There are seemingly an abundance of bands I could have chosen to write about to end the year 2014, but there’s only one band I feel qualified to write about in such detail, only one band who have seemingly dominated the year the way this one has, and, if I’m bloody honest, only one band who deserve to be admired to the point that I’d say they “owned” an entire year. Of course, I’m talking about Paramore. Who else? If you don’t believe they’re deserving of this ‘Band Of The Year’ type accolade, you might have to rethink your stance after reading this and truly taking in everything they’ve achieved…
You all knew I was going to mention this one. It’s pretty big, and arguably a defining moment for the band. In late 2013, Paramore announced that they, along with some special guests, would be embarking on a cruise ship, inviting 2500 dedicated fans, and sailing to the Bahamas on an exclusive all-inclusive vacation with them. You know, as you do.
Yes, this band, with its average age of something ridiculous like 25 (depressing, considering my age is roughly the same!), were commissioning a motherf*cking cruise in March 2014. Just who did they think they were?! That’s basically a rhetorical question, because the whole thing (which I was honored to be a part of!) was the experience of a lifetime. Undoubtedly the trip of my dreams, but almost certainly the trip of theirs, too.
Not bad for a group I first encountered almost nine years ago, aged sixteen, playing supports in a tiny venue in Liverpool for just £4! In my official review of the event I noted that: “Parahoy! brought together people from all walks of life, who would otherwise never have met. It sounds lame, cliched and cheesey all in one, but for those who weren’t there, you will never understand – it was quite unlike anything else. Between the awesome bands, the beach, the parties, the headphone disco, the theme nights, the impromptu band forming, the midnight singalongs, high-fiving cruise celebrity Rainbow Beard, “washy washy, happy happy,” and so much more, it’s something the lucky fans – and bands – will never forget.”
Hayley Williams Won The ‘Trailblazer’ Award
If you live under a rock, allow me to explain. Hayley Williams is the lead singer of Paramore, and whilst yes, they’re a band, she’s basically the best thing to have happened to rock music in years.
As for the whole “what’s a Trailblazer award, anyway?!” thing – it’s basically a kick ass award that could have basically been invented just for her (it practically was…). At Billboard’s ninth annual ‘Women In Music’ ceremony, Hayley picked up a physical testament to her brilliance and an award which “honors a standout female artist who breaks from convention to make a unique mark in music and pave the way for other talent.”.
They Headlined Leeds & Reading
Notice the way I worded that…I’m a Northern girl, remember? Leeds before Reading, always. Cast me aside for a second, and try and think of another female fronted guitar band who’ve ever achieved this feat before, at this age? Consider also the fact that things could have majorly effed up for them when the power cut at Reading – but instead, they truly showed how quick thinking Paramore are as they performed an absolutely beautiful, stripped down version of their ballad ‘The Only Exception‘. Once again, more evidence that they can overcome anything, no matter the odds. Are they unstoppable?
Their Frontwoman Celebrated Dedicating HALF HER LIFE To The Band
As far as Hayley’s achievements go (and I’m aware that this is reading a little like an ode to her!), the fact that she recently turned 26 might actually seem a little insignificant. However, she joined Paramore at age 13, meaning that she’s now officially been in the band for half of her entire life – arguably her formative years!
Ain’t It Fun SMASHED ALL OF THE RECORDS
I’m not even kidding. Their fourth single from the ST record played homage to their ridiculously diverse roots, celebrating pop, rock, funk and soul (when you consider the bloody gospel choir!). It smashed records LITERALLY in all of the senses – it was their best performing single yet, AND the video saw them enter the record books numerous times!
A Million Other Reasons…
As if all this wasn’t enough, they still managed ‘standard’ band stuff, and even ‘standard’ human stuff, too. That’s if you count a multi-venue, dual headlining venture across North America with Fall Out Boy (the now famed Monumentour) as ‘standard’, or performances on Good Morning America and a re-issue of their self-titled in deluxe form. There were even a couple of Para-minis, and probably so much more I’m missing out on!
I could go on forever, but I won’t! I’ve seen this band grow and grow, and whilst to the super fans, I seem barely interested, and to the rest of you I seem obsessed – I really could not be more proud.
It was their best year yet of many incredible years. What do you think is in store for 2015?!