After claiming that they would stop playing “Misery Business” for a “really long time,” Paramore took the track for a spin during a recent live show, marking the first time they’ve performed it in four years.
Despite being one of their signature songs, it came under fire amid the #MeToo movement, being labeled sexist for some of the lyrical content—notably calling another woman a “whore”—that left it shunned by the group and fans alike.
The band performed the track during a show in Bakersfield, California on Sunday (Oct. 2). Frontwoman Hayley Williams explained to the crowd why they felt confident bringing it back in. “F–k it,” the singer said before launching into the anthemic single. When it came to the controversial line (Second chances they don’t ever matter, people never change/ Once a whore, you’re nothing more), Williams let the crowd take over the vocals.
“Four years ago, we said we were gonna retire this song for a little while, and I guess technically we did,” Williams said halfway through the song. “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.”
Williams then reminisced about the “good old days” when the band was “really small” and their fans were dubbing themselves “ParaWhores.”
She continued, “And we were like, ‘ugh, that’s weird.’ I guess what I’m trying to say is… it’s a word. And if you’re cool, you won’t call a woman a whore because that’s bulls–t. 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.”
Williams then handed off her mic to a superfan in the front row letting her sing the chorus, But God, does it feel good/ ‘Cause I got him where I want him now. Check out a clip from the performance below.
Photo Credit: Zachary Gray / The Oriel