This past weekend’s "When We Were Young" festival in Las Vegas got off to a rough start with a high-wind warning that postponed the opening of the event, co-headlined by My Chemical Romance and Paramore. But just before Paramore finally graced the grounds, lead singer Hayley Williams shared a hand-written note detailing her relationship with the emo scene being celebrated that weekend.
Williams went on to reclaim the genre that had become out of touch with the punk ethos of celebrating all our differences. "We fell in love with this subset of post-punk + hardcore likely because nothing else moved us," she wrote. "We didn’t fit in other places."
During the show, Williams took time to set the stage. Sitting on its edge, she shared the way Paramore has been dismissed throughout the years, adding, "I’ve had my fill of older people — especially older men — tell me what punk rock is and tell me what punk rock is not. I can think of nothing more anti-establishment than young women, than people of color and the queer community."
Reframing the festival packaged as a night of nostalgia, Williams ended her letter, "Tonight, for me at least, is about celebrating ALL the facets of what punk music actually represents. All the things it wasn’t allowed to be when we were young."
The night itself was for the true Paramore fans, featuring a rare performance of "Here We Go Again," the dynamic deep-cut off their first album, 2005's All We Know Is Falling.
Our inner children (and current adult selves) are screaming.
Photo courtesy of Darian DiCianno/BFA
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