It was anything but hard times at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage last night (June 18th) as Paramore celebrated their fifth and highly successful studio album, After Laughter, with a tour stop in The 6ix.
Opening the night were Los Angles indie dance pop sensations, Foster the People. The title of their third and most recent album, Sacred Hearts Club, was illuminated in florescent lights behind them, while they thrilled us with a short but sweet 45-minute set of favourites such as “Coming of Age” and “Pumped Up Kicks.” But perhaps the most impressive moment came when they transitioned their song “Are You What You Want to Be?” into a cover of the Ramones classic “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Lead singer and front man, Mark Foster, took a moment to express his love for the Canadian fans and his political detachment from the US government before closing the set with “Sit Next to Me.”
Paramore’s fun and energetic 90-minute set mostly consisted of songs from After Laughter, with some past hits like “Still Into You” and “That’s What You Get” sprinkled in, all of which went over well with the very young and passionate audience.
All eyes were on leading lady Hayley Williams for most of the night, who has become one of the most enthralling front persons of any band. She continuously delighted us with her charisma and unique dance moves all night. All while maintaining her unforgettable singing voice.
Paramore took a brief break from the high-energy mid-set for a stripped down three-song acoustic-like set which included a cover of Drake’s “Passionfruit.” The chilled-out tunes gave their fans an opportunity to see the emotional side of Williams and band members. But before long they were back on their feet with their dancing shoes on.
During their breakthrough hit “Misery Business,” the band invited two young ladies from the audience up on stage to join them in singing and playing guitar for the final part of the song. These two super fans were not shy and nailed the rare opportunity to show off their skills and love for the band. Paramore then wrapped the main set with “Ain’t It Fun.”
During the encore, Williams took the opportunity to thank the audience. Claim that live music is “the only pure thing we have left.” Before ending the night with their groovy new hit, “Hard Times,” Williams made the statement, “You may not all be from here, but tonight we’re all Toronto.”