In support of their latest album, After Laughter, Paramore has been firing up audiences with new and old hits across the states on their “Tour Two”. They stopped at the UCCU Center Sept. 22 and proved the band is as strong as ever, despite experiencing hardships that almost lead to their end.
In 2005, Paramore introduced themselves to the world with their “emo” rock sound but have experimented as their career continued. Songs on their self-titled fourth album played around with pop elements, such as the soulful Ain’t it Fun and cheery Still Into You. They plunged deeper into bright sounds in After Laughter but still stayed true to what makes Paramore unique. The band faced many changes with this record because bassist Jeremy Davis left and old drummer Zac Farro returned. Despite these changes, Paramore produced a mature, shimmering album that delved deeper into upbeat pop music that mixed with their core rock music and despondent lyrics.
During the concert, Paramore showcased the range of their musical catalog by intertwining songs from all eras of their career; from the drum-infested, explosive I Caught Myself to the Fleetwood Mac-esque Forgiveness, they played it all. They kicked off the show with the 80’s-esque song Hard Times, and the crowd erupted in a collective roar of joyous cheers in response. Lead singer Hayley Williams commanded the stage by running, jumping and sharing her infectious energy with the audience. Members of the audience sang along at the top of their lungs while dancing and head banging to popular songs like That’s What You Get and Brick By Boring Brick.
“Something that’s impressed me is that Paramore has been such a solid band for over ten years and Hayley still has so much passion and love for what she does. You can feel her love and appreciation for herself and her fans,” audience member Gabrielle Dredge said.
A fan in a brightly patterned suit was invited onstage to sing Misery Business. He gave an ecstatic performance alongside the energetic band members. Paramore also performed a heartwarming cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere, which matched with their funky After Laughter vibe.
Although the band performed with massive energy, the show might have never happened. Before Williams’s emotional performance of the soft ballad 26, she admitted to being unsure the band would last to create a fifth album. She also addressed depression and mental health issues.
“It’s very real what you might be struggling with, and it’s important to talk about it,” Williams said.
Williams expressed her gratitude for her fans when she introduced the other band members, and then pointed at the crowd to show they were included. She thanked everyone for being a part of the band’s journey and reassured them they are as much of a part of Paramore as the members by inviting fans to chant “We are Paramore!”
Williams said she was glad everyone pulled away from the madness of the world and all that is going on to take a break and come together through music. Paramore brought their best to the stage and constantly interacted with the fans. This concert proves that though the band may have struggled, they bounced back with a new fire in them, returning stronger than before for a fun-filled show that inspired fans to do the same when times get tough.