Every one of us who experienced the unfortunate ‘emo stage’ growing up with your converse, all black clothes and scene queen fringes will understand Paramore being one of those bands that you never grow out of. Even when you do leave your tragic 13-year-old self behind, Paramore continue to grow with you. If you’re still an emo kid at heart like myself, or enjoy electro-punk sounds – they are the band for you.
On the music scene for a mighty 14 years with iconic punk-esk songs such as ‘Misery Business’ and ‘The Only Exception’, I’d be pretty surprised if you’ve not heard their name before. Seeing Paramore has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and on January 14, 2018 that dream became a reality. Fans of all ages filled up the Genting Arena in Birmingham to hear Hayley Williams’ angelic edgy vocals. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
The 18-song set began with catchy new tune ‘Hard Times’, taken from their new album ‘After Laughter’. As soon as the beat began playing fans screamed with excitement, myself included. Just from the first song you could feel the energy coming from the stage and the passion that the three band members feel for their music. It was the start of an amazing night of dancing your heart out.
The show was part of their tour setting out to essentially promote ‘After Laughter’; therefore the majority of the songs on the set list were from their new album. These included my personal favourite ‘Rose-Coloured Boy’ alongside ‘Forgiveness’, ‘Fake Happy’, ‘Pool’, ‘Caught in the Middle’, ‘Told You So’, ‘Idle Worship’ and ‘No Friend’.
There was a mixed opinion from fans on After Laughter, as it had a more electro-punk sound than the old school punk we used to enjoy from Paramore. Personally, I enjoyed the album from the get-go. It breathes new life into the stereotypical punk sound, and is part of the new and increasingly popular wave of modern punk music.
However, I feel that for any sceptical fans that attended the evening, their minds will have been surely convinced that these songs are part of punk music’s future. The band played them with passion while encouraging the audience to get involved and dance with them. The atmosphere that they created was so energetic and fun that it would be impossible not to crack a smile!
Old favourites were played for us too, which felt like that reminiscence you feel when you watch your old favourite movie from your childhood. We were instantly treated with ‘Ignorance’ as the second song of the night, creating a wild atmosphere in the standing area with the audience going crazy with excitement! Fans were also surprised with ‘Still Into You’, ‘That’s What You Get’, ‘Hate to See Your Heart Break’, ‘Grow Up’, ‘Ain’t It Fun’ and the iconic ‘Misery Business’.
It was so special to hear the songs that I, and many others, grew up with and mean so much to us live on stage. With a perfect balance of energetic songs to head bang to, with slower songs which pull at your heart strings; Paramore reminded us of the evolution of their band and how we have grown up with them into the new era of ‘After Laughter’.
Photo caption: Liam Convery snapped this incredible photo of fans and band in one motion, sharing their love of music together.
The night never lacked in the wow-factor, with many special moments occurring throughout the night. During ‘Misery Business’, Hayley selected two fans from the audience to come up onto the stage to meet the band and finish the last verse of Misery Business with them. Not only are these fans the luckiest people in the world, this also gave them a chance to really cherish the night with a moment I’m sure they will carry with them forever. Additionally, it helped the audience connect with the band as they had some of us up on the stage singing along with the crowd.
We were also treated to Zac Farro’s groovy song French Class from his other band HalfNoise. It was great for Zac to get his project out to more listeners as well as fans to have a dance to a really catchy song. Hayley joined him for part of the vocals, making it a really special collaboration.
Paramore are known for their family feel, and female frontrunner Hayley Williams made no exceptions on the night. She gave a special recognition and appreciation for every single person on the stage, letting the artists be appreciated for their part in Paramore, as well as letting fans show their love for what they do.
Hayley inspired us all in the crowd with a meaningful and heart-warming speech about what it means to be part of Paramore and how the band and their fans have all grown together through time. If you ever get the chance to see this band live I couldn’t recommend it enough. I ensure you that it will be a night you won’t ever forget. We are Paramore.