Hayley Williams, marry me.
I don’t even know how to start this blog post because I really can’t even believe it even happened but…
I saw Paramore in real life
and I don’t even have the words to describe it, honestly. Hayley Williams is so good live, her voice is absolutely perfect!
But let’s back up: I always have tons of questions when people go see shows. Where was this show? How much were tickets? Where did I sit? How close was I!? Who else played? Did you say Foster the People!? So, we’re going to go over all of it.
Paramore played at the Toyota Music Factory, which is about a five minute drive from my house. It’s a music factory and pavilion, which just means that the Music Factory has the option to open some big, garage-like doors that reveal the lawn area for extra seating.
Paramore’s show had lawn seating, which is where my best friend Steph and I were!
We were pretty far back from the stage, since the set up for the show had the pit, 3 or four seated sections and then the lawn but we could still see the stage! We only dropped $41 on our tickets, so we had absolutely no complaints. Sitting in the lawn also meant there weren’t any actual seats, so before the show Steph and I ran to Walmart and grabbed two tye-dye beach towels to sit on! We brought some snacks so we didn’t have to buy food, (Which we later found out we weren’t supposed to do, but the guy who checked our bag let us bring it in anyway!) and we packed sunscreen and makeup remover wipes!
We got there about 30 minutes early, grabbed a shady spot on the lawn with a good view of the stage, and set up camp. The show started at 7, so the Texas heat was still really beating down when we showed up. But, it didn’t last too long and there was a small breeze too! At exactly 7, the show started. There were two openers, Jay Som and Foster the People!
I hadn’t heard of Jay Som before Saturday night, but they came out on stage and played some really great original tunes that I was absolutely crazy for! According to spotify they’re an alt band, but they gave me more indie vibes. I loved their sound! The lead singer of this awesome band is Melina Duterte whose stage name is “Jay Som.” She was absolutely adorable, rocking a green jumpsuit and cute cute glasses, Jay set a nice and chill mood. She brought some cute and underplayed humor to her set, making us laugh in-between songs, and also got us hyped for Foster the People, who would be playing after her. Jay Som’s music was so great, but their song Baybee made everyone start bopping and dancing in their seats!
After Jay Som’s set ended, Steph and I were sold. We both started looking them up and wanted to know more! Lucky for us, we found her on Insta and Spotify and were excited to start following her and looking into her music more!
About twenty minutes later, Foster the People came out and started playing a song from their new album Sacred Hearts Club. Mark Foster, the lead singer of FtP was giving me REAL Alex Turner vibes. He was rocking black shades when he appeared on stage and his hair was slicked back in a very Arctic Monkey’s “AM” style. He looked great though, and his voice absolutely shocked me! Before Saturday, Foster the People was a band I didn’t realize had so many great hits! We all remember their 2010, Pumped Up Kicks from their debut album Torches but I hadn’t realized that they were also responsible for songs like Sit Next To Me which has been super popular on my local alt-music radio stations all year.
After being completely schooled on the greatness of Foster the People, and realizing how absolutely amazing Mark Foster’s voice is, Steph and I were sitting there (after jamming out and screaming the words to Pumped Up Kicks) again, scrolling through instagram and Spotify, trying to see what all we’d missed since the days of Torches. I suggest you do the same, because holy cow have we (those who have not been loving FtP for eight years) missed a lot!
When FtP ended, everyone took their seats again and we waited, very impatiently for Paramore to come out on stage!
Around 9, the stage got dark and we could make out the some movement, and then boom: the love of my life, Hayley Williams, started belting out the lyrics to Grudges from their newest album, After Laughter. Immediately, I saw her moving across the stage, wearing a cute red coat (which she almost immediately took off), lights surrounding her, and I completely broke down. Tears everywhere. (Thank God for those makeup wipes!) It was insane. The entire time she was on stage, I felt the urge to cry. Paramore has always been a band for a little over 10 years now, and I have followed them the whole time. Their 2007 album RIOT! gave us hits like That’s What You Get, crushcrushcrush, and their biggest hit Misery Business! Steph and I have loved Paramore since were were both 12 (10 years now!).
We have watched them go through it together and be a “mess”, as Hayley Williams referred to it, for years now. And both Steph and I and the band have grown a lot in all that time. Steph and I waited 10 years to see Paramore, and for a minute there, we weren’t sure we’d ever see them because of the problems they were having as a band, so that made Saturday one of the greatest nights of my life, personally.
At the risk of sounding like a total cliché, Paramore’s music took me through some of my hardest times in my life. I discovered them when I was in middle school, going through changes, and discovering things about myself. Then, when their 2009 album Brand New Eyes album came out, I was in high school and that album brought us songs like The Only Exception which was played at every dance my freshman year. I had my first slow dance with a boy to that song.
After Brand New Eyes, Paramore as a band was struggling. They had some tough times, Zach Farro (the drummer) left the band for a little while, eventually coming back when they made After Laughter. The band released their 2013 self titled album, Paramore, which I think everyone loved, but it felt different. It didn’t feel like our Paramore.
Then we didn’t see much of Paramore for a while. And, it was weird. They were still on the radio, but Hayley and the boys had been quiet for a while. We knew they were having problems. We knew Zach wasn’t around, and we weren’t sure if we were going to ever get another Paramore album. Then After Laughter dropped in 2017, and it’s upbeat sound and honest lyrics made all of us Paramore fans realize they were back.
And we were elated!
During the second half of the concert, Hayley thanked us multiple times for being the best fans ever. Saying they were so grateful we’d stuck it out with them while they were a “mess.” She asked us how many of us were at our very first Paramore show, and so many hands shot up in the audience, and she talked to us about how great it was to see us. And it made everyone a little emotional.
So, I’m not going to go over the set list, because I think you should go see Paramore and see all the fun things they do and the fun they have on stage. But, if you must know what the order of their setlist for Tour 5 is, here’s a link: Tour 5 setlist.
What I will say is that were was a good mixture of new and old. Their songs sound just as good live, and the entire band is made up of amazing musicians and performers. Everyone was so much fun to watch on stage, and it was absolutely so amazing to see them, the whole band, together on that stage.
My heart is so so full, and I cannot believe I had such an amazing experience. Seeing a band who has actually changed my life was so surreal and I have always though these sorts of statements were a little outrageous, but now I get it. Paramore really was so surreal.
I cannot wait to see them again, and if you have the opportunity, go see them. They are worth every cent. Even if you aren’t as attached to them as me, they are a great show and awesome performers!
“Hold onto hope if you got it
Don’t let it go for nobody
And they say that dreaming is free
But I wouldn’t care what it cost me” – 26. Paramore, After Laughter