(by Celebrity Extra guest blogger Sarah Larson)
Upon walking into the vast arena at the University of Central Florida in Orlando for a night of pop-punk delight, I was greeted with a fast-paced rendition of The Cardigans’ “Kiss Me” by openers New Found Glory, and immediately I knew it was going to be a good show.
The 2010 Honda Civic Tour featured rookie Swedish group Kadawatha, ’90s vets New Found Glory, femme duo Tegan and Sara, and stage-commanding headliners Paramore. Each band brought a growing sense of energy to the stage what with Kadawatha’s ear-popping vocals, New Found Glory’s dance tracks, and Tegan and Sara’s moody instrumentals. But Paramore reached the pinnacle of intensity with its veritable firecracker of a lead singer, Hayley Williams.
At no more than 5’1” with a black tank top monogrammed “B.O.Y.”, this orange-haired munchkin had the energy of a cocker spaniel and the vocal stability of Aretha Franklin. Her bubbly persona was absolutely mesmerizing, and her clear, perfected singing voice somehow remained so through a series of power ballads like “Decode” and “Pressure” (during which Williams head banged violently or sprinted across the stage … or both).
Halfway through the set, Paramore showed its versatility with a country-themed tribute to its Tennessee roots on a cover of Martina McBride’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and acoustic numbers “When It Rains” and “Where the Lines Overlap.” But the real treat of the show was the audio-visual overload that was its encore performance. Still flitting about the stage, Williams belted the chorus to her triumphant “Misery Business” (an adage for high school girls everywhere) as megatron graphics flashed the word “RIOT” and confetti the color of her hair began to fall. Needless to say, I was pleased to leave the arena with a head full of catchy tunes and a faint nostalgia of my junior prom … minus the bad DJ.