GALLERY: Cry hard, dance harder with Paramore
Life with AL on Tour 5
P A R A M O R E is a band that has been a household name for over a decade now. The band is celebrating the release of their fifth album, After Laughter, which hit shelves last summer. The album, featuring singles like “Hard Times”, “Fake Happy”, and “Rose-Colored Boy”, made it hard for both fans old and new to deny the icons the band has become.
The band’s fifth stop on the tour landed us in Syracuse, NY at Lakeview Amphitheater. Opening up the show was Paramore’s Nashville buds Soccer Mommy (Fat Possum). Though there was no banner of any kind or much talking during their set, Sophie Allison and co. brought their “chill but kinda sad bedroom pop” to the colorfully diverse Paramore fandom.
Soccer Mommy reminded us of an alt-pop version of Milk Teeth – with some hardcore 90s fashion sense and alternative sound. Though this band may be new to you, their trophy case certainly isn’t empty.
With musical features in Rolling Stone and NPR, Soccer Mommy is the perfect example of a life of underground indie stardom on the verge of national acclaim. You can check out their debut record Clean on all major streaming platforms!
Next up was Foster The People (Columbia). Remember their 2010 hit single “Pumped Up Kicks”? You know, the single that helped bridge the gap between alternative rock and pop? The single that played on several types of radio stations, demonstrating that you can label music in more than one way?
Or is that just us… Foster The People have kept quiet when it came to the radio stations since that breakout single from eight years ago, but they’ve recently landed a spot on the forefront of those radio stations once again with their newest hit “Sit Next To Me”, off their newest album Sacred Hearts Club, released less than a year ago.
Fans seemed to enjoy their set as they danced around to the 80s pop sounds as frontman Mark Foster moonwalked across the stage.
An unbelievable set by an unbelievable band. Welcome band, FTP.
Just as the sun was setting on the amphitheater, Paramore (Fueled by Ramen) took to the stage in a technicolor tizzy. Frontwoman Hayley Williams rushed the stage, following touring members Logan MacKenzie, Joey Howard, Justin York, and Joseph Mullen. Quietly, though not secretly, Zac Farro and Taylor York took to their instruments, settling in to the flash of colors and patterns behind them. With Williams in tow, Paramore’s 2018 essence was in full force as they opened with “Grudges”, an ode to friendship off their 2017 masterpiece After Laughter. Swiftly moving into crowd favorites, Paramore high kicked to “Still Into You”, got cheeky with the sarcasm-laced “Rose Colored Boy”, and high kicked even MORE to everyone’s favorite pop punk heartbreak anthem, “That’s What You Get” before taking the crowd on a severe record rollercoaster, shifting between albums new and old with no mercy.
Halfway through their twenty-one song setlist, stagehands brought out chairs for the three founding members of Paramore, York, Farro, and Williams. Though Paramore is technically a trio these days, the touring members are also in Farro’s band that formed after his departure from Paramore eight years go, HalfNoise.
After a space was created for the three, Williams brought her sacred mic to her mouth and claimed the trio would play “some soft songs for your soft hears… Sad A.F.” Ugh, tell me about it, Hayley. Dipping into their softer catalogue, Paramore played their token sad songs (but still iconic nonetheless, don’t get me wrong), “26” and “Misguided Ghosts”, two acoustic ballads about being lost in the world you created with your own two hands. But, before things got too emo in the sea of colored hair and checkered outfits, Paramore pulled out their electro-acoustic version of Drake’s “Passionfruit”.
With a swift shake of the head and emotional check-in, the band transitioned into AL’s “Caught In The Middle”, a spunky ode to being your own worst enemy with an absolutely iconic bridge: “I don’t need no help, / I can sabotage me by myself.”
If there is one thing Paramore should be proud of in regards to their live set, it’s their ability to throw together a setlist. These songs are in a specific order for a reason, alluding to a theme for each tour, sometimes a show in itself. That being said, the transition into “Idle Worship” after a song about sabotaging yourself had to be completely on purpose (Note: the play on words with “idol” and “idle”). An ambitious song about the tribulations, the joys, and anxieties of being on a pedestal for an extended period of time, “Idle Worship” is Paramore’s most well-written song to date. The song has less of a focus on the vocal execution and expands more on the emotion via Williams’ chaotic vocals and York’s swift guitar work; it’s just three minutes of absolute disarray and mockery. Favorite lyrics: “I think it’s safe to say your Savior doesn’t look a thing like me.”
Fading from “Idle Worship” to “No Friend”, just as they did on After Laughter, Paramore demonstrated that flashy LED screens and high kicks aside, the band is just that: a band. Skilled guitar work, intricate percussion, and clever bass lines filled the arena during “No Friend”, a lyric-less piece of art Paramore collaborated with mewithoutYou’s Aaron Weiss, who contributed a spoken word piece hidden at the end of the track.
It didn’t take too long for fans to get back to the band’s roots, with the moment literally everyone was waiting for. Honestly, everyone. Literally.
It’s no secret that Paramore brings up a freakin’ stupid lucky fan during their biggest hit to date, “Misery Business”. Fans bring wondrous signs, take to massive Twitter polls, and weasel their way to the front at every show for a chance to have Williams drag their sweaty, beautiful, technicolor selves on stage to finish the bridge and final chorus of the 2007 revenge power ballad.
“Ain’t It Fun”’s gospel party took over the stage for the next few minutes before Paramore exited the stage, building up tension for the encore. The witty “Told You So” brought the band back on stage, and was followed by a tradition in the AL era. Each show, the band covers one HalfNoise song, in appreciation of Zac Farro and the rest of the touring members, and also because have you heard their music?! 70s velvet rock with some modern riffs are my heart and soul. Zac Farro took to the mic centerstage as Mullen found a home on the drums backstage, covering “All That Love Is” from their newest EP “Flowerss” (double S intended).
Finishing up the night with the single that started it all, “Hard Times” brought everyone together one more time before Paramore said au revoir to the state of New York.
You really can’t go wrong at a Paramore show, but for whatever reason, the AL era brought Paramore to a level we didn’t know they could be on. The AL era is about acknowledging the feelings you keep shoving away, being vulnerable with those you love, and accepting the ability to be soft is actually a strength. And also sick dance moves.
Hit up Tour 5 ASAP before you miss out on a monumental show! They’ll be touring all Summer in a city that’s bound to be near you. Cry hard, dance harder, friends <3
Remaining Tour 5 dates:
|Wed Jun 20||Gilford, NH||Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion|
|Thu Jun 21||Bangor, ME||Darlings Waterfront Pavilion|
|Sat Jun 23||Columbia, MD||Merriweather Post Pavilion|
|Sun Jun 24||Philadelphia, PA||Festival Pier|
|Tue Jun 26||Brooklyn, NY||Barclays Center|
|Thu Jun 28||Columbus, OH||Express Live!|
|Fri Jun 29||Detroit, MI||DTE Energy Music Theatre|
|Sun Jul 01||Indianapolis, IN*||Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park*|
|Mon Jul 02||Chicago, IL||Huntington Beach Pavilion at Northerly Park|
|Thu Jul 05||Minneapolis, MN||The Armory|
|Sat Jul 07||Kansas City, MO||Starlight Amphitheatre|
|Sun Jul 08||Oklahoma City, OK||Zoo Amphitheatre|
|Tue Jul 10||New Orleans, LA||Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square|
|Wed Jul 11||Corpus Christi, TX||Concrete Street Amphitheater|
|Fri Jul 13||Houston, TX||Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion|
|Sat Jul 14||Irving, TX||The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory|
|Wed Jul 18||Los Angeles, CA||The Forum|
|Thu Jul 19||San Diego, CA||Mattress Firm Amphitheatre|
|Sat Jul 21||Mountain View, CA||Shoreline Amphitheatre|
|Mon Jul 23||Salt Lake City, UT||USANA Amphitheatre|
|Tue Jul 24||Morrison, CO||Red Rocks Amphitheatre|