Concert review: Paramore at the Patriot Center

Concert review: Paramore at the Patriot Center

Paramore has found a new sound with their fourth studio album, proving that they can evolve from inner strife.

The alternative rock darlings were met with friction within the band in 2011 when brothers Josh and Zac Farro split from the remaining three: lead singer Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis, and guitarist Taylor York. Paramore’s newest, self-titled album represents the positive transformation of their sound and image.

When “The Self-Titled Tour” arrived at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, it proved to be quite the occasion. The first of two openers, indie pop group Hellogoodbye, set the bar low for the night that was to follow. Their feel-good music was devalued by their uncomfortable stage presence and seemingly fabricated enthusiasm. The vocals were jumbled with messy synth and sloppy guitar staccato. Hellogoodbye’s set was mostly used as waiting music for the next act.

Canadian new wave/indie rock foursome Metric was the perfectly appropriate high-energy act to precede Paramore. They are well known and skilled enough to spark energy in the crowd but definitely not upstage. As indie rock veterans, Metric used their experience and sound to put on a good show.

Although it did not seem to last long at all, Metric busted out their hits, new and old, and departed nonchalantly. What made it so great was that singer Emily Haines gave the performance everything she had in a very Karen O fashion and it was concluded with one insane guitar solo by lead guitarist James Shaw. I would have rather seen a longer set by Metric than have two openers.

The crowd of teenagers and adults alike in the packed Patriot Center went crazy when the huge black curtain dropped and Paramore bounded onstage straight into the opening number. The first few songs were very energetic and powerful performances of newer songs.

Williams later talked around the topic of the band’s past division when they performed slower songs in the middle of the show. Possibly the best moment of the night was when the band performed their smash hit ballad “The Only Exception,” in which Williams’ vocal abilities were clearly displayed. The lights were turned down and the audience transformed into a night sky as many turned on their cellphones and swayed to the rhythm of the song.

At one point, Williams’ microphone stopped working mid-song. Although she was frustrated, she encouraged the audience to keep singing and they obliged happily, singing every word correctly.

For the finale, the band played the hit single off of their most recent album, the pop-influenced anthem “Still into You.” It was a spectacular ending to the night with yellow and green balloons and red confetti poured all over the general admission pit.

Paramore used one aspect that not many other musical acts utilize: their devoted fans. The show was fantastic because the band knew they could rely on the audience and use their energy to fuel their own.