w/ Foster The People, Jay Som
Mountain View, CA
July 21, 2018
Photos and review by Jared Stossel.
On Saturday evening, in front of a packed house of 22,000 people, Paramore made their highly anticipated return to the Bay Area at Shoreline Amphitheatre, after nearly two years in limbo. While the band did come through the Bay last year to perform a more intimate show at Oakland's Paramount Theatre, tickets were scarce as the show sold out almost instantaneously. This time around, the band (comprised now of vocalist Hayley Williams, drummer Zac Farro, and guitarist Taylor York) has been headlining arenas and amphitheaters around the country, making one their last stops on the coveted "Tour 5" in Mountain View, CA, in support of their highly successful fifth studio album, After Laughter.
The show was opened by Oakland's own Jay Som, an indie-rock act that is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Melina Duterte. The eclectic yet calming sounds of Jay Som's set, propped against the backdrop of a cooler summer evening were the perfect warm-up to the evening. Main support for the evening was provided by the show-stealing Foster The People, who constantly prove themselves to get better and better with every live performance they do. Frontman Mark Foster was at the helm, getting the crowd on their feet track after track, while guitarist Sean Cimino, keyboardist Isom Innis, and drummer Mark Pontius powered away at their respective instruments, bringing old and new tracks from the band's three-album discography to life.
Paramore took the stage shortly after 9 PM. Now, while the band's lineup is only comprised of three individuals, their live lineup is a completely different story. Backed by keyboardists, rhythm guitar players, and a bassist, Paramore's sound is completely rounded out by a full touring lineup. This is a smart move; most bands would only bring out maybe a rhythm guitarist or a bassist. But Paramore have such an eclectic catalogue of material, one that has progressed with each and every release since their inception on 2005's All We Know Is Falling that is makes sense to have all of this additional instrumentation.
The first three songs of the set are mainly comprised of tracks from After Laughter, with "Grudges" and "Rose-Colored Boy" getting the crowd off their feet. "Still Into You" from their self-titled fourth record is sandwiched in between the two tracks, before diving headfirst into "That's What You Get" and "crushcrushcrush" from their massively successful breakout record, Riot!. Anthemic tracks like "Fake Happy" and "Ignorance" follow, before the stage suddenly goes quiet. The band return a few minutes later to perform three acoustic numbers: "26", "Misguided Ghosts", and a cover of Drake's "Passionfruit". While this was a nice moment, and the band have the chops to carry out a full acoustic set in this setting, the change-over was a little awkward with such an immediate drop in sound between sets. While the band and Williams' vocals sounded immaculate, the speakers weren't quite reaching the lawn so it was difficult to hear what she was saying in between songs.
After the second change-over, the full band performances resumed with the indie-pop tinged "Caught In The Middle" and the raw, powerful "Idol Worship". Perhaps the most anticipated moment of the night came in the form of "Misery Business" (from 2007's Riot!) when Williams invited four fans up from the crowd to sing with her (one of which had a birthday, and had the entire amphitheater sing "Happy Birthday" to her at the end of the track.) "Ain't It Fun" turned into a mass singalong, before the band headed into an encore comprised of "Told You So", a HalfNoise cover of "All That Love Is", and "Hard Times", the first single off of After Laughter that reinvigorated Paramore's sound and brought them to the Bay Area this past weekend. They're a band that's on top of the world, and one that proves time and time again that they've earned their spot up there.
Paramore Set List
Still Into You
That's What You Get
Passionfruit (Drake Cover)
Caught In The Middle
Ain't It Fun
Told You So
All That Love Is (HalfNoise Cover)
Foster The People