She will turn 25 in December, but Hayley Williams already is a veteran in the world of music.
By TIMOTHY FINN
The Kansas City Star
The lead singer of the rock band Paramore has been in the music business for 10 years, and despite having navigated some rough waters, including the departure of two band members three years ago, she hasn’t lost any of her mettle or enthusiasm, which at times is nearly child-like.
Tuesday night, Paramore headlined a show at the Independence Events Center, drawing a crowd of about 1,100 that was as zealous as she was throughout the band’s 100-minute set.
Paramore has been labeled a punk-emo band, a suitable characterization of its early music.
It’s touring on “Paramore,” its fourth album since 2005 and its most diverse. The band opened with two of those tracks, and after the first, Williams turned her back to the crowd and revealed its title, which was displayed boldly on the back of her jacket: “Grow Up.” Then came “Fast In My Car,” a jackhammer pop anthem about “going through the wringer” and coming out the other side without losing one’s optimism or spirit.
The intro to “Ignorance,” from the band’s previous album, “Brand New Eyes,” ignited the evening’s first big roar of recognition. As she would most of the night, Williams sang that one as she bounced and ran back and forth across the large stage, pumping her fists, flopping her neon-orange hair and accelerating the crowd’s enthusiasm. She isn’t quite Gwen Stefani, but she’s getting there.
They broke the mood three times, playing the three interludes from the new record.
Each time, Williams took a spot to the far right or left of the stage, and, accompanied on ukulele by guitarist Taylor York, delivered the short, poppy tune, giving it a sound of another era.
They would play more than half of “Paramore,” interludes included, and indulge their long-time and hardcore fans with material going back to their debut, “All We Know is Falling,” released before Williams was old enough to vote. They also played several off “Riot,” its second and most commercially successful album.
The interludes weren’t the only mood-breakers.
Williams delivered a few bars of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” at the end of “In the Mourning.” And during the sunny pop anthem “Ain’t It Fun,” she brought out two 10-member choirs — one from Blue Springs High and the other from Blue Springs South High — who flanked each side of the stage and gave the song an invigorating gospel-soul vibe.
Other highlights: “Misery Business,” “Crushcrushcrush” and “The Only Exception,” one of the rare ballads of the night, which sounded like a Taylor Swift song without the country accents. They finished with two more from the new record: the interlude “Moving On” and then the closer, “Still Into You.”
Balloons and confetti rained on the crowd on the floor closest to the stage as Williams, as manic as she was all night, sang about appreciating a vital relationship while enduring its hardships and tribulations. Words of wisdom from someone who has learned that lesson early.
Metric: One of two openers (Hellogoodbye was the other), the Canadian band led by Emily Haines delivered a 45-minute set of percussive rock anthems that included “Help I’m Alive” and three songs from its latest album, “Synthetica,” including the title track and “Breathing Underwater (but not “The Wanderlust,” which the band recorded with Lou Reed, who died Sunday.)