Tuesday, 24 September 2013

LIVE: Paramore

Five years ago I was lying on a sofa watching Kerrang! with a friend and on came the video for 'Misery Business', she already knew about Paramore and told me how amazing Hayley Williams was and since then I've been hooked on them. So, I feel that I should pre-face this review by saying that Paramore have affected my life more than any other band, mainly because of the friends I've made through them. Paramore are the reason I took a break with my ex-girlfriend, Paramore are the reason I'm into underground music, Paramore are the reason I can call people my friends, hell Paramore are the reason I'm into ice hockey - and they even helped decide which ice hockey team I'd call my own. Basically, a lot of aspects of myself trace back to when I was 14/15 and part of a Paramore forum that really did help shape me.

Tonight I journeyed to The LG Arena in Birmingham, not entirely sure of the emotions that I would have on the way out a couple of hours later. I'm not overly fond of the new S/T, and had bought a ticket mainly off nostalgia; The setlist, I knew, would be almost overwhelmingly from the band's new effort and I wasn't sure how that sat with me.

Bearing this in mind the fact that they opened with 'Grow Up', followed by 'Fast In My Car' meant that I wasn't overly thrilled. Then, 'That's What You Get' struck, and I remembered why I loved this band. She might have changed her hair (several times) but Hayley Williams is still one hell of a singer, and she's what makes them special. From then on in it was a hit fest. 'Decode', 'Ignorance' - a single which came out on my birthday in America, little fact for you there, and 'Now' - probably one of my favourite tracks off the new album - hit in quick succession.

Paramore made their name off big pop sing-a-longs, infested with catchy guitars, and lyrics about a - let's face it - young girl trying to find where she fits in. Sure, the style may have changed but the band's overall formula hasn't really altered. That said, 'Crushcrushcrush' is huge as always. The only thing that isn't so great is excitable Laura getting on stage to sing the final chorus of 'Misery Business', but it does give me a good chance to run to the loo before the encore brings 'Part II', an unnecessary Interlude, and 'Still Into You'; The single of the moment, even if it's still not caught on with me. Personally I don't understand why you wouldn't finish with 'Future', even if it's not a single it feels built to end a set. Even if that meant ending the 'main' set with it and bumping Miz Biz into the encore.

The first time I saw Paramore they played for an hour, and I left the venue with the sun still in the sky. There's no chance of that nowadays. Poster-girl Hayley Williams is the perfect show-woman. Prancing about the stage with so much energy it feels like she may explode.  Taylor York and Jeremy Davis compliment her perfectly, with their slightly mischievous-feeling stage antics. York is 23, and Williams is only a year older. Davis is the old-timer of the group at 28. This is a band that have a lot of legs in them if they want to keep going, but for a band that looked like self-destructing around the release of Brand New Eyes it's obvious that there's still growing that needs to happen. Hayley promised it wouldn't be three years until the next tour over this side of the Atlantic, and if they get any bigger in that time they'll be on the verge of outgrowing arenas and that's really something.

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