My Experience In The Pit On The After Laughter Tour
Staff Writer: Orian Johnson
A few weeks ago I had the honor of attending one of the one-hundred (yes, one-hundred) shows in Paramore’s After Laughter Tour, the band’s fifth tour named after their fifth album, After Laughter. The headliners for the Irving, Texas show were Jay Som and Foster The People. Jay Som, an artist that few if any people in the crowd knew about, delivered a pleasantly surprising performance in the short time she was on stage, I only wish I had heard of her sooner. She seemed nervous at first but quickly became more confident, interacting with the crowd, and playing her heart out on guitar while serenading us with the mellow vocals we’ve come to love from alternative artists. There is no doubt people were downloading her songs the next day. Foster The People, a more well known band, definitely received an excited reception from the crowd; I was even surprised at how much I enjoyed their performance given I barely knew two songs. That being said, the energy on stage was through the roof, people in the crowd were jumping to songs none of us actually knew. To top it all off, I was near a girl who was so happy she cried as the band played.
Last but most certainly not least was the band we all came to see. If the energy before was through the roof, the energy when Paramore came on stage was in the stratosphere. People were screaming (myself included), people were crying, it was as if the pit had become cut off from the rest of the world, and not a single note had been played yet. Paramore began the show with “Grudges,” and from there it was only uphill. Each song, accompanied of course by Hayley’s sick dance moves, was sung just as unapologetically loud by the fans as the one before it. There was not a dull moment or disappointed fan in the pit during the first nine songs of the set. Every song from After Laughter except for “Tell Me” was played, though it’s exclusion did not seem to upset anyone. The bulk of the rest of the show was from their freshman and sophomore albums, though songs from every album were played.
After playing “Pool” they went off stage for a short intermission, then either they were finally ready or could not listen to us chant anymore because they took the stage again and decided to sit down to play some more mellow songs. Out of nowhere Hayley sang “Passionfruit” by Drake which was unsurprisingly a great cover, despite it being completely unexpected. Directly after that I got to hear the beauty that was Hayley Williams singing “Misguided Ghosts.” After that she sang “26,” which was when the swaying flashlights came out. It was a genuinely gorgeous moment to be a part of. Back off stage they went, and after even more chanting they came out to perform a few more songs followed by “Misery Business,” much to everyone’s unparalleled excitement. She brought one of the crowd members up on stage to perform it with the band and the entire pit lit up with happiness as if they were the ones who got to go on stage.
The final song played was “Ain’t It Fun” from their self titled album in 2013 that set the internet on fire. That was supposedly the end of the show but the crowd was having none of that. We were not ready for it to end! The band resurfaced one last time from backstage to play “Told You So.” After that they brought out bongos for Hayley and Zac to use during their cover of “All That Love Is” by Zac Farro’s other band, HalfNoise. Finally, for real this time, Paramore came back out and with Hayley proudly holding the mic as her and the entire venue shouted, “We are Paramore!” They ended the show with the first song revealed for After Laughter, “Hard Times.”
Needless to say the concert was astounding. The headliners were both amazing and, of course, so was Paramore. Each song lit up every face in the crowd, as well as the passion of each song being astoundingly amplified outside of a studio recording. If another tour for Paramore is announced in the future, please do yourself a favor and buy tickets as quick as humanly possible. Everyone needs to see Paramore in concert.