If you weren't at the Town Ballroom on Sunday night, you should have been, because Paramore finally brought their RIOT! Tour to Buffalo.
The Almost opened the show to a full crowd, starting with the volatile "Southern Weather," the title track off their debut album. After several similar-sounding generic rock songs, the band played fan favorite and best song "Say This Sooner," which was perfectly performed and well-received. Surprisingly, The Almost played one more song, "Amazing Because It Is," a semicover of the hymn "Amazing Grace." While the song was performed well, it was anticlimactic and left the audience a little confused. Aaron Gillespie, lead singer and guitarist, formed The Almost as a softer side project to Underoath, a Christian hardcore band, for which he plays drums and sings back-up vocals. Unfortunately, Gillespie is better suited behind the drum kit, rather than leading an entire band.
Next, Philadelphia-based band The Starting Line hit the stage. About three years ago, The Starting Line was considered the next big thing, but when they signed to a major label they got lost in the shuffle and were passed over by other bands. Now, The Starting Line has released its outstanding third full-length album, "Direction," and has stepped up its live show. On Sunday, TSL jumped right into material off their three albums, including songs like "Direction," "Hello Houston" and "Surprise, Surprise." While the band was very tight and energetic, frontman and bassist Kenny Vasoli had to win over the crowd, which he easily did with his strong voice and catchy songs like "21" and "Way With Words." Vasoli has certainly progressed since the band's early days, and his voice and lyrics were reminiscent of Andrew McMahon's. The band ended the set with single "Island" and the classic emo anthem "Best of Me," which the band let the audience finish singing as they left the stage.
While The Starting Line was a tough act to follow, Paramore was certainly up to the challenge. Paramore started with the explosive "For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic," from which they flawlessly transitioned into "Born For This." Continuing with songs off their first album, "All We Know is Falling," and this year's "Riot!," guitarists Josh Farro and Taylor York played phenomenally, except for a brief sound problem during their cover of Sunny Day Real Estate's "Faces in Disguise." Drummer Zac Farro also provided a beautifully aggressive backbone, while frontwoman Hayley Williams, who typically has an amazing voice, was off tune during "crushcrushcrush" and a little high-pitched on "Emergency" and "Never Let This Go." However, on every other song, Williams sang beautifully, and she blew the crowd away on the Paramore classic "Pressure," the memorable "That's What You Get" and the emotional "My Heart." The young band came out for an impressive two song encore of B-side "Decoy" and catchy single "Misery Business." While there were a few slip-ups, Paramore brought a spectacular live show.
Rebecca Kujawa is a senior at Sacred Heart Academy.