live, we act out a little bit more," Urie said. "That may be in tune with the music we're playing. We're definitely into the theatrics, but we're not too different onstage than we are backstage."

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at or (702) 383-0476.