If you were looking for big hooks and big energy this past Friday night then Massey Hall was the place to be. Thanks to Best Coast and Paramore the venue was filled to the brim with both and more than met the expectations of the wild crowd inside.
Best Coast straddle a few genre lines; elements pop, surf rock, and garage rock can all be found in the group’s signature sun-baked California sound. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino is quite the axe-shredder, and ably alternated between swirling, dreamy cuts like “California Nights” and more raucous numbers like “I Want To” and “Boyfriend”.
Touring in support of their new album After Laughter, emo-pop act Paramore brought a sugar rush of sound to the stage with their immediate, direct songwriting. Frontwoman Hayley Williams had a seemingly endless store of energy as she bounced around from one end of the stage to the other throughout the whole show.
Songs from all over the band’s decade-plus catalogue were brought out, effectively showcasing the wide variety of sounds they’ve adopted over the years. Earlier hits like “That’s What You Get” and “Misery Business” were borne of the mallcore emo sound of the mid-2000s, while newer tracks like “Hard Times” and “Ain’t It Fun” are inspired by the new wave revival from this decade. Williams joked about the genre hopping, saying “two things you always need to bring to a Paramore show: a box of tissues and dancing shoes.”
Indeed, a lot of emotions were on display on stage, particularly during the tender “26” which featured just Williams singing over an acoustic guitar. Sometimes the sad moments were cathartic; “Misery Business” had a crowd member join Williams on stage to belt out the triumphant final chorus. Another nice surprise was a modernized take on Fleetwood Mac‘s “Everywhere” towards the end of the set.
After a three song encore the gracious Williams thanked the crowd profusely and promised that it wouldn’t be long before the band returned to the city– something the diehard fans in Massey Hall very much appreciated.