– Words by Jordan Buford / Photos by James Villa –
Upon hearing the news that former lead guitarist Josh Farro and drummer Zac Farro chose to leave the band in 2010, I wasn’t sure the band would continue. Fans, including me were disheartened by the news. The only original members left were front-woman Hayley Williams and bassist Jeremy Davis.
Today, the three prominent members of the band are Williams, Davis and lead guitarist, Taylor York who was added in 2009. After Paramore said farewell to the Farro brothers the band picked up Miles McPerson as their drummer; however, he is not present during this tour due to a serious golf cart accident. Aaron Gillespie, front man of The Almost and former drummer of Underoath willingly took his place.
Despite the past instances of drama and difficulties the band has faced, Paramore is better than ever. Their talent and ability to own the stage has grown immensely since the first time I saw them in 2008. The powerhouse band opened with “Grow Up”, a single off their self-titled fourth album. The crowd was captured instantaneously and remained so during their entire twenty-one song set list.
This was the first concert I attended since the departure of the Farro brothers and avid fans like myself were probably wondering if they would ever perform “Pressure” from All We Know Is Falling again . In the music video, ex-guitarist Farro and Davis performed a stunt flip, which became popular to do during live performances. Fans anxiously waited to see what was going to happen. Thousands of fans were gratified when Davis and York performed the famous flip. This small yet crucial act proves Paramore lives on.
“Ain’t It Fun” was a crowd pleaser, especially when the Lake Highlands High School choir entered the stage wearing matching red Paramore robes singing back up and clapping along. Each member of the choir had on the brightest of smiles, and that alone was reason enough to enjoy the performance. Williams and the band slowed the set down a bit with their acoustic single “In the Mourning” a rarity not found on any of their albums. The song included a mash-up of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. Williams proceeded to encourage and uplift the audience professing that because the band has withstood trials and tribulations so can everyone else.
Paramore’ encore “Still Into You” brought tears to the eyes of many. Fans were saddened to see the party end; however, the release of balloons and butterfly confetti brought smiles all around. Paramore did not say goodbye to fans that night, rather it was, “until next time”.