Paramore put on one of the most memorable, and life changing, performances to close out the “After Laughter” era, on Tour 5, in Philadelphia, PA on June 24th at Festival Pier. The room was filled with love, hard crying, dancing even harder, and most importantly, glitter. Paramore has done an impeccable job creating a fan base comprised of diversity, acceptance, tolerance, and caring towards anyone regardless of sex, class, gender, or anything else. Being in a crowd radiating joy to each other, rather than hatred, was beautiful. As Hayley Williams stated, “for these two hours, we dance away all our pain, we forget all that bullshit going on in the world, we live in this moment.”
After Laughter was an album written from a place of pain, a place of sadness, but Paramore’s live show is quite the opposite, the joy radiated off of every single crowd member, as we all collectively healed and bonded.
Soccer Mommy kicked off the night, with their soft indie music, perfect to keep everyone in a relaxed state, while Sophia Rela’s soft, mesmerizing voice crooned the crowd. They were a great way to begin the show, promoting their latest, and first, full-length record, Clean. Highlights included “Your Dog”, which is an ode to someone who treats you like less than you are worth, and doesn’t give you what you deserve, and “Scorpio Rising,” which ends in an amazing full band jam.
Next up was Foster the People, and they did not disappoint. Playing a mix of popular hits and newer songs, with a few full band jams built in, they covered all their bases. As the day slowly wound down into evening, the band didn’t let a small lightning threat stop them, and people quickly forgot about any delay they had to sit through. Opening up with “Houdini,” a treat for the crowd off of their album, Torches, you could tell the crowd was surprised, as the band hadn’t been playing that song as of late, and fans were living for it. A personal highlight of their performance was the jam mid-set, that led into their more popular selections, “Loyal Like Sid and Nancy,” and the ever so famous “Pumped Up Kicks,” finishing off with their newest radio it, “Sit Next To Me.” Foster The People managed to transcend from their radio rock image, and truly create a unique live experience.
Finally, the crowd roared, they were ready for Paramore. As the lights dimmed I felt a sense of not just intense energy, but happiness, surging from the crowd. Solidifying their place as not just pop punk royalty, but alternative rock champions, Paramore opened with “Grudges,” a track off of their 5th record, After Laughter, about a friendship beginning anew after a falling out, an ode to rekindled relations with drummer Zac Farro. They didn’t miss a beat, seamlessly transitioning into 2013’s hit, “Still Into You,” and the crowd really started to pick up. The band had impeccable production to add to their show, with 4 large horizontal panels of screens spanned the vertical plane of the stage. However, instead of traditional screens, the band opted for mirrors, so at quieter moments, such as the acoustic portion of the set, or in between songs, you could see all of the masses of fans in the reflection. This is Paramore’s nod to the most important member of their band, the fans.
As the night went on, Paramore played a perfect mix of old and new, appeasing every member of their diverse crowd. Including an acoustic rendition of their Drake cover, of his song “Passionfruit,” which was a cool moment. Ending on a high notes, with bangers like “Ain’t It Fun,” and newest hit, “Hard Times,” the energy never quite stopped, and soon enough my legs were danced out, and my face hurting from smiling so much. Paramore is a truly special band, and it is no surprise, and deserves no questioning, that they are still the kings and queens of the scene.
Check out Paramore’s video for their “Hard Times” single.