Paramore's Sunny Delight

One of the most magnetic performers at this year's festival happens to be the 19-year-old singer from a somewhat generic mall-punk band. Go figure.

Paramore is like countless other bands playing in the emo-pop-punk space, save for two things: the Tennesse band with the buzzing power-chord crunch has a knack for arena-rock hooks -- and its frontgirl, Hayley Williams, is a flame-haired dynamo with natural charisma to spare.

"We just woke up -- woke up ready to RAWK," Williams declared before cheerfully antagonizing festivalgoers behind a VIP barricade. Nice.

Vocally, Williams is more Kelly Clarkson (the angry, indignant Clarkson) - or, when she starts working that vibrato, Gwen Stefani -- than Avril Lavigne, the low-standard-bearer for female mall-punk singers everywhere.

Williams sang angsty songs about relationships, riots and some sort of ambiguous cultural revolution, and there was a pained edge to her voice; she sounded as if she had a pebble in her shoes, and another in her throat.

The lyrics were filled with cliches, as was the music. But there's promise there - there being out front, where Hayley Williams stands. Can't wait for that solo career.

-- J. Freedom du Lac

By David Malitz |  August 10, 2008; 3:01 PM ET Virgin Festival
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