Paramore are back, and so is their breakout hit “Misery Business.”
Back in 2018, at the end of their touring prior to announcing their hiatus, Hayley Williams had commented that they intended to “move away” from the track for a little while, adding that they’d be removing it from live shows “for a really long time.” The reasoning centered around the troublesome lyric, “Once a whore, you’re nothing more, I’m sorry that’ll never change,” with Williams admitting that she no longer related to that lyric and that it came from “a very narrow-minded perspective.” But with the band returning to the stage for their first show in four years, Williams addressed the song’s return mid-performance.
As seen in fan-shot footage below, the highly-recognizable intro is played to the immediate roar of the crowd and a comment from the stage saying “F–k it” before the band jumped in to the performance.
Midway into the song, the singer addressed the audience, stating, “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, ‘Uggh, 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 bulls–t,” she continued.
“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,” Williams added.
Watch Paramore Perform “Misery Business” (Bakersfield, Calif.)
While Paramore made the public declaration of distancing themselves from the track, after the performance where Williams made those comments the band eventually decided to go on hiatus. During that period, the singer released two solo efforts. However, the Sunday concert was not the first time that Williams has performed “Misery Business” since then, famously joining Billie Eilish at Coachella earlier this year on a duet of the song.
In addition to the return of “Misery Business,” the show opened with the live debut of the band’s newly released single “This Is Why” (seen below). Other songs of note within their first show back included Williams’ solo track “Simmer” being included in the set, while bits of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” were worked into “Rose-Colored Boy” and Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” was phased in to the show-closing “Hard Times.” Zac Farro also fronted a cover of HalfNoise’s “Boogie Juice.” See the full setlist below.
Watch Paramore Perform “This Is Why” (Live Debut in Bakersfield, Calif.)
Paramore (Oct. 2 – Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, Calif.) Setlist (per Setlist.fm)
This Is Why
Brick By Boring Brick
Caught in the Middle
That’s What You Get
I Caught Myself
Ain’t It Fun
Boogie Juice (HalfNoise cover)
Told You So
Still Into You