Paramore’s lead singer Hayley Williams has blue hair now, and Fall Out Boy is on a mission to “save rock ‘n’ roll.” Clearly, we’re not in middle school anymore. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.)
But it was still the same Paramore and Fall Out Boy who stole the hearts of teenage girls in the early 2000s that basked in the crowd’s adoration Wednesday night at the PNC Music Pavilion.
As a fan-inspired event, the bands’ joint summer tour, Monumentour, was designed with only the crowd in mind. From Fall Out Boy’s bassist Pete Wentz and guitarist Joe Trohman’s experiment with T-shirt guns to the enormous amounts of confetti during Paramore’s performance to the “special guest,” Brian, everything was fan-driven in one way or another.
(Brian won a contest on MTV that allowed him to sing part of Paramore’s “Misery Business” with Williams on stage Wednesday. And yes, everyone did wish they were Brian.)
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Williams is a one-woman show. While the other three band members swayed with their instruments, Williams was running, jumping, kicking and kneeling throughout her songs. The band’s set-up on the stage made Williams the center of attention, which could have been potentially off-putting for an audience coming to see Paramore and not Hayley Williams’ solo act. But instead, it left the crowd in a adrenaline-riddled daze.
Her wild cardio movements, accompanied by the sweat dripping down her face and her neon green sports bra, reminded the audience of themselves – sitting in their seats, jumping into their neighbors to their left and headbanging their neighbors in front of them. She was just one of the fans.
Paramore brought the punk, but Fall Out Boy brought the rock ‘n’ roll.
Instead of using just one light board on display during their set, like Paramore, Fall Out Boy utilized strobe lights and eight different TV sets to broadcast videos of eyes blinking, gun shootings, fires burning and other images during their performance.
The boys opened with an explosion of fireworks. Behind them was a huge sign that read “Save Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the name of their latest album and a hefty decree for a group of boys who just formed their band in 2001. But they surely did try.
Almost every move they made contributed in some way to their mission: The way lead singer Patrick Stump and Wentz sang into the same microphone at each other. The way drummer Andy Hurley methodically beat the drums during songs like “Phoenix” and “A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me.” And even the way that the strobe lights hit the audience every time the bass dropped.
Things might be different: Hayley Williams might not be known as “that teenager with the pretty voice and the orange hair,” but she’s still an inspiration for many young girls. Fall Out Boy might have shorter song titles, but they still embody rock ‘n’ roll. Wednesday night’s performance was a testament to that.