Paramore at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 10/27/2013
Well, they've done it again.
On the way to Cynthia Woods Pavilion Sunday night, I realized that it had been about six months to the day since I reviewed Paramore at Bayou Music Center in April. Back then, the band's opener was rougher and more experimental, and the crowd was just learning Paramore's new songs as the band favored older material.
In six short months, a lot has happened in Paramore's world. Their self-titled album debuted at No. 1, their tour has been selling out across the country, and "Still Into You" just hit No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sunday night's show was considerably more arena-ready and injected with the confidence a group gets from reestablishing themselves as a bona fide rock band and not a flash-in-the-pan teenybopper pop-punk group.
Paramore started off with a literal bang as a huge curtain dropped, exposing bassist Jeremy Davis, guitarist Taylor York, and singer Hayley Williams. Opening with "Grow Up" and following with "Fast In My Car," both from their newest album, it was clear Paramore no longer needs to rest on the laurels of their previous hits, and more importantly -- as all bands with longevity need -- have now created a large enough song base to sustain touring for six months at a time.
Williams is able to get the crowd to participate in absolutely everything she does from the very start of the show: before she has formally addressed the crowd, she has everyone singing and screaming in an extremely successful audience sing-off that led seamlessly into third song, "That's What You Get." Nice little trick, Hayley.
"Decode" was next, made famous by Twilight. When this came on, the entire audience flipped out... and not just the vampire and teen-wolf fans. Afterward, Williams finally greeted the crowd to more waves of screams.
At this point I realize that as long as this band has fans coming to watch them, they are going to continue to get better and better. To quote Paramore themselves, they've got nothing but time on their hands. It's exciting to watch the evolution of a group that has managed to weather the pop-punk-emo storm they were once lumped into. Paramore is a rock band.
I still remember the first time I saw them perform. It was back in August of 2008 at a radio-station private performance. Despite the set being only three songs long and extremely stripped down, my mouth was agape the whole time. I remember thinking that Williams was one of the most exciting and talented singers I had seen in years, and that I hoped she would stick around so I could watch her career grow. Every time I see Paramore perform, I have this same experience. She truly reminds me of a much harder-rocking Pat Benatar: 100 pounds of pure power and voice.
Review continues on the next page.