MANSFIELD — Last year, Fall Out Boy ended a risky four-year hiatus with an album that proved the band’s staying power by hitting No. 1 and yielding a top 20 single. So did Paramore. Thus, Sunday’s coheadlining bill featuring the two Warped Tour veterans at the Xfinity Center made a lot of sense. The groups got equal stage time, a solid if brisk 75 minutes. And if Fall Out Boy’s closing slot suggested a pecking order, at least Paramore had the luxury of not having to hurry through its finale in order to meet curfew.
First came New Politics, whose singer David Boyd did backflips, breakdanced, and popped and locked. It amounted to empty crowd-baiting tricks, distracting from the band’s cloying, toothlessly rocked-up Owl City-style joybombs.
Not that Paramore refrained from embracing spectacle — not with five confetti-cannon blasts (one during the opener), giant balloons bouncing into the crowd, and bassist Jeremy Davis doing his own rolling flip over guitarist Taylor York. But the band brought a legitimate connection and energy to its performance, largely thanks to singer Hayley Williams’s undeniable ability to command an audience.
She glowered and sneered dismissively beneath her turquoise hair during “Ignorance” and delivered a message of empowerment amid the aggressive, shifting churn of "Misery Business." The three-guitar attack seemed largely redundant; save for the feather-light (though arena-scaled) “The Only Exception,” the band’s jagged chord riffs and ringing peals would have been equally effective, or more so, if streamlined by one.
That still might not have helped, as the two-guitar Fall Out Boy’s sound embraced bigness, ironically at the expense of impact. The drums, uniformly too loud for every act, dominated songs to the band’s detriment here. The mix was muddy enough that guest singer Lolo was drowned out even when the skipping chug of “Just One Yesterday” dropped to just her and a clean guitar.
But Patrick Stump’s reedy tenor cut through the bulk of the songs, whether it was the undifferentiated blare of “Dance, Dance” or the Gary Numan synths and disco beat of “Miss Missing You.” The muscular “Save Rock and Roll” may have sounded like Alicia Keys with wilder guitar, but “I Don't Care” followed with a sharp glam shuffle and guitar parts with a bite of nastiness. Fall Out Boy had a better shot at saving rock ’n’ roll with that one.Marc Hirsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.