On Nov. 13, Paramore played their first concert in New York since their June 2018 Brooklyn stop during their “After Laughter” tour. The band played Beacon Theatre — a much more intimate venue than their previous gig at the Barclays Center.
Opening with their new single and title track of their upcoming album “This Is Why,” which releases in February of next year, the band’s return to New York was highly anticipated. Featuring a mix of their hits and deeper cuts, it felt like a celebration of the band itself after being on hiatus for years.
The first slice from the group’s fifth studio album is a track that is reminiscent of their 2013 self-titled album — but still brings a fresh feel to their discography. The intro, an electric guitar riff set over light percussion, was welcomed with immense cheers. The cheers exploded when the crowd spotted Williams’ iconic red hair running onto the stage. On drums was Zac Farro, an original member of the band, while Taylor York, who joined in 2007, played lead guitar.
The setlist continued with fan-favorites “Decode” and “I Caught Myself” from the “Twilight” movie soundtrack. Williams’ voice was the star of the show. Her vocals are ones that are, somehow, even better than the already-incredible ones that she has on recordings. They soared on each song, but especially the Twilight cuts. “Forgiveness,” a slower synth-pop song from 2017’s “After Laughter” was a highlight.
Later in the night, the band played their biggest hits. Among them being the alternative-pop radio hits “Ain’t It Fun” and “Still Into You.” Closer “Hard Times,” which was mixed with parts of Blondie’s 1978 hit “Heart of Glass,” was the perfect closer to the night, especially after the track gained more traction on TikTok over the past few years.
Williams mentioned multiple times throughout the show how she thought of her fans as family. You could feel this bond between her and her fans culminate at the end of the concert, when Williams brought two fans on stage to finish singing their hit “Misery Business,” a recurring event at each Paramore concert. The inclusion of the song on the setlist was a shock to fans when the band started their tour, as Williams stated back in 2017 how she wouldn’t be singing it live anymore due to backlash for the lyrics.
It was evident during the entire night how much Paramore’s New York fans missed them. Amidst the 18-track-long setlist, you could look into the crowd and see tears running down faces or friends’ arms on each other’s shoulders. Between Williams’ chill-invoking voice and the band’s instrumental performances, the band is just as good on stage, if not better, than when they left it.