Idolator Shivers With The Moms And Dads Of Paramore’s Fans

paraparents.jpgParents who hesitate telling their kids to turn down that damn rock music because they listened to it themselves must be relieved when their offspring choose something smart and punky, but unthreatening. Like Paramore, who played at Roseland in New York City last night and who have embraced their parent-friendly reputation. Lead guitarist Zac Farro even told MTV, “”For every five 13-year-old girls, there’s a dad with them. And they’re like, ‘Well, they dragged me to this concert, but I just like it. I’m still gonna be out there singing the words.’ ” But for every 13-year-old who rocks out with Mom and Dad, there is another who wants to be met around the corner.

When Maura asked me to take pictures of parents waiting outside last night’s show, I told her I didn’t think anyone would be there. I mean, this was New York, whose natives had been telling me for years that they were riding the subway from the age of six, sent off with only a pat on the head and, perhaps, a shiv. But behold, bundled in coats and scarves were moms and dads, cell phones plastered to their heads, trusting their kids to pick up when summoned. Some had tried to kill time by going to dinner, others by shopping, and all had given up trying to get near the Rockefeller Center tree lighting. It certainly made my father’s stint sitting in the parking lot outside Paul McCartney’s show at the Forum seem more hardcore. (In that case, the mothers were the crowd.)

Most of the people I met had daughters between the ages of thirteen and fifteen (the demographic of the show or the demographic of concerned parents?), and they didn’t really know the band other than what they could hear played in the house. “I know that one song ‘Misery’ because it’s always on,” one parent said. They understood the music to be generally clean and positive; lead singer Hayley Williams has even discussed her regret for taking the Lord’s name in vain in the always-on “Misery Business.” Most of the girls didn’t play instruments themselves–”She’s into [recorded] music and fashion. You know, Long Island girls,” said one dad–but many sang at school or danced, which is just one shocking orange haircut away from fronting a band.

To my question of “Would they have let you come inside?” the answer was almost always, “Oh no, you need a ticket,” a testament to both the vagueness of my query and the fact that these parents’ homes had not yet been infused with searing adolescent hatred. Besides, the parents agreed a concert’s runtime was too long to stand, a sentiment with which I commiserated a little too enthusiastically. Have I become so old that I’d rather shop and try to beat down tourists in the name of Christmas? I also found myself shocked at how many kids were smoking–obviously, the influence of Alistair Cookie chomping on his pipe and unadulterated pictures of Winston Churchill.

  • Dead Air ummm Dead Air

    I don’t care if you’re a 13 year old girl, you never wear the shirt of the band you’re going to see.

  • Anonymous

    It frightens me how much I love their two latest singles.

    You won’t catch me buying the record though…

  • loudersoft

    You do if you don’t have anything else to wear, like, for example, your house burned to the ground and all you had left of your worldly possessions was a pair of jeans and that band’s t-shirt.

  • BigRicks

    @Dead Air ummm Dead Air: unless you’re at an Aerosmith concert wearing a “Toys in the Attic ’75 tour T, or something of that ilk.

    Also, props to the girl for saying “fuck the coat check” and rocking the t-shirt in freezing weather.

  • dog door

    something tells me these kids are coming in from the suburbs & jersey and not natives.

  • joe bananas

    I cannot overstate how much I love this band. The show was fantastic.

  • El Zilcho!

    When I was 13 my mom rocked out with me at The Offspring during their Smash tour. She even bought me a shirt. But she wouldn’t let me get the one that said “Stupid Dumbshit Goddamn Motherfucker” on the back. I’m still bitter about that, Mom.

  • Maura Johnston

    “She’s into [recorded] music and fashion. You know, Long Island girls.”


    And yes, the show was great. Hayley Williams has an incredible stage presence, and the band sounded pretty great.

  • KurticusMaximus

    @BigRicks: That falls under the “Arena Show” exception to the That Guy Rule. Which is, of course, the only exception.

    Don’t be That Guy.

  • Adam Bernard

    Saw em at Warped Tour and was VERY impressed.

  • rocknrollwife

    I was the “mom” for the Warped Tour this summer. My crew of girls were excited for Paramore. I’m proudest of my own 13-year-old daughter, who did NOT want to see them. She wanted to see Tiger Army. I sat on the breaker rocks of the Lake Michigan shoreline reading an advance of the Alan Bennett novella The Uncommon Reader (which is quite sweet).

    Which is to really say: What the hell do we punk/indie parents do when the kids listen to crapola? I’m too old and have paid too much for my knees to climb into the middle of the scrum and get banged around. I refused to go to the Parent Tent- which in MKE was Zoobaz Valhalla. What to do? Can’t they have the geriatric punk area in some of these venues? A place for the old-timers to go and wax nostalgia about when they saw PIL in ’86?

  • Luke N Atmaguchi

    Someone shouted “Duck!” and I turned around looking for a duck — on the streets of Manhattan ?!? Then whack, ouch…

    Someone shouted “Dodge Cougar!” and I turned around looking for a classic American muscle car — on the streets of Manhattan ?!? Then smoosh, mmmph, hey lady, mmmph…


    P.S. I almost wanted to check out Paramore on tour. But I realized that doing so as an older-than-35-year-old male — unaccompanied by a same-age and/or daughter-age female — would be just a creepy step away from attending a girls’ swim meet or a cheerleading competition.

  • Anonymous

    Man, I must be living in a different age, because I find this paramore band to be spewing out shit that seems to be demographically targeted to little middle/high school shitbags that think that since fall out boy likes them, that they must like them. I know I listen to some pretty corporate music, and my classical, and my ‘indie stuff’ too…. but being loyal to one genre of music just sets you into a group of assfaces that can’t see who is behind the curtain.

    Wizo’s song Raum der Zeit comes to mind for some reason.