When We Were Young festival went down Sunday (10/23) in Las Vegas, after needing to cancel its first one-day edition due to a high wind warning, co-headlined by My Chemical Romance and Paramore. Paramore's Hayley Williams addressed the first day's cancellation on stage during their set. "I know that this weekend got off to a rocky start, and I know it wasn't a particularly popular decision to everyone out there, but I wanna say that it means a lot that the festival is looking out for all of our safety."
She also talked about the punk and emo scene and how it's become a more inclusive and safer space in the years since Paramore formed. "Tonight we're celebrating... emo, right? This is the emo fest. This is the place to be. This genre is made up of a lot of different genres, and I'll spare you the history lesson -- no I won't, why would I do that? This started in the mid '80s as something that had vision, and it was started by some dudes that thought that punk rock should make more space for alternative people inside of alternative music. I think that it started off pretty well, you had Minor Threat, you had Fugazi, you had a lot of that shit, Revolution Summer. But we got lost along the way. And in the early 2000s, when Paramore came onto the scene, roughly around 2005, the scene was not always a safe place to be if you were different, if you were a young women, if you were a person of color, if you were queer, and that's really fucked up if you think about it. Because this was supposed to be the safe place, wasn't it? Yes. So, we've been around for almost 20 years, and I've had my fill of older people -- especially older men -- tell me what punk rock is and tell me what punk rock is not. Just today, there was a crusty old fuck on the internet saying that punk was supposed to be anti-establishment. Well it is, and actually, I can think of nothing more anti-establishment than young women, than people of color, and the queer community. So what I want to say to you, if you are one of those people in those subsets, there is space for you here now. We love you and we love being a part of this scene. And we're gonna keep doing whatever we can do alongside our friends and our peers in the scene to make it feel safe for every single one of you out there, because it does not feel good to feel unwelcome, it does not feel good to be talked down to."
Hayley also shared a note on Instagram before the show that read in part, "The reason we made it this far is [...] we never banked on trends. Or nostalgia. Or even me, alone. We only did exactly what we knew was real for us." She also added that during Paramore's set she'd be "celebrating the fact that, as a scene, we've come a long way, with much further to go," and said, "Tonight, for me, at least, is about celebrating ALL the facets of what punk music actually represents. All the things it wasn't allowed to be when we were young."
Paramore also opened their set with their first-ever live performance of "All I Wanted" from 2009's Brand New Eyes, and after Hayley gave her speech, they gave a rare performance of "Here We Go Again" from their 2005 debut album All We Know Is Falling. Check out some videos and their setlist below.
See more videos from the fest and read more about the rest of the day HERE.
Paramore @ WWWY - 10/23/22 Setlist (via)
All I Wanted (Live debut)
That's What You Get
Still Into You (Dedicated to Paramore)
Brick by Boring Brick
I Caught Myself
Here We Go Again (Tour Debut)
Ignorance (Extended Intro)
Ain't It Fun
Last Hope (Tour Debut)
Hard Times (Interpolates “Heart Of Glass,” by Blondie)
This Is Why