(Image via musicfeeds.com.au)
Paramore’s main source of light is Hayley Williams. She twirls around the stage wearing red boyshort underwear and a large baggy t-shirt. Like she just rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to tiptoe to the kitchen and get some cereal. The Tennessee native looks far from 29, but she’s definitely lived.
If there’s one thing fans have learned on the After Laughter tour, it’s that Paramore is indeed still a band. Original member, Zac Farro is back and better than ever after several years away. The group vibed off eachother on old and new tracks in ways we haven’t seen before. Every sound/instrument had a human behind it, bopping their head, and tapping a foot or two. While the stage is large, the band seemed to be positioned close together while they smile and jam with eachother through every song. The genuine feeling of camaraderie is heartwarming.
After Laughter sparked a pop-art inspired tour; something that now fits the band effortlessly. Hayley gives a mini-speech on how great it feels to be back and playing in large venues again. She says, “Let’s have some fun. We’re Paramore!”
Within the first five songs, they’ve covered hits like, “Still Into You”, “That’s What You Get”, and even 2007’s epic “Crush Crush Crush”. Hayley nonchalantly steals the show while headbanging, dancing, and screaming on stage. Guitarist, Taylor York remains in his element stage left, head down, shredding on the guitar for a solid two hours. Zac Farro seems calm, cool, and collected on the drums, banging away like his life depends on it.
Newer tracks like, “Rose-Colored Boy,” “Forgiveness,” and “Caught In the Middle” brought a retro 80’s feel to the night. Mirrored screens lined the top of the stage in a “Saved by the Bell” blocky neon fashion. Over halfway through the set, they stopped for a quick acoustic session. Hayley gave a fitting intro, saying, “Some soft songs for your soft hearts.” They went on to play a cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit”, then melted fans’ hearts with 2009’s “Misguided Ghosts” and After Laughter’s emotional tribute to never losing hope, “26”.
Before the end of the show, Hayley handed over the reigns to Zac Farro. We had the chance to hear his side band called HalfNoise. Hayley picked up backing vocals, hit a tambourine, and some drums, bouncing around like his biggest (or smallest?) cheerleader. HalfNoise’s “All That Love Is” fit right in with Paramore’s already frenetic theme.
The major finale? A wildly fun performance of the song that kicked off their latest era; “Hard Times”. Hayley forcefully sings, “All I want is a hole in the ground, you can tell me when it’s alright, for me to come out?” Oh, honey, it’s okay, come on out. We love you.
To catch Paramore on the After Laughter Tour, click here!