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Paramore plus enthusiastic audience equals a satisfying show at the Joint

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Hayley Williams overcame food poisoning and some technical difficulties to lead a rollicking Paramore set at the Joint on May 3.
Photo: Erik Kabik/erikkabik.com

The Details

PARAMORE
three and a half stars
May 3, The Joint.

“We’ve got a couple things not working,” Paramore singer Hayley Williams said during “Misery Business,” the second song of her band’s set at the Joint on Friday night. One thing was easily fixed: A roadie came out and adjusted Williams’ in-ear monitors so she could hear herself better. The other turned out to be the theme of the night, as Williams announced that she had suffered food poisoning and had been busy throwing up for the past day. “Tonight I’m going to need you to help me sing all these songs,” she said before bringing up a Paramore superfan named Brit (attending her 32nd concert) to help out with “Misery Business.”

Williams sounded ragged and winded at times throughout the rest of the show, and she encouraged plenty of audience participation (the crowd sang nearly all of quiet ballad “The Only Exception”), but she certainly didn’t act like someone who’d recently been dealing with an experience “like The Exorcist.” She ran around the stage, banged her head, pumped her fists and sang the majority of the words during the band’s 90-minute set. And she knew just how to work the lively crowd, which didn’t need much prompting to express its enthusiasm.

That connection with the fans carried Williams and her band (including guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis, plus three backing musicians) through the rough spots. “You know this song better than we do,” Williams said during the breakdown in the middle of “Whoa,” which she introduced by explaining how the band members would gauge the success of shows in their early days on how many people they could get to sing along with the chorus. Pretty much everyone in the crowd sang along with “Whoa,” and all the other songs, too, including seven from the band’s new self-titled album.

New songs “Ain’t It Fun,” “Anklebiters” and “Still Into You” were already crowd favorites, to go along with past hits like “Ignorance” and “Misery Business.” “This is the best crowd we’ve ever had here,” Williams said before closing song “Brick by Boring Brick,” and as much of a platitude as that can be at a rock concert, there was no reason to believe it wasn’t true.

Set list:

“Interlude: Moving On”

“Misery Business”

“For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic”

“Decode”

“Now”

“Pressure”

“Ain’t It Fun”

“The Only Exception”

“Let the Flames Begin”

“Fast in My Car”

“Ignorance”

“Looking Up”

“Whoa”

“Anklebiters”

“That’s What You Get”

“Still Into You”

Encore:

“Proof”

“Brick by Boring Brick”

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