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PARAMORE @ Congress Theatre  

Paramore and Jack's Mannequin
When: August 12th, 2008
Where: Congress Theatre
Reviewed by: Jessica Cohn

Teens covered in neon and striped apparel filled the sidewalks outside Congress Theatre, where power-pop rockers Paramore brought the "Final Riot" tour Aug. 12. Paramore — in tow with a stellar lineup including Paper Route, Phantom Planet and Jack’s Mannequin — was here to celebrate the final weeks of summer with their adoring fans. Indie-tronix Paper Route started the show with ambient rock that seemed a bit too mature and outside of the pop-punk box for the majority of the teenage girls in the crowd to get into, but added a progressive edge to the sugary lineup. Phantom Planet was well received, especially due to the fact that their set-closing The O.C. anthem “California” is firmly ingrained on the summertime brains of every young adult in America.

Paramore take the stage at Congress Theatre / Photograph by Karen Chan

Paramore blazed on to the stage triumphantly proclaiming their headlining status with “Born for This.” Matched in enthusiasm from a crowd that exploded in shrills as florescent tube lights beamed "RIOT" (the title of the band's latest album) above the band’s head, Paramore’s infectious songs turned the room into a giant dance party complete with flailing arms and shaking shoulders. Lead singer Hayley Williams shone though power notes with perfect pitch and held her own against the massive drum lines in “Let the Flames Begin.” Starting the song perched high above the stage on a catwalk of sorts, Williams’s pipes soared over the introductory driving drum line. Guitar lines swirled in harmony with the light show, creating an almost tangible sense of astonishment across the faces of the crowd. Band members made ample use of various stage ramps, spinning and kicking their way around while Williams alternated head-banging sessions with fist-pumping dances moves, making standing still seem illegal.

For as loud as siren Williams sang onstage, her fans sang twice as loud back at her, making every song a group effort and allowing energy to bounce back and forth over the barricades.  Announcing that this tour stop was being filmed for a live DVD, the crowd deafeningly screamed, acknowledging their part in the show. A mid-set acoustic slow-down provided a necessary break to allow everyone in the room to catch their breath that began with “My Heart,” which they dedicated to an avid LiveJournal community of fans. Paramore jumped back on the power-pop saddle with early single “Pressure,” featuring bassist Jeremy Davis cartwheeling across the stage, bass in hand. Loved enough to bring a second encore, the band delivered smash single “Misery Business” and left the stage with a roaring crowd who undoubtedly would have stuck around longer if the lights didn’t go up and the clock struck curfew. Well done, kids, well done. – Jessica Cohn

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