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Paramore at ACC Toronto – live review

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Paramore at ACC Toronto – live review (with openers Lights and Hellogoodbye)

 

Who: Paramore (with openers Lights and Hellogoodbye)
From: Franklin, Tennessee
Where: Air Canada Center
When: Wednesday, Nov. 20th, 2013

Start: 9:32pm
End: 11:20pm

Hellogoodbye:  TOTAL SCORE 6/10

Many seats were still empty when Hellogoodbye took to the stage, mainly due to a ticket scanning issue. Set times were pushed back according to Paramore’s official Twitter, but fans were still lined up outside in the cold at 8pm. Hellogoodbye did their best to get the fans who were inside pumped for the rest of the night’s performers, but the only time they ever got any real energy from the crowd was when they name dropped Paramore.

The most notable song of their set was the title track off their new album “Everything Is Debatable”, which singer Forrest Kline announced was the band’s new single.

Lights: TOTAL SCORE 8/10

Seats were finally starting to fill up as Canadian singer Lights took to the stage, and the crowd was definitely more excited to see her than they were the previous band. Lights and her husband Blessthefall vocalist Beau Bokan recently announced that they are expecting their first child, and Lights revealed during her set that she is six months pregnant and this would be her last show before giving birth. The singer also confessed that it was her first time playing the Air Canada Center, a fact that didn’t show from the confident and graceful way that she handled the stage. Fans went crazy for hits like “Toes” and “Siberia”, and the highlight of her set was her soft and slow performance of “Drive My Soul”.

 

Paramore: 8.5/10
Style: Rock/Pop

Members: Hayley Williams- lead vocals, Jeremy Davis- bass guitar, Taylor York- lead and rhythm guitar
Touring members: Jon Howard- rhythm guitar, Justin York- guitar, Aaron Gillespie (formerly of Underoath)- drums

 

Crowd: I went into this show expecting a crowd full of 14 year old girls with their hair dyed “Hayley Williams orange”. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot more males than anticipated. Many of them were there with their girlfriends but many also seemed to have a genuine interest in the band. There were also many older fans, in their late teens and early twenties, mixed in with the pre-teen crowd. As far as enthusiasm, this crowd was definitely pumped. The pit was full of raised arms, bouncing up and down, and there were even fans that chose to stand towards the back so they could dance and jump freely.

Image/Sex Appeal: Hayley Williams took to the stage in a leather jacket and high waisted shorty shorts, showing off her tattooed leg and newly shortened hair. Bassist Jeremy Davis wore a blue plaid shirt, and guitarist Taylor York was all in black (as were the touring members, from what could be seen of them). Since the departure of the Farro brothers in 2010, the band’s image has really been all about the cute and spunky Williams, and it seems to be working for them just fine.

Mentionable Songs:  The crowd absolutely went wild when the band played their hit “That’s What You Get” early on in the set. Guitarists Davis and York were twirling and doing jumps, while Williams paraded around the stage flipping her hair up and down so intensely that I thought for sure she would get whiplash. Other energy highlights included “Decode”, “Ignorance”, “CrushCrushCrush”, and of course the show closer “Still Into You”.

The set was also cut up with several acoustic interludes (from the band’s self-titled album), but one standout slower moment was when Hayley Williams switched into a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” before finishing the performance of “In The Mourning”.

Memorable Moment:  While there was a guitarist backflip that I thought for sure would be my #1 most memorable moment, it was completely derailed by the shock and awe that occurred when Williams pulled a fan from the crowd onstage and gave her a mic to sing with the band. While that in itself is not surprising, many bands pull fans onstage, it was the fan’s amazing confidence and rockstar moves that had my jaw dropping. This girl headbanged and twirled like she’d been playing the ACC for years, belting out the lyrics to “Misery Business” almost as good as Williams herself. I heard the guy behind me say that she must have been a plant, there was no way a random fan could be that good, and I definitely agree with him.

Technicalities:  This is where the band loses a few points, as their stage setup was really nothing special, especially considering the large scale of the tour. The touring members were set up behind a glistening silver zig-zag, with the three official band members up in front. The screens behind the musicians showed nothing memorable except the word “Interlude” during the acoustic interludes and blurry video of Hayley Williams during the songs. The sound was also a disappointment, but not unlike most pop/rock shows, in which it’s so loud that your ears ring for the rest of the night and some of the lead vocals are hard to make out. The lighting was well done however, with streaming bursts of light adding energy and motion at the right moments. I also feel the need to mention that the confetti at the end of the show was cut into the shape of little butterflies, and I may or may not have stuffed some in my pocket to take home with me.

Comments: Overall, Paramore put on a really great show and brought the energy required to make it a memorable night (and not just because of the time spent lined up in the cold). Hayley Williams’ vocals were strong, and she showed no signs of being strained by the end of the night. One downside was that she did spend a lot of time talking between songs, and while some of it was heartfelt thanks to the crowd for their continued support, other parts just seemed to drag on. There is one thing she said that really stuck with me and that was: “The more music that you love, the happier you will be. Don’t be closed minded.” She said this in addressing the way fans have accepted and supported the way the band has experimented and changed their sound throughout the years, but I like the way it can be applied to embracing music in general.

Review: Allison Sternall
Photos:

 

THE SCENE

The Scene