SXSW has been a whirlwind and yesterday was a bit overwhelming for my music loving heart. Austin, TX’s streets are currently overflowing with live music to discover -- aka emerging talent central. Yesterday I saw tons of bands I love, but I knew going into the day Paramore’s set at the Warner Sound showcase would be the highlight. I can tell you I waited almost five hours in the pit to be close to the stage. Sure I could have been up in the VIP section, but I wanted to be close -- just like you guys would have. Lucky for me the entire line up was jam packed with talent acts; Kitten, Skaters, The Rubens, Twenty One Pilots and Tegan and Sara – all offering different flavors to the congested crowd.
When Paramore came out it was electrifying. I have never been THAT close for an entire Paramore set and seeing all the small details of their performance made for an intimate experience. Seeing the eye contact between Hayley Williams, Taylor York and Jeremy Davis made my five-year plus Paramore fan heart swell. There were huge smiles and small subtle nods of reassurance between the trio during the set that I had never noticed at past shows. It was very sweet.
Also new songs like “Now” and “Still Into You” brought on tons of energy not only between the three we all know so well – but there was a distinct synergy between all six musicians on stage. The set was powerful and never lost momentum. I have never heard this band better live and got emotional standing in the crowd hearing Hayley sing. Embarrassing to admit, but I felt honored to be standing that close to such a powerful instrument.
I get a lot of messages from you guys about how you would love to have a job like mine one day, and the 16-year-old version of myself would be saying the same thing. By the end of yesterday I was overwhelmed with how blessed I am to be seeing one of my favorite bands during such a transitional phase of their careers. To be singing back the words that encompass their personal struggles and made all of us want to become more. Hayley might be my favorite person to sing along with and I will never forget last night seeing her in her element.
Paramore has evolved from “that band with a emo girl singer” to a full-fledged force to be reckoned with. This new album will be a huge turning point for all of them and as a fan from many years, I am very proud of what they have accomplished.