The good ship Paramore set sail for 2018’s Parahoy cruise, featuring fun, games, and lots of fab bands.
If we know anything about Paramore, it's that they're all about family. It's not something that just exists within the core trio - even before their most recent album 'After Laughter', which celebrated its first birthday over the weekend - they were a band who brought the fans into their inner circle. Now, that bond feels stronger than ever. As they embarked on their third Parahoy cruise alongside a crew packed with other brilliant bands, we felt the only true way to see what went down was through the eyes of a true fan. That's why we asked Paramore scene queen Eleanor Osada to don a metaphorical reporters hat and give us the scooby on what's quickly becoming one of the most important collectives in modern pop.
The very concept of being in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and sailing slowly away to the Bahamas with a variety of hyper-talented and interesting musicians, artists and fans alike is quite surreal. Living through it is even more bizarre, but in the best way imaginable.
Parahoy has been running biannually since 2014, making this year’s “Deep Search” the third time that Tennessee born, newly-new-wave veined alt-rockers Paramore have ventured out to sea with a boat-ton of people.
Cruisers old and new are greeted onto the ginormous Norwegian Jade with a high five, before either heading straight to their cabins to add their mandatory glitter tears, or to the generously packed out 24-hour buffet. With schedules in lanyards and complimentary Parahoy! sailors hats on heads, the ship’s horn sounds and 2,700+ fans cheer as Paramore kick off their sail-away show with ‘Brand New Eyes’ gem, ‘Looking Up’.
After a throwback-heavy/dance-rife set, those onboard have the choice of catching the exuberant alternative-folk band Judah & The Lion in the ship’s own theatre, or floating away to Local Natives’ saccharine indie-rock tones on the pool deck. Or taking a nap to emotionally recharge.
The rest of the night offers up a past Parahoy favourite, Sound Off Silent Disco, and emo anthem providers, Nashville is The Reason - both running into the wee hours. These run every night for cruisers with enough energy to spare. The cruise also features some pretty cool theme nights for those wanting to get involved: Check It Out! (Paramore’s favourite: checkerboard print), Technicolour, Vintage and Halloween (yes, in early April).
Day 2 brings an early morning Good Dye Young meetup (the hair dye company co-founded by Hayley and her stylist, Brian O’Connor) and giveaway, for all those either with colourful hair or who are simply curious about it. Paramore also treat the whole ship - in three separate lots - to a private theatre acoustic set, unleashing fan-favourite Drake cover ‘Passionfruit’.
Vibrant DJ Mija and dreamy alt-pop duo Now, Now both play to a busy, humid pool deck in the mid-afternoon, shortly before Zac Farro’s own band - Halfnoise. Their songs sit well in the sunny climate, and once again in the more ornate surrounding of the theatre on the final night. As per tradition, Zac invites out a host of friends for ‘Scooby’s In The Back’, all armed with tambourines, shakeable fruit and killer dance moves. Longtime friends and influencers of Paramore, mewithoutYou, play the same venues and had no trouble in captivating their audiences with the obvious raw passion that they always deliver.
After spending hours roasting on the white sand in Nassau, a rose-coloured audience brave the rest of the day’s heat for Paramore’s second and final full set. Appropriately opening with the glistening ‘Pool’ and dishing out treats like a reworked ‘crushcrushcrush’ / ’Beat It’ mashup as the sun set, it was a show never to forget.
Something as uniquely beautiful as Parahoy deserves all the time and praise. It is truly something special to be part of a colourful community from all ends of the earth - suddenly gathered in the middle of the ocean - simply because we all love music. And it’s plain to see that Paramore love the community right on back.
Photo: Will Byington.