Last week I was so excited to see Paramore, the few bands in my rotating playlist of music that has permanent standing. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve seen them live, I believe I still have the stub from the DCU Centre in Massachusetts. But finally being able to see them here at home was a gift after having a terrible rainy date and the last minute request from work to complete a shift. Unlike the DCU, I had seats this time but I didn’t even need it (exception for the two opening acts, I’m not much of a Foster The People person). Just having them on stage and seeing the crowd reminded me of those days just sitting at home and blaring it in my ears.
At the start of the concert, I was surprised a lot of people dressed so differently taking their seats. Teenagers, old fans, a crew of dyed hair people, even a few people in their business casual wear stood and jammed with Paramore. They brought our a lot of old album favourites to playing their entire new After Laughter album. But just being there with people dancing and watching, I felt comfortable to wave my hands and headbanging in the stands. It was comforting to just hear Hayley’s words sung and sung back to her. It was electric in a way everyone can hold on those words. I remember the first time I felt like that was when I heard The Only Exception. It was moving that no matter where you come from, people are similar in situation. Whether a break up, a death, a crappy circumstance could being someone back.
After leaving the concert, I left for a bit of late night Chinese food. I saw hoards of people scrambling to cars and even people trickling into the streetcar stop. I took a less direct route to the restaurant for some take out. Just seeing people dispersing train stop after train stop with all their Paramore paraphernalia, it was something almost magical. Then as I waited for a meal, I saw a group of friends sit down wearing the same After Laughter t-shirt and I was remember just how special the concert was, the difference of appearance and now appetite.
I’ve always advocated that being weird and different is good. That night I really felt accepted by those words and I now I’m starting to look at myself and say “Weird is OK”.