After finishing a tour with Relient K in May, Hellogoodbye continues to promote their new wave indie-pop music on the North American leg of Paramore’s tour. Despite a calm Saturday night at the Honda Center, Hellogoodbye and Paramore took Anaheim by storm. With bright flashing lights, heavy bass, blazing instruments and passionate vocals, both bands knew how to fire up a Saturday night crowd.
An enormous line snaked around all four corners of the arena long before doors opened, yet the Honda Center was only half full when Hellogoodbye began to perform. The band treated fans to a couple of new songs from their highly anticipated third studio album, Everything is Debatable, which drops on Oct. 29. Dressed in dapper outfits, they opened up Paramore’s Self-Titled concert with a surprisingly short set of only six songs. With only a few songs, however, Hellogoodbye guided the crowd through a tour of emotions, mirroring Hellogoodbye’s transition from their old style synthpop to new wave indie-pop. “Here (In Your Arms)” hit the crowd with a wave of nostalgia while “Swear You’re In Love” lulled the crowd to sway side to side with strangers in their row.
For “Here (In Your Arms),” bassist Augustine Rampolla amped up the bass, creating a slight dubstep remix to the popular middle school anthem. There’s no denying the musical talent of Hellogoodbye. The light touch of Forrest Kline on his keyboard created a rain of piano notes that caused a ripple effect in the crowd as the mosh pit waved their hands in the air, increasing outward incrementally until the very top of the arena was waving to the beat of “Magic Hour.”
During their slower, more romantic songs, such as “Swear You’re In Love,” lead singer Kline caressed his mic as if it were the inspiration for pouring his love letters into music. Hellogoodbye celebrated their transformation into the new age by combining popular indie influences and quirky but gentle lyrics into a perfect harmony.
Though the crowd was unfamiliar with most of Hellogoodbye’s new music, it seemed to try to catch up to the band’s level of energy. Even though he leapt around the stage while yelling chorus lines as if he was summoning Freddie Mercury, Kline’s lack of dialogue created distance. Aside from the occasional “thanks,” Kline was all business, racing through an already quick set of songs. At times, it felt as if Kline was married to his mic, standing still, placing too much focus on the mosh pit while forgetting the crowds on the sides.
Unfortunately, Hellogoodbye’s overuse of bass in their final two songs did not spark a renewed exhilaration in the crowd. Most of Hellogoodbye’s vocal and instrumental talent was wasted on a tidal wave of bass that left the crowd slightly confused since it did not match the rock ‘n’ roll feel of the concert. Indeed, Hellogoodbye’s opening performance put their newest album to the test. The issue of whether or not Hellogoodbye was able to attract potential fans or if their opening act was successful is much like their newest song, “(Everything is) Debatable.” Overall, Hellogoodbye was the tiny spark that set the crowd ablaze and prepared them for Paramore’s performance. Short but sweet, their act was as fleeting as their name.
Following Metric, the concert’s second opening band, it was time for the headliner to shine. After an hour and a half of opening acts, the mysterious flapping black curtains finally dropped, unveiling the night’s main attraction: Paramore. Lead singer Hayley Williams, running and waving to each part of the crowd, reenergized the audience, anxious from waiting for an hour and a half.
While concertgoers attempted to adjust to Paramore’s sudden appearance, Williams took charge and maintained the pandemonium with a simple bow and a wave of her hand. Immediately, she breathlessly sang “Grow Up,” which was muddled by the loud cheering from an ecstatic crowd. Paramore’s performance invigorated the arena as if it were sold out. Though only three-fourths of the seats were occupied, the arena’s reverberated energy filled up all of the empty space left by a drop off of fans caused by Paramore’s initial split.
Once the band started “That’s What You Get,” the crowd unleashed any remaining repressed energy. The alternative rock band was in San Jose just the day before, but they displayed no signs of being tired as they effortlessly powered through six songs. In spite of the lack of catchiness in their new songs compared to old fan favorites such as “Decode” and “crushcrushcrush,” Paramore displayed an entertaining variety of spirit consistent of head bangs and playful exchanges. The band’s dynamic worked well together.
Paramore catered to both new and old fans by revisiting songs from their most successful album, Riot! while promoting their new album which fell off the top charts within two weeks of its debut. Songs such as “Daydreaming,” which was hard to sell on their album, rocked out live as Williams painted the plain stock filler song with her strong vibrato. Likewise, fellow band members Jeremy Davis and Taylor York coated the lyrics with golden backup vocals and colorful guitar and bass notes.
Throughout “Last Hope,” Paramore sang with inspiration. Regardless of the song’s repetitive lyrics, the power from Williams’ heartfelt singing transformed the song into a testimony so moving that the crowd cheering became a single voice yelling “preach” when Williams finished. This trend continued into “Ain’t It Fun,” when the band brought out the gospel choir straight from the recording studio to sing on stage, converting the Honda Center into a gospel church. While the band and gospel choir exchanged hugs, the sea of pumped up fists dyed cerulean by the lights applauded the performers for their hard work.
Another testament of fan loyalty occurred at the start of “The Only Exception.” Waves of sentimentality washed over Paramore when the dark arena was lit by an ocean of stars created by swaying camera flashes.
At the end of the night, fans left the arena with both hands swinging in the air while singing the infectious lyrics to “Still Into You” as they walked to their cars, proving that this concert was worth the wait since their last concert at the Honda Center a few years ago.
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