Paramore deliver the hits at first live show in four years, return Misery Business to their setlist

Paramore press shot
(Image credit: Zachary Gray / Press)

Paramore played their first show in four years this weekend, kicking off their intimate North American tour.

The performance took place in Bakersfield, California on October 2, and saw the emo-pop icons deliver hits and fav-favourites, including Decode, That's What You Get, Ignorance, I Caught Myself and Ain't It Fun, among others.

To open the night, Paramore performed their recently-released, funky new single This Is Why, lifted from their forthcoming new album of the same name, which is set to arrive on February 10, 2023 via Atlantic.

Elsewhere in the set, they played the anthemic Misery Business, which was retired from their setlist back in 2018.

Misery Business was left off Paramore's setlist for years due to the controversy surrounding the track, with many fans taking aim at frontwoman Hayley Williams for its alleged "anti-feminist" message, specifically within the lyric: 'Once a whore, you’re nothing more, I’m sorry that’ll never change'.

In 2020, Williams reaffirmed her decision to axe it from the band's live shows, after it was added to Spotify's Women Of Rock playlist. “I know it’s one of the band’s biggest songs but it shouldn’t be used to promote anything having to do with female empowerment or solidarity" she said at the time.

During the recent Bakersfield show however, Williams reintroduced the divisive track, affirming that it's done so in a way that's "positive". 

For the performance of the emo anthem, Paramore additionally brought back their tradition of inviting a fan on stage to sing the bridge. Meanwhile, Williams addresses the audience, and explains the band's decision to bring the song back: "Four years ago, we said we were gonna retire this song for a little while, and I guess technically we did!

“But what we did not know was that just about five minutes after I got cancelled for saying the word ‘whore’ in a song, all of TikTok decided that it was ok. Make it make sense…

“I remember a time when we had a MySpace and we were still a really small band. We were really small. We hadn’t even put out this song and we had noticed that kids were calling themselves ‘Parawhores’. We were like, ‘Eugh, that’s weird!’ But I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s a word, and if you’re cool you won’t call a woman a whore because that’s bullshit.

“We can all learn from ourselves, right? Just for the record, 90 per cent of you said whore tonight. That’s all I’m gonna say – I’m not gonna preach about it. I’m just gonna say thank you for being nostalgic about this because this is one of the coolest moments of our show and it’s very nice to feel like there’s a reason to bring it back that’s positive.”

Check out the full setlist and fan-filmed footage below:

This Is Why
Brick By Boring Brick
Decode
Caught In The Middle
That’s What You Get
Ignorance
Forgiveness
I Caught Myself
Pool
Misguided Ghosts
Simmer (Hayley Williams song)
Ain’t It Fun
Boogie Juice (HalfNoise song)
Rose-Colored Boy
Told You So
Misery Business
Still Into You
Hard Times

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Paramore will continue their North American tour through until November 19, with their next performance set to take place in Magna, UT on October 4. 

Later this month, Williams and co. will headline When We Were Young festival in Las Vegas, alongside My Chemical Romance.

Paramore tour dates:

Oct 04: Magna The Great Salt Air, UT
Oct 06: Omaha Orpheum Theater, NE
Oct 08: Oklahoma City Criterion Theater, OK
Oct 09: Austin ACL Music Festival, TX
Oct 11: Chesterfield The Factory, MO
Oct 13: Bonner Springs Azura Amphitheater, KS
Oct 16: Austin ACL Music Festival, TX
Oct 20: Los Angeles The Wiltern, CA
Oct 22: Las Vegas When We Were Young Festival, NV
Oct 23: Las Vegas When We Were Young Festival, NV
Oct 27: Los Angeles The Belasco, CA
Oct 29: Las Vegas When We Were Young Festival, NV
Nov 07: Toronto History, ON
Nov 09: Chicago The Chicago Theatre, IL
Nov 11: Cincinnati The Andrew J Brady Music Center, OH
Nov 13: New York Beacon Theatre, NY
Nov 15: Atlanta The Tabernacle, GA
Nov 16: St. Augustine St. Augustine Amphitheatre, ST
Nov 19: Mexico City Corona Capital Festival

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.