Hayley Williams lost her voice to laryngitis around the same time she went blonde, but from Paramore’s performance at the House of Blues on Monday, no one could really say either one had to do with the other, contrary to conspiracy theories.
Despite canceled shows and the shocking departure from her signature orange ‘do, Williams’ performance was as solidly bright and brassy as her new hair color.
Williams’ comeback from mute-status has added to her ‘cool girl’ appeal. Her strong vocals are not the only draw that attracts screaming, Hayley-obsessed 15-year-old girls to thrash wildly at the sight of her yellow-and-red striped microphone; the calm, ‘I-really-don’t-care’ aura that Williams exudes is what really makes her fans just want to hang out with her ‘-‘- even now, with her new, less-original hair color.
As usual, the band’s energy on stage was contagious, and the almost-packed venue lapped up Williams’ jumping enthusiasm. She worked it with her ridiculous habit of spitting water out of her mouth ‘-‘- at the crowd, at drummer Zac Farro, sometimes at nothing at all ‘-‘- a disturbingly disgusting habit considering her recent bout with laryngitis. But still, the crowd loved her energy and sang along with all the right lyrics, despite the fact that the band’s new album, Brand New Eyes, was only just released a month ago.
The band members themselves seemed to have enjoyed the show as much as the crowd, with Williams tweeting after the show, ‘Boston . . . Tonight was my favorite show of the tour thus far.’ During the show, which was Paramore’s first at the Boston House of Blues, Williams recounted the good ‘ole days performing at the Axis and Avalon, when the band was just an opening act with a loud, neon-haired female vocalist.’
The band paid homage to those days by smoothly mixing tracks from its new album with crowd-favorites from Riot! and All We Know is Falling, sandwiching new single ‘Looking Up’ between ‘That’s What You Get’ and’ the even older ‘Emergency.’ The band pulled off newer hits ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Brick by Boring Brick’ with the same ease as songs they’ve been playing for seemingly ever, such as ‘Crushcrushcrush’ and ‘Conspiracy.’ The band even managed a stellar rendering of the not-so-stellar, vampire-sodden, angst-fest ‘Decode’ for the Twilight boppers in the audience.
Paramore practiced this balancing act of old and new in the encore, ending with fast crowd-pleasers like ‘Misery Business.’ The band started off its encore with an acoustic rendition of ‘Misguided Ghosts,’ the final piece needed to prove to everyone in the crowd that Williams was well on the mend. From that stripped performance, no one would have been able to tell that the lead singer had lost her voice just a few weeks earlier.
Although it is premature for Williams to declare Boston her ‘favorite show of the tour thus far,’ if Paramore’s performance at the House of Blues is any indication of how the tour will go, then like Williams’ hair color, the tour will be full of possibilities.