The Girl at the Rock Show: Paramore

Boy, is it good to be a Paramore fan.

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I recently wrote a blog post about the Paramore show that I attended at the Naval Academy, which was technically the first date on the Writing The Future tour. Tonight, I saw them again on the tour in Baltimore.

The show was at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs. Hayley Williams enlightened us all with the fact that they were playing the first rock show in 20 years at the Meyerhoff, and that she would be sure to spit on the stage a few extra times. Go get ’em, tiger.

I actually really loved the environment for the show. Having seats didn’t make any difference because no one sat down anyway, but it still felt really intimate. They played the same set list as they did at the Naval Academy (except they added one more acoustic song tonight [“Franklin”]), but there was more of a storyteller vibe tonight. I was learning some things about Paramore for the first time.

About a week after Hayley officially joined Paramore, they played a show at a youth group and performed the first song they ever wrote together, “Conspiracy”. They also performed a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” at that show, but “an emo version.”

The opener, Copeland, also mentioned that Paramore played their first show ever opening for them, and they were kind of intimidated by this spunky red-haired girl and how good of a performance the band put on. 11 years later, Paramore brought them back to open for them.

One of Paramore’s biggest radio hits is “The Only Exception”, and before performing it tonight, Hayley explained that when she was 5 years old, her parents got divorced and by the time she was 13 or 14, she had experienced 3 divorces. It left her confused about love and she didn’t really believe in it until she had started to feel it with someone [namely, Chad Gilbert, her now-fiancee).

Hayley also explained that after this tour run, they would be between albums. Having gone through that period 3 times before, she had always previously had self-doubt and negativity about the future, thinking the next album would suck, and just trying to find your voice. As an encouragement for the audience, and a declaration to herself, she so eloquently stated, “Wherever you’re at in your life, keep moving. Keep reaching. Whoever you are in the future is bound to be stronger, and maybe even cooler than you are right now.”

See, this is what I like about being at a Paramore show. It doesn’t feel like it’s an artist on the stage and a fan in the audience. It feels like a family.

At every single Paramore show ever, the band brings a fan on stage to sing the bridge of “Misery Business”. Tonight, they pulled up a guy named Anthony who was holding a sign that said he’d been to 46 Paramore shows. He was even wearing Paramore’s first ever t-shirt design.

When he was doing his thing on stage, I just had this overwhelming feeling that I was about to cry [I didn’t, but I choked up for a second] because it was such a genuine connection they were having up there.

After Misery Business, Hayley addressed the situation in Baltimore: “Thank you for coming and escaping with us. We read the news. We know what’s going on in Baltimore. We’re glad we could come together and enjoy music.”

Amen to that.

Also, amen to Hayley crushing it during “Ain’t It Fun”

A video posted by Sam (@sammysamica) on

 

The band came back out for an encore of “Future”, and it was probably one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen live. If you’ve never listened to the track, it’s a 7 minute long instrumental piece, except for the first minute or so where Hayley sings a bit. There’s a part of the song, near the 5 minute mark, where the music fades out and right when you think the song is over, the music fades back in.

During the performance tonight, the band was totally rocking out together, and they faded the mics/amplifiers out so that the music got softer [and it was basically silent for a few moments], but they were still rocking out as if they were playing full volume. It was fantastic.

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I’m supremely honored to have been a part of two shows on this tour. It was an opportunity for the band to play songs they don’t really ever get to play live. Hayley even forgot the lyrics of “Be Alone” tonight, and at the other show I went to, she forgot the lyrics to “Misguided Ghosts” because they play these songs so infrequently. But it also made the night even more spectacular because I knew I was a part of something really special.

Here’s to writing the future.

 

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