Last weekend, the pop-punk band Paramore set sail on their second Parahoy! cruise.
The 4 days cruise from Miami, Florida to Cozumel Mexico hosted by Paramore invited friends CHVRCHES, Lights, New Found Glory, mewithoutYOU, X Ambassadors and Vacationer. After the success of the first Parahoy!, selling out in the event’s presale was no surprise. This week, as the 2,000 cruisers (including myself) recover from a weekend of the enormous party at sea with their favorite bands- it’s easy to be overcome with Para-envy.
After the almost 3,000 cruisers boarded the Norwegian Pearl, Paramore took to the stage as soon as the boat set sail towards Mexico. The disbelief on both front woman Hayley William and guitarist Taylor York were undeniable. The band’s first show in nearly a year, and the first show since ex-bassist Jeremy Davis left the band, the throwback set-list started with Brighter, from the band’s2005 debut album, All We Know Is Falling.
“It’s Pretty much our first warped tour set! “
Sailing into the sunset performing for two hours, it was easy to see the party was just getting started. With the “Rep your roots” theme for the sail away, cruisers from all around the globe came together to sing throw-back hits including the hard-hitting, emotional “My Heart,” along with newer hits such as “Ain’t It Fun” rounding out the set. Despite the looming storm clouds and threat of rain, the show kept rolling.
Fans mingled while waiting for Canadian pop-star Lights to take the stage next. Knowing that the rain was coming all the fans, including myself, refused to run indoors and miss her first set. Although the wind and the rain slowly started to come down and ultimately cut the set short, the entire pool deck was singing and dancing along with Lights, who obviously wouldn’t let a little rain ruin the party. The night was rounded out by CHVRCHES and New Found Glory performing their first set of the cruise playing until about 1:30am. It’s still surreal.
After getting to know the boat (I still didn’t see anything, there was a bowling alley? Who knew.) it was time for the real party to begin. The weekend was loaded with activities featuring members of every band, and first up was “musical squares” with Paramore. As the MC of the event called it, “It’s like the Hunger Games, but everyone gets to go to the buffet afterwards.” (Hint: most people did) Played like a game of musical chairs, contestants had to get to foam squares, and if there was a dispute, what other way to battle it out that a dance battle? And oh man where there a lot of them. Taylor York took part in some rounds- attempting to get some contestants to dance, while other rounds included eating a banana as fast as you could or shooting a free throw before you could get to a square. It was entertaining to say the least. With the rest of the day filled with meet & greets for the members of Paramore, it was every band’s time to shine. CHVRCHES hosted Bingo!, while mewithoutYOU got to entertain the cruisers on the pool deck with a DJ Set.
The main show today included the Paraoke contest, where cruisers auditioned before the cruise in hopes of performing Paramore songs in front of Hayley and Taylor. I can’t imagine having to sift through the submissions, but BRAVO to those who did. Every single participant did AMAZING. (Seriously, look up the videos on youtube- you won’t be disappointed.)
After a day of fun with the bands, it was then time for “ParaPROM” where cruisers dressed up in their fanciest attire adorned with Masquerade masks. Much like every other part of this cruise, this was much more of a ‘punk-rock’ where hits from Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World and Twenty One Pilots got the crowd to mosh in gowns. New Found Glory took to pool deck stage during the ParaProm, and took it upon themselves to crown their own New Found Glory Queen and King. The lucky winners, were awarded things the band found in their suite, like a fruit basket and meat and cheese platter. Closing out the night with winners adorning toilet-paper sashes and fans dressed as super heros got to help the band sing their hit “My Friends Over You.”
Ahhh. Sweet sweet Mexico. Last Parahoy, Hayley stayed aboard and mingled with those fans on the boat, but this year no such luck. Setting sail from Mexico, CHVRCHES got the sunset spotlight for their second show of the cruise.
A ship led by mostly female-fronted bands, CHVRCHES did not disappoint any fan on the ship, and their accents were so precious you just couldn’t help but watch their sets.
This day was also the last Paramore set of the trip, and boy they not disappoint. The most emotional set I, along with every other passenger, will ever see in my life, the 9:00 set time left everyone in tears. With the fan favorite “Hallejuah” intro (William’s cover of the Leonard Cohen class leading into the Paramore song) the crowd knew that this set would be emotional. The duo played the rare “Oh Star” among other heart-wrenching songs throughout the night. Hitting every crowd member hard, Hayley touched on friendship and saluting past band members, including recent departed Jeremy Davis.
This past year has been a year that for me, I never want to relive again,At the same time, I would do it again if it meant understanding what having a real friend in this life feels like. Taylor, thank you so much for being awesome.”
Continuing on the quest of happiness and hope and never forgetting to be kind, there’s no description for the feeling that took over the crowd while the duo played “Hate To See Your Heart Break.” Bringing the crowd back into high spirits, Williams promised a fifth album is on the way and rolled through Paramore hits that the crowd sang and danced too. It was an emotional and successful set that left cruisers in awe.
The last day was bitter-sweet for most of the cruisers. Knowing it was the last day aboard Parahoy! cruisers rushed to as many activities they could while partying as hard as they could at the same time. Day 4 included the belly flop contest ( most participated in costumes which just made the entire event even funnier), pop culture trivia with Lights, Pick Throwing finals with Ian from New Found Glory, and the Q&A session with Paramore where fans got the chance to ask the band their own questions. This day was also the last chance for all of the other bands to perform, and the sinking (haha) feeling that the party was coming to an end was hitting them hard. The roughest day aboard, TALK ABOUT SOME WIND didn’t stop the party from going out with a bang.
New Found Glory rocked the pool deck stage in the afternoon, throwing out chocolate chip cookies to the crowd and promised an ice cream party next Parahoy! Long awaited by the crowd, Hayley Williams finally joined the band (and her new husband guitarist Chad Gilbert) to perform their duet “Vicious Love” off of the band’s album Resurrection. Swoon.
mewithoutYOU also performed their last set, joined by self-proclaimed biggest fan-Hayley Williams. On stage, she really seemed like the other fans that had been pulled on stage by Paramore and New Found Glory previous sets. So adorable.
In the Q&A session, Hayley answered questions about her hair color choices, and Taylor answered who he’d like to see if there is a next Parahoy! The most important question on everyone’s mind also was answered- would there be another Paramore record. Absolutely! (All I’m hearing is PARAHOY 3! PARAHOY 3!)
Following Lights, CHVRCHES ended the cruises sets with a show on the same level as their other two- amazing. The only thing that made this one better, you guessed it. Hayley Williams hopped on stage AGAIN.
The highlight of the last night all-night party was the 90’s themed ‘throwback dance party’ where the walls were covered in 90’s character heads and oldies like “Bye Bye Bye” and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” brought out the party in everyone. Immediately following, pop-punk DJ’s ‘Nashville is the Reason‘ hosted a Fueled by Ramen dance party where Paramore fans got to jam to throwbacks from their own genre. The party didn’t stop there. What really got cruisers partying was the last night of the nightly silent disco. Knowing it was their last night to go all out, you could hear the off tune scream-along’s down the hall from the Spinnaker Lounge. To make the night even better, a cruise-ship hero showed up with a bucket full of french fries to refuel on. Sorry Rainbow Beard, but we may have a new ship favorite.
There’s no doubt that this 4-day cruise was an insane pop-punk all day party, every day. And there’s a reason that the nearly 3,000 cruisers are suffering serious Post-Parahoy depression. If you haven’t heard of Parahoy! before, I’d suggest you keep an eye out for the next one- I can GUARANTEE it’s something you don’t wanna miss!