Back in September 2018, Paramore played their breakout song “Misery Business” for what Hayley Williams indicated would be “the last time for a really long time.” She explained, “This is a choice that we’ve made because we feel that we should, we feel like it’s time to move away from it for a little while.”
Last night, in California, Paramore brought back “Misery Business,” as Rolling Stone and Loudwire note. “Four years ago, we said we were gonna retire this song for a little while, and I guess technically we did,” Williams said. “But what we did not know was that just about five minutes after I got canceled for saying the word ‘whore’ in a song, all of TikTok decided that it was OK. Make it make sense.” She continued:
"But I remember a time when we had a Myspace, and we were still a really small band. We were really small. And we hadn’t even put out this song and we started noticing that kids were calling themselves “Parawhores.” And, 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 bullshit.
You know, we can all learn from ourselves, right? All right, but, just, for the record, 90 percent 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."
This past April, Hayley Williams joined Billie Eilish and Finneas at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to play “Misery Business.” In a recent interview with Laura Snapes for The Guardian, Williams said she tried to convince Eilish not to cover the song but decided “it shouldn’t be about me.” Williams explained, “People grow and learn. I’d already called myself out and done a lot of work on the misogyny I’d metabolized as a young girl.” Williams also said regarding the 2007 single, “Only now that we’ve felt lighter about the band, it’s like I don’t feel defined by that song.”
I guess second chances *do* matter, and people *sometimes* change because after four years of I well refuse, I refuse, I refuse-ing to play arguably their signature song "Misery Business," Paramore has started playing their 2007 classic again.
I blogged the story back in 2018 (holy shit, what a different writer I was) and hated the move then, but I understood where Hayley was coming from. Four years later, with a new album to promote, it looks like p-more has realized this was an objectively bad decision as "Misery Business" broke them into the mainstream and paved the way for 15+ years of genre-neutral bangers. People fucking love it, and they wanna hear it live.
I've grown like a redwood in the seven calendar years DOL has been running. I consider myself a feminist; some may even call me an SJW, but at the end of the day, I want people to be free and happy and for life to be as good as possible for as many people as possible. Whether you believe in equality or not, we're all going to die someday, and life can be gone in the blink of an eye. There's no reason to withhold awesome things like one of the most iconic emo songs of all time from millions of fans spending good money to watch you live in the post-Covid world.
I'm glad Paramore changed their tune and started playing Misery Business again. Hayley let the fans sing that oh, so controversial line to take the blood off her hands, but honestly, all that matters is Paramore is fucking back, and they're playing the hits! It just feels soooo good!
Whether it's Paramore or any other artist under the sun, you gotta play the hits. I'm all for exposing fans to your new music on tours and giving some deep tracks love during concerts for the diehards, but it's so fucking ridiculous that some artists refuse to play their biggest hits live. I recently watched Derek Jeter's The Captain on HULU, and in that doc, Don Mattingly says something about not dogging it because you never know who's watching. A million athletes have said similar things about this possibly being the one time in someone's life they see me play, so I'm going to give it my all; musicians should have the same sentiment. How is it I've seen Florence + the Machine three times, and they still haven't played "No Light, No Light??????" I saw Tame Impala twice in a week and didn't hear "The Moment." I think you get the point.
Despite plenty of changes since I wrote the original blog back in 2018, I stand by what I said then and am glad Hayley Williams and Paramore brought back a classic loved by millions. I hope you're reading this, Klondike. It's never too late to do the right thing.
Technically, "The Moment" isn't a big hit, it's just my favorite Tame Impala song, but the point remains, artists should play their hits & most beloved songs at every show because it's gonna be the only time some fans ever get a chance to see them. Make it count! I should've realized it sooner, but the view count and overall vibe swayed me. It took me until like March to realize the video is fan-made and isn't official.
I saw Tame on March 12th and March 16th and they played "The Moment" on 4th, 15th, and 19th...probably even more times on the Slow Rush tour, but I'm not gonna dissect every set list for a point I've already made like four times lol. Long live "Misery Business!"