Paramore, more than "mall punk" at Red Rocks - Reverb

Live review: Paramore, Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

More than 'mall punk:' Paramore's Hayley Williams at Red Rocks last night.

More than 'mall punk:' Paramore's Hayley Williams at Red Rocks last night. Photo by Tina Hagerling,

Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has arguably more charm than many whole bands, and she has a reputation for showing it off in concert. Last night’s performance at Red Rocks was a perfect example, where the five-piece band (plus one for the touring lineup) entertained for nearly two hours. She never lost a beat, nor even so much as slowed down during that time. If anything, Williams’ energy grew as the night went on, both feeding, and feeding from, the band’s infectious “mall punk.”

To be fair, labeling Paramore as merely a tangent of pop-punk falls short of their musical mark. Their set featured examples of smart, quick, emo-based rock, to slightly hardcore tunes (both softened and lifted by Williams’ vocals), to acoustic ballads, to nearly overwhelmingly-cathartic numbers.

View a full photo gallery of last night’s show!

The band tore through an impressive set of singles in the first 40 minutes, including “Pressure,” “Emergency,” “Ignorance” and “Playing God,” before slowing down the atmosphere in bringing a couch on stage and creating an “unplugged” setup of all acoustic guitars and a pared-down drum kit. Williams and bandmate Josh Farro performed a cover of Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Not Woman Enough to Take My Man,” which adequately set the tone for the rest of set. While they played acoustic versions of “Misguided Ghosts,” “Decode,” “When It Rains” and others, William’s Nashville roots began to show as she channeled more Reba McEntire than Gwen Stefani or Avril Lavigne (two vocalists to whom Williams is too often compared).

Almost as quickly as it started, the acoustic portion of the show was over, and the band burst into another loud and raucous set, including the popular “Crushcrushcrush” and a moving version of “The Only Exception,” before adding a confetti-filled encore that ended with the explosively fun “Misery Business.”

Canadian twin duo Tegan and Sara played shimmering, folky Britpop for just under an hour that recalled both the Smiths and the Indigo Girls. The young audience loved it, especially when one of the two quipped about her coif’s similarity to Justin Bieber’s. She assured us all that hers came first.

View a full photo gallery of last night’s show!

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Billy Thieme is a Denver-based writer, an old-school punk and a huge follower of Denver’s vibrant local music scene. Follow Billy’s explorations at, and his giglist at Gigbot.

Tina Hagerling is a Denver photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. Check out more of her concert photography.

  • Bohmane

    I went to the Paramore concert last night at Red Rocks..Love them…however…..I was sitting in the audience…I don’t know where the DP writer was sitting ….let me tell you my point of view…..Hayley talked way too much.!! Fans want to go to concerts to hear the music, especially the popular tunes… that was a fail. Paramore startted at around 9:30 p.m. and ended at 11 p.m. not 2 hour concert. Thirty minutes of this was Hayley talking….and talking…and talking…Want to get your concert pumped up??? SING!!
    Tegan and Sara….wow….speechless….not good….Given concert goers ages ranged from 10 years old to over 50…the whole audience sat down……left their seats…nope…they were not pumped up. New Found Glory should be put in the Tegan and Sara slot…they got the audience hoppin’. Kadawatha, awesome! I love all types of music….T and S didn’t do it for me or several people that I was sitting by. Alot of people left during their show and when Hayley kept talking…and talking….lost alot of fans…..
    I will definately continue to follow Paramore music however I will think twice driving 3 1/2 hours to see them in concert…now…I saw them at SummerFest in Milwaukee, WI a couple of years ago…they ROCKED!! I would like to see another Paramore concert like that!! I know they have it in them…..
    Overall, my party was disappointed…and we had all ages…..

  • Angrygentleman

    This is how this type of concerts polluting (cultural pollution) the brain of young minds and and causing lifelong deafness via ear blasting noise.