Last night Panic! at the Disco's Ryan Ross turned twenty-one in New York City at Angels and Kings, the East Village "dive bar" owned by labelmates Fall Out Boy, Gym Class Heroes, the Academy Is ..., Cobra Starship and their management, Crush. Ross was in town between last weekend's gigs at the Reading and Leeds festivals and this weekend's Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival in Seattle. After that, it's back to work on the band's sophomore disc, which is Ross' main focus: "We're trying to finish up in the next month, month and a half," he says. After Bumbershoot and San Diego Street Scene at the end of September the band plans to head into the studio with a release slated for February or March of 2008.
The scene at the bar last night was suitably carnival-esque for the dramatic Panic! guitarist. Ross' girlfriend, Keltie Colleen (of Pussycat Dolls-esque troupe Sugar and Spice) planned the ordeal: She hung mini versions of Ross' high school yearbook photo (which she found on the Internet) from the ceiling by ribbon, commissioned Ross' friends to wear T-shirts sporting the image of a twelve-year-old Ross holding a fish, and planned her own midnight surprise: having fellow Sugar and Spice members wheel her out in a wrapped box.
Though Ross and his bandmates chose not to invest in Angels and Kings when it opened because they were underage, the band is now halfway to legality (singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith still have to hit the twenty-one milestone) and Ross says its possible the band would buy into the investment in the future. Some of the current owners were also in attendance last night: Gym Class Heroes' Travis McCoy, whose band is heading out on the Young Wild Things Tour with Fall Out Boy this fall, and Gabe Saporta and Ryland Blackinton of Cobra Starship, whose next album comes out October 23rd.