Paper Route with opening band Halfnoise played at The Door in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas, Texas on July 3, 2013.
With this show, that makes this the sixth time I have seen Paper Route perform since moving to Texas. I have been a fan of Paper Route since I saw them open for Paramore when they played The Uptown in November of 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. Back then, someone had the genius idea to send out a song or two of the opening bands that were opening for Paramore on that specific tour. That song for Paper Route was “Gutter,” one of the singles off their Absence album. I was not disappointed by their set back then and have been a devoted fan since that show.
Since then, band member Andy Smith has left and the band worked tirelessly to release their new album, The Peace of Wild Things. Leading up to its release, Paper Route released a few of the songs online previous to the album release. I saw them perform some of the new songs at the South by Southwest Music Festival in 2012.
This is the second headling tour from Paper Route to hit the Dallas area. This tour has Halfnoise as an opening act on all of the tour dates.
Halfnoise is a new band from a former Paramore drummer, Zac Farro. He is out on his own and is taking his passion for music and the drums to Halfnoise. I thought maybe this was Zac Farro’s band, but was not completely sure until he showed up onstage with his signature red hat. I am not completely sure on the band’s makeup. It may just be Farro with other musicians helping him perform on the road. At this show, Gavin McDonald of Paper Route played the drums, and two touring members of Paper Route, Josh Orr and Nicholas Aranda, played bass and guitar.
Considering Zac Farro’s passion is drums, all the songs were drum heavy. He asked the sound tech to turn up the snare drum he was using since “We love the drums.” Farro is also singing on the tracks, but he struggled with the high notes. He sounds great at a low, normal level, but the high notes do not come easy to him. However, the music is great and if you like drums, you should probably check out Halfnoise and the first EP. A highly-successful veteran musician even at his young age, Farro knows what he is doing and that clearly comes through. He was very kind to fans at the merch booth after the show, even those asking about his brother and Paramore. He is definitely grateful for the fans he has and not shying away from his previous endeavors. On the other hand, he is not using the Paramore name to get a foot in the door either. This increases my respect for him immensely. I would gladly hit up another of the live shows in the future.
All the stars aligned for this set. The show was pushed to The Door, foregoing the skinny, long Prophet Bar. The crowd at The Door filled the main floor about halfway, and by the end, Paper Route had the audience in its hand. They had stage lights this time! That added a special touch to the set, along with the kid-size drums that JT jumped on a couple of times to join Gavin in drumming.
This is probably my favorite Paper Route show since I first saw them. Singer JT Daly, keyboardist Chad Howat, and drummer Gavin McDonald make up the official band, but, as mentioned before, Josh Orr and Nicholas Aranda have been touring with the band for over a year.
For a headling tour, Paper Route played a number of songs from their albums Absence and The Peace of Wild Things. Unlike previous show, this one focused more heavily on The Peace of Wild Things. This has to be the first set list I have heard that did not feature “Carousel.” Songs played from Absence included “Gutter,” “Last Time,” and “Dance on Our Graves.” All three songs seem to entrance the audience every time I have seen them, especially those not familiar with them. “Gutter” is unlike other songs and is definitely one that will get you moving to the beat. “Last Time” and “Dance on Our Graves” have a similar effect when the band gets to the instrumental, non-vocal part of the songs. Some of the songs from The Peace of Wild Things included “Rabbit Holes,” “You and I,” “Sugar,” “Two Hearts,” “Letting You Let Go,” and “Better Life.” “Love Letters” opened the set and “Glass Heart Hymn” closed it out. I believe this is the first time I have heard that song live.
I am still waiting for Paper Route to blow up, and I find it surprising that they have not yet. I keep waiting for one of their songs to show up in a movie trailer and go the way of Imagine Dragons road to success. These guys deserve it.
Future Paper Route/Halfnoise shows:
July 12th in Nashville, TN and July 24th in Columbus, OH. Click here for more dates.
They also just announced they will be opening for Imagine Dragons this fall on select dates.
Black and white photo by Zac Farro, crappy cell phone pic by Sarah Ksiazek
by Sarah Ksiazek