DEPENDING on how you want to see it, Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has either moved on from the departure of the Farro brothers from the band, or she’s still taking veiled pot-shots at them.

“This feels like the band we were always meant to be,” she said during a press conference ahead of Paramore’s second concert in Malaysia, held last Sunday at Stadium Negara, KL. “The people who we are in this album … It’s just a new feeling.”

Sounds innocuous enough? Well, not if you consider that the band has been around for almost a decade, and she’s only saying this now – after Josh and Zac Farro have left the band.

In the aftermath of the band’s split, Josh had criticised Williams and the way the band was being managed in a blogpost.

“We just want to have fun making an album together. It was a new experience,” said Williams on Sunday. “We have to be open-minded and let each other try new things. It’s just us, this is who we are.”

Tellingly, the name of the new album she’s talking about is Paramore. Kind of late for a self-titled album, no?

Well make whatever you want of it, but at least the remaining members of the band – Williams, guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis – didn’t let whatever baggage the band is carrying weigh them down during the concert.

“Let’s get crazy tonight, Malaysia!” screamed Williams, as the band stormed on stage, kicking the show off with their new single, Now, which got the fans going wild.

The crowd was absolutely burning with energy. Some of the fans had waited outside the stadium since the morning with their banners.

“Thank you guys for being so supportive, We are back together with a new album all written by us and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did making the album! We promise you a great rocking night tonight, Malaysia!“ said Hayley, before launching into the second song of the night, their hit single That’s What You Get.

Philadelphia-based post-hardcore rockers Me Without You had earlier opened the show with a good hour of hypnotic vocals and blistering drum beats that scored plenty of recognition from Paramore fans on the night. Sadly, local band One Buck Short had to cancel their opening performance at the last minute as lead singer Mooky was unwell.
In the end, Paramore did a solid set of 18 songs, including hits like Brick By Boring Brick, Decode, Only Exception and Monster, which the crowd all gleefully sang along too.

The bright lights mellowed down for acoustic number In the Mourning, where Hayley wowed the crowd with her powerful vocals. The stadium became a sea of white lights as everyone started waving their mobile phones in the air.

And just like she did during their last concert here, Williams picked someone from the crowd to share the stage as the band closed the show. This time, it was a girl named Lucy.

“Do you know the song better than I do?” Williams asked. As soon as Lucy replied “yes”, the whole crowd cheered her on, and she rocked the stage, making Malaysian fans proud.

As much as the show brought back memories of Paramore’s last concert here (where the original quintet were just making a comeback from a difficult near-break-up), the remaining members seemed to be trying to hammer home the fact that they’re a whole new band now, and they’re looking to leave the past behind.

York said: “The whole making of this album was a rediscovering of ourselves as a band, and as friends.”

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