Surrounded by female teenagers with Tyler Holland at my side, I finally got to see Paramore 10+ years after I first fell for them, at the legendary Beacon Theater in New York City. First off, this Paramore tour was titled “Writing The Future” and really focused on smaller, more intimate shows. To be honest, the way that Hayley Williams connects with the audience, you could be one of 1,000 or one of 20,000 and you would still feel the same effect, but more on that later.
Paramore formed in Franklin, Tennessee back in the early 2000’s. During the show at the Beacon, Hayley spoke of being 13 or 14 years old and watching her now band mates rehearse in a garage, just waiting for them to ask her to be part of the band. Clearly this happened and Paramore went on to release their first album, All We Know Is Falling, in 2005. I fucking love this album. I was 16 at the time and totally that shy, wears black hoodies, sits in the back corner of every high school classroom, artsy, doesn’t really associate with too many people, kinda girl. I still do wear black hoodies and I would probably prefer to sit in the back corner of a classroom if I found myself in one today, but now you can’t get me to shut up.
This album was magical for me. I hadn’t known too many rocking front-women at that time in my life that I really connected with. My first cassette was Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill and don’t get me wrong, I love that album as well, but Alanis and Hayley are worlds apart when it comes to style and musical genre. Hayley inspired me as a girl who loved to sing, play guitar and cover songs in my bathroom (bathroom’s totally have the best acoustics). She’s badass, beautiful and can sing her fucking heart out, and up until I got to see her live I didn’t realize the amazing amount of energy she creates on stage. She’s a spunky little firecracker for sure and she legitimately loves her fans. In my fantasies of being a rockstar, which happen often, I imagine that I would be a lot like her, singing at the top of my lungs, and flying across the stage. Hayley Williams is my spirit animal.
Following All We Know Is Falling, Paramore released 3 other studio albums. Riot was released in 2007, Brand New Eyes in 2009 and the self titled, Paramore, in 2013. Paramore did a fantastic job of incorporating songs from each album in their setlist at the Beacon. Their most recent album, Paramore, blew up and garnered more fans than ever before. This is unfortunate for some bands, as they tend to sell out a little, but I can’t really see Paramore doing that. They’re in it for the music and the connections they create with people all over the world, not the fame. And, this band seriously connects.
They engage the audience from the second they step out from behind those curtains and they don’t stop until the last note of the last song of the night. Aside from playing crowd favorites, “Never Let This Go,” “That’s What You Get,” “Still Into You,” “Ain’t It Fun,” “Decode,” there were a couple of moments that really stuck out to me from their show. One of these times being when they picked out a random girl named Kelly in the audience and brought her up on stage to sing “Misery Business” with Hayley. I love that shit. Kelly was really impressive, too!
Another notable moment was the impromptu acoustic set in the middle of the show in which they played a few songs including some that tenderly tug at my heartstrings “The Only Exception” and “Franklin,” the latter being about their hometown. The best moment though, hands down, was the encore. Since 2013, their touring drummer has been Aaron Gillespie (of Underoath and The Almost). The encore was “Future,” the last song on their most recent album, and it was an epic performance. The sound of the song in general is dark and rhythmic, with deep drum beats and almost a haunting feel to it. You could literally feel the whole theater pulsing during this song. God, it was SO good.
Since the nostalgic evening filled with the sounds of Paramore brought me back to my angsty teen years, I’ve been inspired yet again by Hayley and a whole plethora of awesome females. My newest Spotify playlist Badass Chicks is my current obsession and I can’t wait to scream-sing every goddamn one of those songs in my jeep all weekend.
Feel free to follow and be inspired as well by all that good shit: https://open.spotify.com/user/125744758/playlist/5JhtfBOtW3jUWmIzzeWHd1
Paramore Live Review by Rebecca Weinberg.
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