"here's to us, to growing up together, to every bad haircut decision you ever made, and to misery"
Front woman Hayley Williams tells New Hampshire last night before playing the iconic Misery Business. Last night I went to my second show of Paramore's Tour Five, which is being called The After Laughter Tour with Foster the People and Soccer Mommy. Why I decided my 28th Paramore show was the one I was going to write about is beyond me, but I guess it's mostly because of the last four days and how everything went.
I've been going to Paramore show's since 2007, which sometimes makes me feel like I'll never be one of those fans who Hayley will shout out from time to time as "people who have been there since day one" but that's my own personal battle I can't blame on anyone else, I first got into them in late 2006, yes, right after I went to Bamboozle and they played 20 minutes away from me at the same bar I had my sweet 16 at, I'm still not over it. I have seen this band through a lot of bad haircuts and colors, heart breaks from relationships and friend relationships, embarrassing meet and greet moments, everything. But, what I am going through now with this band is not something I can say we have done yet.
As I just mentioned, I've been to 28 Paramore shows, to some that's a lot, and to others that's how many they saw last tour, regardless, last night was special. I don't live in New Hampshire, not even close, yet it felt like home being with my friends I had just made from past Paramore tours, and we made friends with a girl who would go on to tell us before they went on, it was her first Paramore show, ever. She's been a fan since third grade she told us, the three of us immediately started screaming and got excited for her, my friend asks her "do you want us to help you get up for Miz Biz?" to which this girl says "what's that?!" and then it hit me. Paramore shows are special. I'm not an idiot, of course I knew they were special, and I've always said it, but in that moment, I realized how cool this band is towards fans.
The show started, although I had just seen the same show and studied the set list, I for once in probably a long time just watched the show without trying to know the next song. I watched Hayley smile, wink, and point at those she knew in the crowd, like she has always done, but something she has not always done is look as happy as she was last night.
Paramore Performing "Grudges" at Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, NY June 18th, 2018.
They got to the middle of their set, the acoustic part of it, earlier in the day, like the Syracuse show, a fan fainted right before Soccer Mommy, Syracuse was a 91 degree day, NH started off in the high 70's, low 80's, although NH was less hot, we were all still feeling the dehydration. They don't allow bags at the venue, and water was $8, and if you have ever been in a pit and or touching the barricade for your favorite band, you're not leaving. In Syracuse, the security guard rationed 3 bottles for a select few of us who shared with those around us, until he cut us off and said he couldn't give us anymore. NH was different, security told us they could get fired for giving us water and if we wanted water we would have to go and buy it. Right before the first acoustic song, a girl asked security for water, he told her the same thing he had already told us. I'm not sure if the band heard or just knew it was hot, Hayley asked the crowd if we needed water, to which we all screamed "YES.". The band then threw us all bottles, which triggered security to bring out cups and cups of water for the crowd to share. On Parahoy, Hayley was the first person to give a fan who had fainted in front of me a bottle of water and to make sure she was okay, Aaron Weiss of Mewithoutyou also tossed bottles of water out to the crowd on Parahoy during it's hottest day. These are moments I realize how good we have it to pick Paramore as the band we go and see.
Paramore performing their cover of "Passion Fruit" by Drake at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion June 20th, 2018.
After the acoustic part, I was ready for the last part of the set, because my favorite song was 2 songs away in the set list, that I knew for sure. Hayley has been giving her Ignorance megaphone to a fan in the front the last few shows on tour, I have known all 3 of them so far, she asks for it back before they get into No Friend, which is and always has been the most iconic part of the shows since After Laughter's release. No Friend is becoming the Let the Flames begin of the After Laughter era, providing us with every members entire heart in it, and now it has been even more raw. When AL came out, I had said it would be interesting and powerful if when Aaron is unavailable to do his part in the song, if Hayley did certain parts with her megaphone to drive the emotion. To my surprise, that is what I got to see both nights I attended.
The night was coming to a close, and Hayley stopped at one point after No Friend, and just looked out in the crowd smiling and didn't say anything for a few seconds. She made an emotional speech that moved my entire section to tears, and it made me feel like this is something I am a part of. They launched into Misery Business, and although we tried and pointed to our new friend, Hayley chose 3 very amazing fans who commanded the stage, probably one of my favorites I have seen. Afterwards, our friend says "NEXT TIME, I'M BRINGING A DAMN SIGN!" and now I hope she goes to another show ASAP to rock it.
Paramore at Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion June 20th, 2018
The night ended, we all said our goodbyes as "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" played and we all sang and danced, something that has been a staple on every end of show since AL's release. As I walked back to my car with fans I met through the band online, I just got hit with every emotion, while thinking about what Hayley said.
As my friend Cait said, this is the happiest the band has been, and as someone who has been to a lot of Paramore shows, I can say this is their most genuine. There were times the last few years I felt Hayley trying to make us believe it. Her putting everything into the shows to make sure we all had the time of our lives, but I felt like she was the only one trying to keep the ship afloat, patching the holes left and right, putting on a brave face and giving us speeches like she has always done, but sometimes I felt she was talking out loud to herself more than she was talking to us. But now, we see the entire band laugh, play around, and smile. I've never seen Hayley laugh as much on stage as she does when Zac takes center to perform a cover of whichever Halfnoise song they are doing on that tour, I've never seen Taylor come alive as much as he has this era, they aren't jamming down our throats they're okay, they're just proving it without caring about if we believe it or not.
Paramore is on their most authentic era of their 14 year long career, and it's an honor to watch them perform as often as I get to. I am so excited to finish out the last 3 dates of tour five this weekend with them, and I hope this new life never fades, because it gives me something to hold on to.