Friday, May 10, 2013

Paramore @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles. 5-1-13.

 I was on the fence about this show for sometime. The last time I saw Paramore in concert they were wrapping up dates on the tour cycle for their awesome Brand New Eyes album. That was back in 2010 (as I was first starting this here blog) and the band has undergone some massive changes since then.

Josh (guitar) and Zac Farro (drums) quit Paramore in late 2010. The split was pretty nasty. Since the band's inception, Josh and front woman Hayley Williams served as the groups main song writers. With the Farro's abrupt departure, the band not only lost one of it's main songwriters, but lost it's musical core as well. Like Pantera without the Abbotts, Vinnie and Dime, or Van Halen without...the Van Halens. How on Earth would Paramore sound without the Farros?

Well, their new self titled album finally dropped earlier this year...and it was kind of a mess. Long rant short: I didn't hate it with a passion, but really, really miss the Farro brothers.

lifted from Rolling Stone...because Blogger is acting crazy and won't let me upload ANYTHING
 Well, the night was upon us. Showtime. A sold out show in fact. Lucky for me I had a inside connection that came through and got us great seats for cheap (Craigslist, wat up?!?). The opening band Kitten was, well they were horrible. I don't want to bash them too much because I just read that the main girl in the band is like only seventeen years old, but man they've got some work to do.

So Paramore came out and the rabid sold out crowd went nuts. Several thousand females shrieking their brains out, it's almost deafening. So here's the good:
  • The new songs sound much better live than on the overtly polished new album.
  • Hayley Williams is still an amazing front woman/singer (she was recovering from throat problems but still danced/sang her heart out).
  • The back up musicians they tour with are all top notch hired guns and really nailed the songs (this was the heaviest the band has ever sounded).
 Ad's the bad:
  • The band currently exists as a trio, without a permanent 2nd guitarist or drummer which is...insane.
  • The hired guns do all the heavy lifting (lead guitar and drums, hello) but stand in the shadows all night.
  • Taylor York, the only official guitar player in the band and Hayley defacto song writing partner is still playing rhythm and lets the hired gun behind him play all of Josh's lead. Step it up dude.
  • The stage show/production is kind of annoying.
With the brothers gone, it seems Hayley Williams is free to do what she pleases with the band. Her version of Paramore 2.0 still put on a good show, but I couldn't help but notice what was missing. Back in 2010, Paramore was a hungry young rock band who came to do just that, fucking rock. Now, they've gone all jazz hands on us. They've got a fancy, glittery stage production with lots of bells and whistles, and three hired guns lurking in the shadows adding more guitar than ever to overcompensate for the missing piece of the Paramore puzzle, the Farro bros. musical core that, along with Hayley's voice, all but define the band. Hopefully they'll all make amends one day. The world will be a better place for it. If least put the house lights the backing musicians who are doing all the damn work.


  1. A lot of bands lose their edge when they become successful, the hunger is no longer there.

  2. I've heard a lot of good about Paramore but unfortunately they're not really my thing. A good show is always a good show though.

  3. Too bad but at least they did produce some decent music.

  4. I was a big fan of Paramore up to 'Brand New Eyes' but they lost me when they lost the Farro bros. IMO, they were a very underrated part of this band, and you're absolutely right: they need a 2nd guitarist and definitely a drummer. If one of their touring 'hired guns' fits their stye, great. If not, they'd better find one somewhere.

    I see a solo album (career?) in Hayley's future, for better or worse.

  5. Paramore comes off as too filler for my taste. I'd rather take Punch as a female fronted band any day of the week. That said, Hayley Williams is still drop dead fucking gorgeous, and she has a good voice.

  6. This sounds like it was quite good Jim, I'm glad they sounded good in person. I actually like the singles from Paramore's new album, a little pop or something, I don't know what it is exactly but the music is still good in an all round kind of way, great post.