I don't think what I have to say about this is anything anyone is going to care about, but I had a lot I wanted to say and twitter would have cut me off too many times, so basically, if you're interested, thanks, if you aren't, no hard feelings.
Paramore announced last week they were performing on the late show with Stephen Colbert, of course I wanted to go since I had the day off (I'm always off on Tuesday's) and I do live in New York. Unsurprisingly, it was sold out. A friend of mine convinced me to go anyway to wait although we also knew there was no stand by line. I went because I had the day off and it was going to be a beautiful day and since my boyfriend moved to Boston for an indefinite amount time, why not. Long story short because nobody gives a shit, we didn't get in, we unfortunately have no connections or planned ahead to try and email the show so we were turned away. After being bitter and getting food, we heard our friends were hanging out outside the theater where the guests come out the back door and sign stuff or say hi. As uncomfortable with the idea of waiting outside for the band to come out as I was, I was already there and the next off peak train was 3 hours from then. (I promise there's a reason I'm telling you all this, stay with me here). Where we sat happened to be within looking up distance from where the band was, which made me even more uncomfortable since it made me feel like we were all just ready to pounce on them which none of us were going to do. We ended up kind of seeing the taping since there was a TV in the room and we could see.
This is where all that matters:
So, that day there were 3 guests and the band. I didn't know this but everyone else probably does, tapings and such for talk shows and things like that have this cult following of people who either have a job or just do it as a hobby, they get signatures and photos of the guests and sell them for a high profit on eBay. We waited with about 12 grown men who most mentioned they didn't know who Paramore was and didn't even have anything for any of them to actually sign since they weren't prepared for them to be there. We watched the first guest come out and straight to their van, I was honestly relieved since they all were actually waiting for this person and seemed really disappointed they couldn't get anything signed. The next guest about 20 minutes later actually stopped to sign and take photos, I opted out since I had no interest in it. The third guest also stopped and signed for 5 people and then left. So then all that was left was Paramore. This entire blog post probably has people thinking I think I'm this or that and you're entitled to think whatever you want, but I genuinely mean it when I say I didn't want anything if they were going to come out. Didn't want a picture or anything I was just there to hang out and also say hi since I was there basically all day with the intention of seeing them. To put it plainly, Paramore went right into the van, Justin and probably someone else I couldn't make out waved, and that was it. As we walked away, I thought a lot about the entire day. I wasn't mad at them, nobody was mad at them. But I had a lot of feelings and things before and after lead me to want to express them here because I think there's a lot to talk about:
As we walked away from the theater and starting to walk towards the train, guitarist Taylor York tweeted about how he feels guilty for not being able to be good at social media and he's just trying to make music and overall just that he was "moody and terrified". It kind of broke me a bit since we had kind of seen the performance in pieces and it looked like it was making a statement (the song alone has a lot to say) and paired with them getting right into their van (side note: they literally could have had no time to stop or anything and I don't hold it against them they didn't come out and the only reason I'm bringing it up is to talk about how everything can mean something bigger) Taylor's tweet seemed deeper to me than what the internet took it for.
I heard a lot about the performance, i didn't watch it right away because I was still getting over getting stone cold rejected when I was literally outside the theater and couldn't just watch the 3 minute performance, but after sulking and being ridiculous, I did watch it. And honestly there's so much going on.
First off, people were really confused or they didn't really like what was going on or why Hayley looked the way she did. And before it was explained yesterday, I got it right away. I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing it, but as someone who suffers from anxiety, I saw myself in that performance. Paramore didn't just drop and album and say “yeah we've been depressed but here” they've literally done so much to drive the messages of almost every song on After Laughter. Paramore went on Zane Lowe to go song by song with him to talk about the meanings briefly. When Hard Times dropped, we got a sense of direction with where the tone was going, even prior to the release, there was an NPR (I think?) article about the lyrics to Hard Times and Caught in the Middle and talking about wanting to die, a theme never really explored much in a Paramore record before. I felt Hard Times was pretty to the point and nothing to hide behind or any metaphors, but then we had Told you So, while the lyrics weren't really detailed, the music video was, adding more depth to it than the lyrics led on. That video is close to my heart and I think anyone with anxiety sees them self in that video. Fake Happy stabbed us all in the heart with its blunt take on really just being fake happy. The video also hit me because of the idea of Hayley 1. Being alone in a video after fighting for the “Paramore is a band” statement since it's formation, and 2. Also challenging the anxiety of wearing something she said she would never wear anywhere when it was talked about at the Parahoy Q&A. Taylor Swift attempted to take on a similar approach with her video for “Delicate” but with no disrespect to her, it lacked the depth and emotion that Fake Happy gave me, personally. So then we finally reached Rose Colored Boy, a song that I felt was pretty blunt as well lyrically but then once it was explained on Paramore’s twitter yesterday, I really felt it tied together not only the Colbert performance, but After Laughter.
I feel like I keep repeating the same shit, but I'm going to add some more words:
After Laughter is not like any other Paramore record or record that came out in 2017. Every song has had a purpose, every song had more meaning and depth than the lyrics no matter how self explanatory they were. The press, or lack of press that surrounded this record paired with the themes and meanings really reflected so much authenticity that it stuns me this is my favorite band that's doing these things and it makes me incredibly proud to have grown up with them.
Basically, to make a really long almost pointless story short, there's more to everything Paramore is doing in the After Laughter era that i feel if you don't have time or desire to dive into it, just listen and enjoy, but don't try to tear any of it down or cheaper it, because not for nothing, I would be terrified if this was me. Endless and sincere congrats to a band who has struck through every season and put out the most relatable and authentic content in 2017, and maybe even in the last 5 years.