As I’m sure a lot of you who read my Tumblr will already know, I saw Paramore for the very first time last night. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember them existing, about 6 or so years now.It’s been a longterm ambition for me to experience their live show, and I’m so proud to say that I got my wish when they are at their peak: playing what they claimed is the largest show they have ever played.
We started off with the first support act, Fun, who sounded alright, but nothing spectacular. They had a few tunes, but nothing that was setting the crowd alight.I think their problem was cohesion: together, on stage, they looked like they’d been shoved together, forced to make music.Their interaction with each other was poor, certainly nothing on Paramore. I didn’t feel I could believe in them, but hopefully this will come in time.I wish them well, as I think musically, they were pretty talented.
Next up was B.O.B, who I was incredibly excited about, and not just for THAT song. His live flow was insane, and he proved that he’s not just all about the singles. It was amazing to see so many rock fans getting into his raps: proves that when music is good, everyone can appreciate it regardless of genre.After whipping through an extremely tight set including Nothing On You, The Kids and a very impressive Don’t Let Me Fall, he culminated with an awesome cover of MGMT “Kids”, proclaiming it to be one of his favourite songs. He left the stage in a blaze of glory. But of course, anyone with any sense knew that there was one song missing from his set. Sure enough, he returned almost instantly, delivering “Airplanes” with incredible ferocity.I thought the crowd was loud enough, but you could practically see the volume switch up to fever pitch when midway through the song, the one, the only, Miss Hayley Williams strolled on, grinning from ear to ear as she recognised the cheers of the many, many, kids below, absolutely worshipping her.
By this point, the excitement in the air was palpable. The crowd were restless, jostling for position, chanting, tossing around blown up condoms and balloons, anything to kill the time they had to wait for Paramore to grace the stage.
There’s only really two words to sum up the next hour and a half of my life: mind blowing. I have been to a lot of concerts in my time, including Festivals. But i dont think I have ever seen a band who put as much energy and unbridled enthusiasm into a show as Hayley, Josh,Taylor,Zack and Jeremy. They simply didn’t stop: from the heart stoppingly viscous opener “Ignorance” to oldie but goodie “Emergency”, they literally played as if it were the last show of their lives right from the off, headbanging, screaming and beaming away. Ok, maybe not Josh, but all of the others at least. Hayley literally could not stop talking in between songs, expresing her love for London, how grateful they were to the fans and how much they love playing live. She’s gained a bit of reputation recently in the press for being a bit of a bitch, but to me, watching her on that stage, she seemed completely genuine and actually in awe of how far they have come.
Mid Set, Paramore slowed things down a little, for a couple of acoustic numbers. This is where I, to borrow a Tumblr phrase, completely “lost my shit”. Hayley spoke about how lucky they felt to be here, and how we “should never stop going to shows and supporting music, because after a bad day, a failed test…music will always be there for you “. After the week from hell that I’ve had, this really spoke to me. It’s what gigs are all about really isn’t it? I’m not going to lie, but I think the emotion of the week and seeing my heroes that close to me got to me, and I did shed a little tear. This little tear turned into a full scale waterfall as they delivered flawless and actually quite beautiful acoustic renditions of two of my all time favourite Paramore songs, “Never Let This Go” and “Misguided Ghosts”.
It must have been hard to follow up such stirring stuff, but if anyone could do it, Paramore could. They went straight back into the harder jams, turning the floorspace into a moshpit for the likes of CrushCrushCrush and Pressure, complete with see-it-to-believe-it Jeremy leaping over Josh’s back.Culminating with a stunning The Only Exception, accompanied by a sea of camera phone lights in the audience, they left the stage to raptuous applause, and true wonder at how Hayley’s voice managed to hold out for so long. She’s an incredibly talented girl.
But they weren’t quite done yet. They returned for the inevitable encore, Brick By Boring Brick, which was greeted with the loudest singalong of the night so far. “Now,there’s only one kind of business left for us to deal with”, Hayley shouted from the stage, a slow smile spreading across her face. Yep, you guessed it. MISERY BUSINESS. The floor proceeded to go absolutely mental, thrashing around and screaming the lyrics back at Hayley like there was no tomorrow.There was only one way that song could have possibly got any better for me, and it was just before the guitar solo that it happened.All my twitter stalking paid off when I saw Josh Franceschi of YouMeAtSix bound on stage, clearly delighted to be sharing live airspace with his favourite band. “Hey Josh, have you got something you want to say to the 02 Arena?” Hayley asked.He stared out at the crowd, drinking the atmosphere in. He waited.Then he sang. “I watched his wildest dreams come true, not one of them involving you, Just watch my wildest dreams come true, not one of them, involving…”
BOOM. The ticker tape exploded, raining down upon us like the heavens were opening.It was nothing short of magic, this union of two of my favourite singers on stage, hugging and singing together like they were having the time of their lives. It made me so happy, and made all the shit I’ve dealt with recently worth it. Frankly, I feel honoured that they put in so much effort to entertain us, for I have never seen a band live who manage to match the exact sound of their recordings so efficiently. Not a riff out of place, not a note missung, Paramore are truly one of the most talented bands on this planet right now, and deserve an incredibly amount of respect.On the strength of last night, they’ve certainly earnt