"We're taking every pill possible; I'm basically high right now," joked Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams halfway through her band's set in Kansas City last Wednesday (Nov. 4). With Williams and bassist Jeremy Davis battling an illness, the band frequently turned the microphone on the crowd, which was more than willing to help its idols out.
The pint-sized Williams, sporting a new blonde hairstyle, still managed to showcase her larger-than-life vocal abilities throughout the band's at-times uneven 15-song set. Touring in support of "Brand New Eyes," which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in October, the pride of Franklin, Tenn. performed seven songs from the album along with selected hits from its back catalog.
"I love you, Hayley!" chants came from every inch of the room. Male and female fans contributed to the enthusiastic chanting, but emo "girl power" was in full effect. As they pogoed in place, the crowd - mostly young teen girls - squealed whenever Williams reached into the crowd for high-fives and handshakes, and Williams look-alikes were a common sighting.
Michigan rockers The Swellers had kicked off the night with an energetic set filled with punk-rock ferocity and songs from the recently released "Ups and Downsizing." Frontman Nick Diener's gravely vocals, backed by a breakneck rhythm section, caught many in the audience off guard but kicked the night off with a bang. Later, Nashville's Paper Route left many in the crowd slack-jawed with their inventive rhythms, soaring vocals and ambient electronic flourishes.
But in the end, the night belonged to Williams and co. From the opening instrumental intro and first chords of "Ignorance" to the closing joint vocals of "Brick By Boring Brick" (compliments of The Swellers and Paper Route), Paramore was in complete control. Singles from "Riot!," including the mega-hit "Misery Business," launched the crowd into a frenzy, and at times, the audiences voices overpowered Williams'. Who knew misery could sound so sweet?
Paramore's U.S. tour wraps in Hollywood on Nov. 11, and the band will spend the rest of the year on the road in Europe.
Here is Paramore's setlist:
"I Caught Myself"
"That's What You Get"
"Turn It Off"
"Here We Go Again"
"Where The Lines Overlap"
"Brick By Boring Brick"