Date: June 15, 2023 at Hard Rock Live Hollywood
Last night, we had a date with the iconic American rock band PARAMORE at Hard Rock Live Hollywood, and it turned into a rocking dance party. The concert marked the end of the first half of their North American tour. I was amongst a special group who was seeing the Grammy-winning group for the first time live. It was worth it to be called a newbie. I was simply in awe.
Led by the charismatic vocalist Hayley Williams, the band delivered a high-energy performance showcasing their unique blend of pop punk and alternative rock. Paramore took to the stage to the high energy, already hyped audiences who were well prepared by her supporting guests, Genesis Owusu and Bloc Party. As a new member of the Paramore family, I must say I felt a bit grown in the beginning. In the hallways, we ran into a young fan adorned in her Paramore t-shirt. She told us she saw the group in Orlando the night before and she followed them down to Hollywood. “They are great”, she says as she sashayed away towards the entrance.
Upon arrival, at one point I questioned if I was in the right place or the right concert. A resounding confirmation was given from one of the guardians of the event. In a crowded area at the entrance was a sea of platform clad, pink and blue hair younger fans all waiting to be in the pit. Through our bemusement the security guard warned, that that’s not a place we wanted to be. Our originally assigned seats are more suitable. Through our giggles we joked, “they look like they are here to party. That must be the place to be”. And we were right. The pit, a standing only area was closer to the stage and literally danced through the entire concert. They screamed louder, cheered louder and of course had the only pick to join Hayley on stage to entertain the rest of us.
The stage was set and it was time. With just a quick introduction of Hayley’s voice, the crowd’s energy instantly skyrocketed, turning the floor into a frenzied sea of mosh pits and then the sing-alongs. The band seamlessly transitioned between their hit songs, creating a cohesive and high-energy setlist. From the anthemic “Misery Business” to the emotionally charged “Fake Happy,” each song resonated with the audience.
Williams did not want to talk much but was forced to due to an instrument failure on drummer, Zac Farro’s part. She said a few words of encouragements and appreciation to her devoted followers and new ones for supporting them over the years. Her commentaries throughout the show were more of love, inclusivity and the power of the youth vote.
Florida has been experiencing some dramatic social and cultural shifts and in recognizing that, she encouraged her fans to stand up for truth, love and inclusion. In a defiant gesture, she playfully gave the finger, or rather, the pinky finger, to Ron DeSantis, a nod to the band’s rebellious spirit.
Known for their authenticity, Williams’ incredible stage presence was undeniable. It was a jeans and graphic t-shirt kind of night encouraging fans to be themselves. To embrace their flaws and weaknesses. She used her platform to inspire positive change.
Through the elaborate light show and mesmerizing backdrop, the band fused heartfelt ballads and energetic anthems making it impossible to remain seated. For practically the entire concert, fans were on their feet. Whether they were swaying like palm trees with their phones lit or jumping and screaming in between hits.
One of the standout moments of the night came when PARAMORE performed tracks from their latest album, “After Laughter.” The band delved into their evolution as artists, showcasing a more introspective and mature sound while still maintaining their signature Paramore spirit.
Throughout the evening, PARAMORE flawlessly delivered hit after hit, never losing momentum or failing to engage the crowd. From the infectious energy of “Ain’t It Fun” to the emotional vulnerability of “Still Into You,” each song resonated with the audience, creating an unforgettable experience.
The intricate guitar work of Taylor York, the driving beats of drummer Zac Farro, and the seamless bass lines provided by Jeremy Davis made performing look effortless. Thus creating a sonic tapestry that enhanced the overall experience.
In what appeared to be their final bow, the band briefly left the stage. Fans erupted into a chorus of deafening screams that were sure to cause ear drum damages. The group returned with cheers and applause to close the night.
PARAMORE delivered a powerful performance, and created an inclusive atmosphere for their fans. By the end of it all, Paramore left me wanting for more.