“Fuck it,” Hayley Williams told the crowd in Bakersfield, CA, before Paramore launched into their first performance of “Misery Business” in over four years.
2007’s “Misery Business” is often cited as the band’s breakthrough song, though they retired it in 2018 amid discussions about the #MeToo movement and the lyrics, “Once a whore, you’re nothing more/ I’m sorry that’ll never change.” Even before then, Williams had tried to rationalize that line by saying, “Those words were written when I was 17,” and explaining that she could no longer “relate to” the lines.
But on October 2nd, at the very first stop on Paramore’s 2022 tour, the fans didn’t have trouble relating, judging by the enormous roar that went up from the Bakersfield crowd. “Four years ago, we said we were gonna retire this song for a little while, and I guess technically we did,” Williams said during the set. “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 said, “If you’re cool, you won’t call a woman a whore,” and added, “We can all learn from ourselves, right? Just for the record, 90% 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.”
Last week, Paramore announced their comeback album, This Is Why, and shared the title track, which we named Song of the Week. On Sunday they performed it live for the first time; check out fan footage of that, as well as “Misery Business,” below.