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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Paramore’s provocateur ready to rock the Forum for Jingle Ball

It didn’t take much for the soldout crowd, primarily comprised of female teens and tweens, to scream during the Jingle Ball at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

“I was just standing outside Austin Mahone’s dressing room,” I Heart Radio DJ Elvis Duran said.

Swooning girl’s shrieks bounced off the walls but they weren’t only reserved for the teen pin-up. Robin Thicke, Avril Lavigne, Paramore, Jason Derulo, Flo Rida and even Fifth Harmony, a little-known girl group, received much love from the capacity crowd. So much for a discerning audience.

Miley Cyrus will join those artists, minus Avril Lavigne, at Wednesday’s 93.3FLZ Jingle Ball at the Forum. Expect more of the same high decibel volume from a big crowd gone gaga over their current crushes and hitmakers.

Paramore stood out during their four-song set in the City of Brother Love, which included the hook-laden “Misery Business” and “Still Into You.”

Paramore is touring behind their eponymous release, which is by far their most adventurous album yet. Paramore has finally grown up and it shows with their latest batch of tunes. The songs are catchy and the band has added electronic and orchestral touches, which enhance the band’s sound. Producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen helped Paramore make its most sophisticated sounding recording to date. “We always want to make the next album better than the last,” vocalist Hayley Williams said. “We’re always driven.”

It hasn’t been easy for Williams. She has dealt with band breakup rumors and the brothers Farro, Josh and Zac, who claimed after leaving Paramore in 2010 that the group was not a true band, just a vehicle for Williams.

“You can’t believe everything,” Williams said. “I didn’t want to be a solo artist and I don’t want to be a solo artist. I’ve always wanted to be in a band and I love being in this band.”

There’s little doubt that Williams could be a very successful solo artist. She has a tremendous set of pipes and is a terrific frontwoman, who engages the audience throughout Paramore sets. She’s theatrical and charismatic.

“But I like doing it all while in a band,” Williams said. “I don’t want to do it by myself.”

Williams is flanked by the guitarist Taylor York and bassist Jeremy Davis. The loss of the Farro brothers has been addition by subtraction since the band has added solid session players to fill the void and the group’s pop-rock vision has expanded. It’ll be curious to see where Paramore ventures next.

They’re a major-label band taking risks, led by a flame-haired provocateur. Paramore has all of the ingredients to push the envelope.

“We just want to challenge ourselves with each album,” WIlliams said. “We want to go as far as we can.”

When experiencing the Jingle Ball, expect Cyrus to provide the circus, Mahone and Fifth Harmony to render the innocuous pop and Flo Rida, Enrique Iglesias and Derulo to get the crowd moving. Sure, fans will wonder if Cyrus and the soulful Thicke, who is in touch with his inner Marvin Gaye, will twerk once again. Before and after all of that occurs, count on Paramore to hit the audience in the gut with a four-song salvo.

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