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Concert Reviews:
Paramore displays big arena chops at The Palace

21st Century Media/Digital First Media, @GraffonMu

Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013

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AUBURN HILLS -- Paramore's Haley Williams seemed genuinely awed, or at least suitably impressed, with the sheer size of the Palace as her band played there on Thursday night, Sept. 21.

"Do you realize how big this place is?" the orange-haired singer asked. "This is crazy."

Given the sparse size of the turnout, the same may be said for the idea of having Williams and company play there, too. But Paramore still managed to show that eight years and four albums into its career the Nashville modern rock group has graduated from the Vans Warped Tour parking lots to bona fide arena headliners who deserved a better box office fate.

Following high-octane opening sets by Metric and hellogoodbye, Paramore's 21-song, nearly 100-minute certainly didn't skimp on the energy or the hits -- including "Fast in My Car," "Decode," "Ignorance," "Now," "Crushcrushcrush" and "Misery Business. But this time out the trio and its three auxiliary musicians, supporting this year's chart-topping "Paramore" album, let things breathe a little more, the stylistic variety allowing more space for gentler fare such as "When It Rains" and the dynamically sophisticated "Last Hope," both of which found Williams at the piano, as well as the acoustic flavored"The Only Exception" and the rootsy "In the Mourning," a rarity during which the group slipped into a bit of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."

That gave the set's rockers even more punch and let Paramore pound through the likes of "Grow Up," "That's When You Get" and "Brick By Boring Brick" with muscular abandon, Williams' voice showing just the slightest bit of road wear. Paramore employed lasers during a few songs, while three slim video boards behind the stage showed mostly graphics and occasional live footage. The group also brought the Rochester High School choir on stage to bolster "Ain't It Fun," while Williams chose a fan named Tanya from the crowd to help the group finish the main set with "Misery Business."

"Still Into You" finished the night with a shower of balloons and confetti, as Williams asked fans, "Do you think maybe you'll come back next time?" The response was, of course, positive, and if there's justice in the world they'll bring some friends along, too.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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