A new crowd pleaser has made it to the Paramore set list. The band live debuted their single “Thick Skull” at the Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, on Sunday night. The audience waved their hands in the air as frontwoman Hayley Williams prompted, “Come on out with your hands up.”
The song is the emotional closer of their latest LP, This Is Why. Paramore performed the song halfway through their Nov. 19 set.
This Is Why is Paramore’s sixth studio album, and their first since 2017’s transformative After Laughter. In October, Williams opened up to Rolling Stone about the difficult process of reuniting for their latest record.
“Making This Is Why was not a comfortable experience for any of us,” said Williams. “There was already anxiety about getting back in the groove of creating stuff together after some time apart…Being like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna go for Paramore,’ that was anxiety inducing. And then also the world was still scary and nothing ever feels certain anymore, really.”
“I felt a lot of anxiety about being around people again, that weren’t just in my bubble. And knowing that on the other side of finishing the record I was going to enter the world again was really scary,” she continued. “Not because I thought, ‘I’m gonna catch COVID.’ I didn’t get COVID until we started touring again. It was more about what that did to me in my mind. Part of me had gotten really used to just seeing the people that I know, personally, and that I have all this context for — my family, my bandmates, whatever. And now I have to go be around all sorts of people. People that probably don’t feel the same way, or we don’t align politically. I just don’t know how I’m gonna feel. I don’t know what that’s gonna look like. I don’t know if people are gonna like this version of me and/or Paramore.”
Paramore recently dropped their revamp of This Is Why, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the original album. Prior to the release, Williams described it as, “almost a remix.”
“We’ve long wanted to recognize the connection we have with some of the artists who’ve influenced us as a band and/or who have cited our band as an influence,” the band posted on social media. “Re: This Is Why is almost a remix album. Some of the songs have been remixed sort of classically, while others were reworked or rewritten. It’s incredible to hear all our worlds colliding.”
The album featured appearances from Foals, the Linda Lindas, Panda Bear, Zane Lowe, Wet Leg, DOMi & JD Beck, Remi Wolf, Bartees Strange, Romy, Claud, and Julien Baker. The additional track is a demo titled “Sanity” that closes out the revamped record.
Paramore is set to perform ALTer EGO 2024 on Jan. 13 at Anaheim’s Honda Center. They will be joined by the 1975 and Thirty Seconds to Mars.