Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Wearing kneepads and Muay Thai shorts, with sweat dripping off the tips of her SLC Punk-blue hair, it was clear that Paramore's Hayley Williams is no longer the perceived lightweight from the Vans Warped Tour. After last year's Self-Titled tour, and years of unfair criticism (amplified by the Farro brothers' departure in 2010), Paramore is now her band. There's nothing left to prove, and after 10 years, Paramore has seriously grown up--the teenybopper label dropped like baby fat in favor of Hayley Williams becoming a pop icon.
"We made it to double digits guys," she calmly stated to thousands of crazed fans at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine; connecting directly with the audience by smiling at "familiar faces" as if they were all in the same minivan together, with her dad in the driver's seat. Those same fans that discovered Paramore through "Misery Business" in 2007, have grown up alongside Williams, who now seems to be feeling the wear-and-tear on her body--like an aging prizefighter--except she's only 25: "Getting old," she told the crowd, "it's getting harder to headbang, but that's okay, that's why I have knee pads." And like any proper fighter, she isn't one complain or show her bruises. Williams' neck and back are constantly in pain, and having been on the road nonstop since October, you can bet her vocal chords are strained. But none of it showed on the Irvine stop of the 44-date Monumentour with Fall Out Boy--it never does with Williams. She's a born performer, like Freddie Mercury or Elvis before her.More »