Last Night: Paramore, Tegan & Sara, and New Found Glory at Bayfront Park
|Photo by Christina Mendenhall|
|Paramore's Hayley Williams performing live at Bayfront Park.|
2010 Honda Civic Tour presents: Paramore, Tegan & Sara, New Found Glory, Kadawatha
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Bayfront Park Amphitheater, Miami
Better than:(I'm making a prediction here, but) the upcoming 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12th.
So it's apparently true, I'm old. Not that being in your early 30s is considered "over the hill" by any means, but let's just say at last night's concert I was quite frankly the oldest person in the sea of 8,000+ screaming teenagers (and would-be teens) who did not have a child to chaperone that night. Yes, I was at a punk-rock version of a Justin Bieber concert. Who knew the majority of Paramore fans were sophomores in high school?
I'm sure this is the easy transition from a Bieber-Fever goody-two-shoes tween to a rebellious dyed-hair Paramore/Twilight obsessed junkie. Regardless what fake hair-color you rocked that night, Bayfront Park Amphitheater was packed to the brim with die-hard fans of either openers, Tegan & Sara, or the headliners, Paramore. Dueling band t-shirts and overly anxious fan behavior was the trait during each of the main sets ... meaning, there were moments where the audience sang the entirety of a song, word for word, breath by breath.
And where were all the New Found Glory fans who officially kick-started the evening around 7:30-ish? I guess they were all schlepping in the band's hometown of Coral Springs, watching the UFC game or something.
I think NFG should deserve its own review, if you ask me, since they've been around forever and I respect those guys a lot. But in the context of last night's performance, it was a bit muted. They played their usual classics like "My Friends Over You" and their new track "Truck Stop Blues," and I think they got the best response when they did their cover of Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me." But overall no one was totally tuned in, unfortunately.
Back to Tegan & Sara, who I was personally came to see. Those Canadian twins kicked ass. With their rockabilly demeanor and their easy-go-lucky stage presence, both Tegan and Sara Quin sang from their oldies with a splash of their newbies added into the mix.
Mid-way into their set, Tegan (the more vocal of the two) mentioned how this was their first time ever in Miami and how she was so disappointed to find out that neither Madonna nor Shaq didn't live here anymore. Clearly she lives in Vancouver and reads The Economist all day, because there is no reason why she even wants to know who Lebron James or the cast of Jersey Shore is. Whatever the case may be, she did end up dedicating the song "Alligator" to Madonna and Miami for the sake that we have as many alligators here as Canada has moose. Did I mention how kick-ass they are?
After T&S's 30+ minute set, the stage was cleared for the main act. Folks were amped as the lights went dark and the bass guitar came rumbling through the speakers. High-pitched teenage screams filled the air. Was I at a rock concert, or did Robert Pattinson just walk on stage? After a dramatic intro, lead singer Hayley Williams bopped all over the fixtures like a pinball. Her over-the-top energy got the entire audience jumping up and down in unison as she went in on their first song, "Ignorance."
Speaking of ignorance, I must admit that I was definitely ignorant in realizing the immense fandom that Paramore has reached. I knew they were popular just by their heavy rotation on MTV, but was taken aback witnessing thousands of adoring fans -- mostly teenage girls -- firsthand, who not only worship Hayley Williams, but eerily copy her look and style.
It's clear why mainstream media has compared the 21-year-old to this generation's version of Gwen Stefani. I can definitely see the No Doubt/Paramore comparison, with their infectious melodies, singable hooks and the head chick in charge. Only a fool would dismiss Paramore's influence in today's music industry.
But enough of that; back to the show. When their mega-hit songs like "That's What You Get," "Decode," and "Crushcrushcrush" came blasting through, the crowd literally went into a frenzy. You don't see this kind of teenage-energy at a Drake concert, that's for sure. With so much jumping, arms flaring, screaming/singing, and all sorts of athletic moves in between, I was getting tired just looking at them.
There was, however, a lull in the set. A red-velvet couch was ushered on stage as Hayley sang some slow-songs, but it wasn't until "The Only Exception" that the entire audience, linked arm and arm, swayed from side to side, and sang along with the chorus: "You ... are ... the only exception ..." Every couple who were on the verge of a break-up, hearing that, just decided to get married.
Finally, the encore, their number 1 hit money-maker, "Misery Business," was played with a ton of fury, as the band gave its all for their final showdown for Miami. To top it off, confetti came sprinkling through the air as the group exited off stage, leaving the audience in amazement and extreme exhaustion.
Personal Bias: Did I mention that Tegan & Sara kicked ass?
Random Detail: While walking out of Bayfront Park at the tail end of the entrance, there was a line of overly-impatient parents waiting to pick up their sweaty-emo kids and take their asses back to Kendall. Sigh. "Parents just don't understand!"
Overheard in the Crowd: During the concert, I was accompanied by an entourage of sexy lesbians who informed me that 90% of the lesbians at the concert came to see Tegan & Sara. Quoting my friend, Charo, as she observed the under-age crowd, "I have no idea who Paramore is, and thank God because I guess you have to be, like, 11 years old to get them, huh?"
Tegan and Sara
I Bet It Stung
Walking With A Ghost
Back In Your Head
Where Does The Good Go
That's What You Get
For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
You Ain't Woman Enough
When It Rains
Where The Lines Overlap
Let The Flames Begin
The Only Exception