April 29, 2013
After losing two founding members, Paramore made a show of their new self-confidence Monday night at Comerica Theatre, standing in front of a giant backdrop displaying nothing but three marks. It's been almost three years since Paramore last hit up the Valley, but at their show Monday it seemed as though no time at all had passed.
A full house seemed just as into the band as ever, taking over singing duties for frontwoman Hayley Williams as the trio (with backing musicians) played songs from all four of the band's albums.
With none of the big rock-show trappings -- no video screens or elaborate set-pieces or tickets over $35 -- the group sounded on point and undistracted. Williams sounded stellar, and her vocals were easily audible -- a nice feature in a rock show.
Paramore may not have mentioned the rift that resulted in two founding members leaving the group in 2010, but they set the tone early by opening their set with a track off their current album, "Moving On (Interlude.)" "Misery Business," which came next, may have originally been geared toward a lady, but in its new context it seemed fitting for the departed Farro brothers, too.
Though Paramore's current members have probably felt their share of anger the past few years, Williams kept things upbeat and positive throughout the show, insisting to fans the group was there for them and encouraging audience members to believe in themselves.
Between songs, Williams-turned-motivational-speaker spouted statements like, "Learn to accept yourself and the ugliest sides;" "We're human, too, and all of us together are fighting the good fight;" "Enjoy yourself at your truest form;" and, "You are important, you have a story to tell, and we are on your side." Later on the group brought several audience members on stage to help sing the track, "Anklebiters."
Despite the lineup changes, fans seem to be embracing Paramore's evolution; after seven years of touring, they achieved their first No. 1 album with this year's Paramore. The band's new songs fit in perfectly with the older material, and so did the new Hayley Williams; the mask-like makeup she wore during the show made her look a little like a rock superhero, and that's exactly how the crowd seemed to see her.
Personal Bias: I've seen Paramore four times now -- I'm a huge fan.
The Crowd: The crow seemed to consist of fans who have grown with the band -- mostly college aged people and young adults, with men and women.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Williams sounds really clear and accurate."
Random Notebook Dump: I was really disappointed Paramore didn't play one of my two favorite songs from their new album, "(One of Those) Crazy Girls."
Moving On (Interlude)
For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
The Only Exception
Let the Flames Begin
Fast in My Car
That's What You Get
Still into You Encore: Ain't It Fun
Brick by Boring Brick