Last Night: Paramore at Bayou Music Center
During what I like to call the great Zumiez boom of the 2000s, emo bands moved from depressing and mopey to more pop-punk. Like any other musical trend, this era eventually came and went. Very few of the bands that had once filled stadiums and possessed a rabid fanbase made it through to the other side of 2010.
Paramore is an exception, and if you were at the show Thursday night, you understand why. In a word, Paramore kicks ass.
I would be remiss to not shine a light on L.A.-based opener Kitten before I get to Paramore, though. Let's face it. Openers are a crapshoot. We have all heard some of the best hidden gems and some of the most rotten garbage during opening sets. Kitten was unquestionably the former.
Headed by 18-year-old Chloe Chaidez, this was one of the best opening sets I've seen in a very long time. There were moments that I felt that this was the band I had come to see. Chaidez has an amazing voice reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux, and the band's sound is an amalgamation of indie that doesn't suck, modern New Wave, power female vocals, and electro math-rock.
Kitten was also a perfect opener for Paramore; they appealed to the bigger band's fanbase but varied enough stylistically to help avert the inevitable comparisons to their tourmates. Chaidez is precocious in a totally non-irritating way, with stage antics like walking on her hands and climbing a speaker stack. It is safe to say this band will make themselves a lot of new fans on this tour, and we will all be hearing more from them in the future.
After Kitten was done impressing the crowd and a brief intermission, Paramore's Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis, and Taylor York took the stage and greeted the room of screaming, excited fans. The band started with a very short and cheerful song, and then proceeded to rip the crowd open with their 2007 breakout hit "Misery Business."
Williams, who wore a mask of black makeup that fittingly painted her as some kind of superhero, immediately began the impossibly easy task of proving that she is one of the best front women in modern rock. The band's energy level was insane, much of it stemming from their lead singer.