Paramore have been slowly working their way into indietown, but don’t be too quick to say “there goes the neighborhood.” Their success started last September with their viral cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and moving onto joining Weezer on the band’s most recent tour (and even accompanying them on stage for their classic “Say It Ain’t So”). The Tennessee five-piece are now slated to play alongside twindie darlings Tegan and Sara on this year’s Honda Civic tour.
Although this may seem like a random choice, the decision to tour Paramore is unsurprising, considering that past headliners have included bands in the vein of power-punk, such as Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory and blink-182. Given this, the more surprising act is actually Tegan and Sara, but one can never be too shocked, as the tour occasionally likes to throw in wild cards such as their 2006 headliner, the Black Eyed Peas. Both acts are touring in support of recently released albums — Paramore’s “Brand New Eyes” and Tegan and Sara’s “Sainthood.”
The co-headlining of this tour highlights an interesting interchange in demographics. Both acts are on the rise but in entirely different ways, with Paramore slowly gaining indie street cred, and Tegan and Sara moving into the mainstream after over a decade in the music business.
So how will these sounds mesh together? Well, the obvious link between the two is female vocals — a bold move on the tour’s part, as females are highly outnumbered in the music industry. Besides that, though, they don’t have much in common, which may make for an opportunity for fans of each band to discover the other. On the other hand, it may also make for an extremely polarized tour — or worse, an extremely unattended one.
Paramore’s latest release is their most successful album to date, topping charts internationally and exhibiting a maturity unseen in the band’s previous albums. Typically marked by a loud, punk-y, in-your-face attitude, Paramore have been stereotyped as a band popular with adolescents in studded belts and fingerless gloves. “Brand New Eyes” sees the band emerging as older, more serious musicians, most notably on the last two tracks, which take on an uncharacteristically slow tempo. This new addition serves as an opportunity to focus on the vocals of lead singer Hayley Williams, who is growing into her more delicately tuned voice, while still keeping her “Riot!” chords strong. This newfound maturity may make Paramore a surprisingly good match for Tegan and Sara.
On the other side of the bill, Tegan and Sara have been moving toward a new sound, starting with their 2007 album “The Con” and continuing on “Sainthood.” Featuring vague but compelling songwriting, “Sainthood” takes on a punkier edge, especially on “North Shore,” a fast-paced, angst-ridden lament over romantic masochism. Balancing this are tracks like “Sentimental Tune,” a song with a light tone that features a catchy hook and a string interlude — a new foray for the twins.
Although the pairing of Paramore and Tegan and Sara may initially seem like the result of poor planning on the part of the Honda Civic tour, the decision may be more founded than most fans realize. So with the tour kicking off in late July, one question remains to be answered: will they rock, or will fans roll out?