Panic! At The Disco frontman brings song, prizes to Vancouver

Radio contest win nets man $1,000, special performance, 1972 Impala

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor



Max Andersen will have quite a story to tell when classes resume at Evergreen High School this week.

The frontman from one of her favorite bands, Panic! At The Disco, rolled into the 17-year-old’s apartment complex Sunday afternoon behind the wheel of the red, 1972 Chevrolet Impala convertible from the band’s “Miss Jackson” music video.

Singer and guitarist Brendon Urie parked the Impala, and while meeting with a group of about a dozen fans, hugged Max and let the Vancouver teen take a selfie with him.

Max looked at her family and mouthed “oh my god” after embracing the rock star.

Then Brendon slicked his hair back under his baseball cap, slung a guitar over his shoulder and belted out a couple of songs while standing near the hood of the classic car.

And that wasn’t all.

The car was a gift for Max’s father, Neil Andersen, who had won the Impala and the chance to meet Brendon in a nationwide iHeartRadio contest put on by Clear Channel Broadcasting.

Max might know each word to every Panic! At The Disco song, but Neil said he’s a pretty big fan too.

“I always loved their music,” Neil said. “I now know everything Panic! At The Disco plays.”

Neil said he was driving to work at about 5 a.m. one recent day when the radio station he listens to, 102.3, Alternative Radio for Portland, asked listeners to text in the word “brother.”

Neil works as an engineering technician for Oregon Aero in Scappoose, Ore., a company that manufactures airplane seats.

A couple of minutes after he sent the text, Neil got a phone call and learned he had won $1,000. He also was entered into a drawing with 239 other people around the country to win the chance to meet Brendon and get the car.

Since discovering he won that nationwide contest, “I’ve been riding on cloud nine,” Neil said, adding that some of his coworkers have asked him to buy them lottery tickets because he’s been so lucky.

On Sunday afternoon, the Andersen family, along with a few friends and neighbors, sang along with Brendon as he performed two songs: “Miss Jackson” and “This is Gospel.” The singer appeared amused by the group’s enthusiasm and broke into a laugh a couple of times as he sang.

After his brief performance, he joked that the group was better at backup singing than his band. “You guys are loud, that was awesome,” Brendon said.

Max then gave Brendon a drawing she sketched of him, and admiring the picture, he told her: “You’re super talented. That’s insane.”

After snapping more photos with his fans and autographing the glove box of the Impala, Brendon ended his 20-minute meetup with the Andersen family and was whisked off to prepare for his evening concert at the McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater in Troutdale, Ore.

After the star left, Neil said he was happy to see Brendon was “such a standup guy.” He also called Sunday one of the best days of his life.

An Impala is “one of the cars I’ve always loved, and now I own one.”

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