Even if emo's not really your thing (if you're over 20, it probably isn't), it's hard to not be in awe of Hayley Williams, the Tennessee-bred singer of Paramore, who headlined Fueled By Ramen's sold-out, $50-ticket, 15th Anniversary Party last night at Terminal 5. Hayley, with her signature fiery tresses and tomboy-ish strut, possesses the kind of audience-riling, power-chord backed, irrepressible energy that can only be found at emo shows, and it's coupled with a poise beyond her years, not to mention, a set of pipes that put the American Idol set to shame (one surprise highlight last night was a flawless Stevie Nicks impression). Paramore's been a band for seven years, since Hayley was 15, and since 2007's release of Riot!, they've become global mega-stars, rare for a rock band in this age of chart-topping hip-hop. Last night's show was one of only a few dates this year in the US; they've been busy delighting their enormous fan-base in the rest of the world, in locations as far-flung as Jakarta (Hayley chronicled their Pacific Rim tour for PAPERMAG. A highlight: "Only two bands have ever headlined the Garuda Wisnu in Bali, Indonesia: Iron Maiden and, now, Paramore"). Last night, the audience audibly sang every lyric of every song, which Hayley repeatedly encouraged, though it was hardly necessarily; at times, the screams of the crowd (which included several Hayley look-a-likes) were deafening. One could practically see the hormones swirling through the air. On the way out, one excited young attendee summed it up to her friend: "That was the best show I've ever seen." Allowance-money, well-spent.
Emo-ting Like No Other: Paramore at Terminal 5