“Misery Business”, or more commonly shortened to just “Miz Biz”, is the first single released off of Paramore’s sophomore 2007 album Riot! and helped launch this band into the pop punk mainstream. It was their most commercially successful song for yeas until “Ain’t It Fun” became a single in 2014 and is undoubtedly their best know track. Whether it be the 2000’s nostalgia factor, the lyrics, lead singer Hailey Williams’ easily identifiable voice or that guitar solo, this is one that most fans cherish to hear at every Paramore show. So it might have come off as a surprise for many when Williams announced that they would no longer be playing “Misery Business” live for a very, very long time. The disappointment is real and all the punk rockers are obviously upset.
With that being said, however, keep in mind that popular doesn’t always mean good.
This song is great if you’re eighteen and feeling all that pent up youngster angst. But what are you going to do once those feelings are over? This track is basically describing a scenario about a girl stealing another girl’s boyfriend and how they now hate each another and are out for revenge. With lines like “It was never my intention to brag/ To steal it all away from you now”, “And about forgiveness, we’re both supposed to have exchanged /I’m sorry honey, but I passed it up, now look this way” and “I watched his wildest dreams come true/ Not one of them involving you”, we are presented with some of the best that pop punk has to offer. Be that as it may, in this case, these are all feelings that you experience when you’re going through something similar but aren’t things that necessarily help you progress as a person. This song actually reminds me of myself when I was around thirteen years old and even that thought makes me uncomfortable. Imagine having to sing that live all the time to thousands of people. Hailey Williams, who wrote the track, is now almost thirty years old and obviously far removed from the satiation that inspired her to write this. Clearly, she doesn’t want to be singing about high school drama and personally, I don’t blame her. Realistically, I applaud her for being able to let things go like that. Not just the ability to let go of hard feelings but the fact that those feelings are associated with a hit song and she’s able to say goodbye to that as well is a sign of maturity and growth.
In the real world, some things just don’t age well and I think this song is unfortunately one of those things. The song was more than likely kept on their set list for so long anyway just because the band felt pressured to do so. Many fans may be upset that this “the end of an era” but if we’re being real here, that era died out a long time ago. Plus, Paramore has much better songs they can swap out for “Misery Business” on their set lists anyway, so there is no need to fret.