Paramore – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion – 6.20.18
Gilford, NH – 6.20.18
Words & Photos by Jordyn Beschel
If you’re looking for a night out to feel virtually every emotion possible, find out when and where your next Paramore concert is. We laughed. We cried. We danced our asses off. Paramore’s After Laughter Summer Tour (a.k.a. Tour 5) is a party and a half, celebrating yet another year of success on their fifth studio album After Laughter and taking along Foster The People, Soccer Mommy (select dates), and Jay Som (select dates). The tour is hitting every major amphitheater across the country, making it the hottest (literally) tour of the year. We made a nice little road trip up to the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH for this one, adding another line to our growing Paramore live show archive. Unfortunately because of traffic, and well, getting lost, we missed the opening act, but we’ll take Hayley Williams’ word on how amazing she was.
The grooviest pop band of all, Foster The People, was about three songs in by the time we arrived to the venue, but judging by the crowd’s excitement, we’ll assume they were doing a pretty good job already. The stage was foggy and glowing pink from the neon 2017 album title “Sacred Hearts Club” sign behind them–a very nice, minimalist production set-up. Frontman Mark Foster’s spot-on vocals and dynamic dance moves would totally give Justin Timberlake a run for his money. The band seemed to play a majority of songs off of that album, like “Lotus Eater”, “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy”, and their set-closer “Sit Next to Me”, but the crowd went absolutely wild when they started playing the national anthem, otherwise known as “Pumped Up Kicks”. A super cool and surprising highlight was their cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones, which really got the party started for some of the older folks like us out there.
Now before we get into the incredible hour and a half experience that was Paramore’s performance, we have to commend them on their punctuality. The band went on technically three minutes ahead of schedule, and we were so not ready but totally pleased. Coming out to a dark stage barely lit up by the last bit of natural light outside, drummer/vocalist Zac Farro led the pack to their respective spots on stage and kicked right into “Grudges”, one of the many fun summertime jams off of After Laughter, and a new addition to their previous tour setlists. From the get-go, frontwoman Hayley Williams, in all her glitter-tears-and-magenta pantsuit glory, was running all over the stage summoning the crowd to sing along with her. Paramore has been a band for well over a decade now, and it is totally common knowledge that Williams’ is one of the most energetic and engaging performers in the music industry, but seeing her fervor live just never gets old. Aside from her top-notch dance moves and colorful facial expressions, her voice is absolutely bone-chilling. Whether she’s hitting those wild high notes in “Still Into You” and “Caught In The Middle” or adding flourishing vocal runs in “Ain’t It Fun”, there is no way to deny how impressive her voice has become.
Though we got a majority of songs from After Laughter, including some new additions like “Pool” and “Idle Worship”, Paramore served us some serious deep cuts as well like “Brick By Boring Brick”, and the ultimate tearjerker “Misguided Ghosts” during the band’s mini acoustic session. On these recent After Laughter support tours, Paramore has been doing covers during every set, if you recall their ethereal cover of “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac. They followed the new tradition by performing their BBC Radio 1 live cover of “Passionfruit” by Drake, which sounded as heart-wrenching as the original BBC performance. However, one of the greatest highlights of the band’s set is undeniably one of the most underrated moments as well.
Ending “Idle Worship”, the band transitioned into their poetic, mostly-instrumental song “No Friend” off of the latest album. The song may be an easy one to skip on the track list if you’re in the mood to keep dancing, but this song performed live falls in line with some of Paramore’s most iconic sets of their time. Long-time fans will remember seeing the infamous “Miracle Outro” (sorry if we hit you in the feels with that) or seeing the band play “Part II” and the ending of “Future” during the self-titled era; “No Friend” is like the After Laughter version of those. Guitarist Taylor York shred his heart out with facial expressions just agonizing with passion, while Williams dropped to the floor beside Farro’s drum kit, reciting words to herself as Farro picked up the beat as the song progressed. This is a moment during the band’s live show where they are purely themselves, losing it all to the music, and letting you witness their euphoric release. Though there was never a single boring moment during the entire concert, their expression during “No Friend” is one of the most breathtaking things to see live on this tour, and truly just shows how unapologetically true Paramore is as a band.
Paramore has made it clear they’ve got a long road ahead of them still, but why wait? If after reading this review, you’re still not totally sold by our word alone, take a trip out to one of the upcoming Tour 5 dates (see list of dates below).
Upcoming After Laughter Summer Tour Dates:
Sat Jun 23 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Sun Jun 24 – Philadelphia, PA – Festival Pier
Tue Jun 26 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
Thu Jun 28 – Columbus, OH – Express Live!
Fri Jun 29 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sun Jul 01 – Indianapolis, IN – *Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park*
Mon Jul 02 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Beach Pavilion at Northerly Park
Thu Jul 05 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory
Sat Jul 07 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Amphitheatre
Sun Jul 08 – Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre
Tue Jul 10 – New Orleans, LA – Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square
Wed Jul 11 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street Amphitheater
Fri Jul 13 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion
Sat Jul 14 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
Wed Jul 18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
Thu Jul 19 – San Diego, CA – Mattress Firm Amphitheatre
Sat Jul 21 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
Mon Jul 23 – Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre
*Foster The People not performing