POMONA, California — It was a bittersweet night for [artist id="1968732"]Paramore[/artist], as frontwoman Hayley Williams lost her voice before the band's encore on the opening night of their tour, which coincided with the release of their new album Brand New Eyes.
Earlier in the evening, the newly blond Williams told the sold-out Fox Theater that it was just her luck she had gotten sick a week before the tour started. "I really wanna apologize," she told the crowd.
After she exited the stage with the band following the final notes of "Decode," some long moments passed — broken up by chants of "Para-more! Para-more! Para-more!" Finally, guitarist Josh Farro returned to the stage to announce that Williams had lost her voice and felt horrible about missing the next song. "But we're going to play music and let you guys sing," he added.
With that, Farro and the rest of the band broke into "Misery Business" with the entire crowd singing along — so loud, in fact, that it didn't even seem like Hayley was missing.
Despite the setback, fans seemed satisfied with the explosive hour of music Paramore delivered earlier in the night. It was a mix of crowd favorites, like "That's What You Get," "I Caught Myself" and "CrushCrushCrush," with new songs such as "Ignorance" and "Where the Lines Overlap."
Judging by the sing-along level, the crowd was well versed in the new material. But it wasn't until six songs into the set that the frontwoman finally addressed her fans (maybe trying to save that voice). "Pomona," Hayley screamed, "this is everything we would hope this would be, and better!" As a thunderous cheer erupted, the band launched into 2005's "Emergency," with the crowd lifting their cell phones and digital cameras into the air.
Those screens stayed up for the rest of the night, spreading a blue glow across the mostly teen audience. "Hey, we love you all. Pomona, we thank you so much," she said, acknowledging the fans' well wishes that she'd received on her blog over the last year. "It means a lot," she added. "We've been through so much."
It had been a long day for the band too, as the Franklin, Tennessee, fivesome were awake in the wee hours of the morning to take part in Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM's "Super Tuesday," where they played a morning concert in one venue, while AFI and Alice in Chains played shows in other venues across town. With more than 12 hours separating their morning show and their tour kickoff, Paramore earned extra credit for going the distance on Tuesday — Hayley's voice included.