Paramore & Fall Out Boy at The Woodlands, 8/1/2014
Haters gonna hate, but Paramore and Fall Out Boy make great rock music. Any band that gained notoriety during the post-pop-punk-emo boom of the mid-2000s has been pigeonholed into a very specific category -- namely, much of the general public doesn't consider them to be credible rock and roll.
Fall Out Boy has certainly experienced a great deal of this backlash, despite continuing to mature as a group and output good music. Many of the bands of that era could not grow past it; Paramore and Fall Out Boy, who are co-headlining this summer's MONUMENTOUR, are both talented exceptions. Touring together was a wise and logical choice.
Friday, Paramore were up after Danish greenhorns New Politics, and delivered 14 songs' worth of confetti-laden fun as spritely lead singer Hayley Williams again reminded the audience why she's eons beyond her contemporaries. A master at audience participation and performance, she had the crowd in the palm of her tiny hand from the moment the band started with last winter's radio anthem, "Still Into You." As the song came to a close, confetti launched for the first of three total times in the set, and naturally the audience went bananas.
Williams herself is a dynamic ball of energy and talent; the only comparable front woman of the past 20 years is probably Gwen Stefani. Suffering from a sore throat Friday evening, Williams never let it show, artfully making wise choices when to let the audience sing for her. As the set went along, her voice actually got stronger. Fan favorite "Decode" was sung beautifully, and "The Only Exception" gave the crowd collective goosebumps. "Last Hope" was vocally impeccable.
There is much to be said for Paramore's light show as well. Whoever is running their lights is amazing; Friday made three Houston shows in one year, all better than the last. Also adding to the fun-loving feel of the band were guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis, who pulled out their signature move of flipping over one anothers' backs while playing. Davis' bass work sounded particularly impressive on "Brick by Boring Brick."
After playing "Misery Business," which pulled audience member and megafan Melanie on the stage to sing, and closing the set with current radio regular "Ain't It Fun," Paramore's set concluded with zero questions as to why the group continues to grow a rabid fanbase and increase in popularity. In short, they are a good band.
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