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1 AM — After an exceptionally long soundcheck, Paramore hits the stage. With bright orange hair pinned up in messy double buns, Hayley Williams strides across the stage as she sings. Even though it is 1 am, the crowd vibrantly dances along to the music. Williams further engages the audience with a sing along during “That’s What You Get.” She sprawls on the stage and teases her fans with an innocent bat of her eyelashes. It’s the band first time playing SXSW since 2008 (and first live performance in two years), and they make up for it with their energy.
“We have a new album coming out,” Williams explains to the crowd. “It’s been awhile since we’ve been able to say that, and to be honest I started to question if we ever would again.” After a falling out with now past members, Paramore took a break to recharge and pick up the pieces, and from the sounds of the new music they play tonight, they’ve decided to take a much more direct, poppier approach with their upcoming self—titled album, which is set for an April 9 release. They play “Still Into You,’ the next single off the album for the first time ever and end the set with a special rendition of “Misery Business,” that featured a girl pulled from the audience to sing the last half with Williams. Though it’s a cold, windy night in Austin, people leave The Belmont covered in sweat and adorned with grins.