HOLMDEL, NJ—After an unexpected hiatus from Fall Out Boy and a near breakup from Paramore, the two punk rock bands came back to perform at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center to promote their new albums as well as bring back some of their popular classics.
The opening act, New Politics, did a great job warming up the crowd by being fun and energetic. Lead singer David Boyd knew how to get the crowd’s attention by break dancing during some of the songs that people weren’t familiar with, which included surprising people with his head stands. Toward the end of their set, he got the audience’s attention even more by jumping into the crowd and running up the aisles, stopping whenever he pleased to get closer to the fans. To top it all off, they saved their hit song “Harlem” toward the end of the set.
Finally the arena went dark, with a bright purple beam of light shining from across the stage that soon resulted into the word PARAMORE, with only the shadows of the three current members—Jeremy Davis, Hayley Williams and Taylor York—left. The band started off with their new single “Still Into You” off their self-titled album, Paramore. As soon as Williams started singing, she was smiling and dancing as if it were her first show ever. The band shows that kind of excitement every time they perform, which makes it entertaining to watch.
A key moment during the show was the flip Davis (bassist) did over York (guitarist) while they played their instruments at the same time during the song “Pressure.” They do the flip the same way they did in their official video for the song. Another key moment from the Paramore portion of the show was during “Misery Business,” when Williams picked a fan from the crowd to help sing the bridge of the song. She picked a guy named Phil from the UK with a blue mohawk matching her hair, wearing Paramore’s first fan club t-shirt that doesn’t exist anymore.
One of the more heartfelt songs the band performed was “Last Hope.” The song lyrically connects the crowd with lyrics such as, “And the salt in my wounds isn’t burning any more than it used to. It’s not that I don’t feel the pain, it’s just I’m not afraid of hurting anymore.” Paramore’s set ended with their latest single “Ain’t It Fun” with white, blue, and yellow pieces of confetti falling from the sky. What I love about this band is how much they care about their fans. They don’t just leave; they take the time to give the crowd their setlists off the stage, drumsticks, guitar picks and any remaining rubber balls with the Paramore logo on it that got stuck on the sides of the stage during one of the songs for the fans to have as a memory of the show.
When Fall Out Boy’s performance started, the arena became black again with a man’s voice speaking, talking about how to face your fears and stay strong no matter how hard life gets. Then members Patrick Stump (vocalist/guitarist), Pete Wentz (bassist), Joe Trohman (guitarist) and Andy Hurley (drummer) came out from the floor of the stage, starting off with their song “The Phoenix.”
Halfway through the set, there was a drum solo battle between Stump and Hurley leading into the song “Dance, Dance.” Wentz and Trohman then appeared toward the back of the crowd, playing for fans who couldn’t be close to the stage. One of my favorite parts was when Wentz started talking about how his dad would come to shows and be bored and how rock and roll is dying, yet both bands—Fall Out Boy and Paramore—have hit singles on the radio. The group started to play Queen’s “We Are The Champions” for any of the parents in the crowd who came with their kids, which slowly went into their song “Save Rock And Roll.” The song is originally with Elton John on the record titled Save Rock And Roll, but Stump does a great job singing his vocals to sound similar to Sir Elton.
The band ended with “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)” following the crowd shouting for an encore as they left. Fall Out Boy then came back out and ended with their classics “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” and “Saturday.” During “Saturday,” Wentz got to show off his unclean vocals while going into the front of the crowd, which was amazing to see because he rarely ever performs solo.
All three bands had crowd-connecting, energetic moments that made it that much more prodigious to attend.