Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
February 9th 2018
It’s been a few years since Paramore had a headlining tour in Australia, having had some band drama and a cruise or two in between their last visit. With the loss of some members and the regain of one, and an even an expansion on their band, it’s safe to say that this show was unlike the last time they visited with their Self Titled album cycle.
Kicking the night off was Bleachers, who some may remember their lead singer, Jack Antonoff as the body behind the keyboard in the previously known band — fun. who have been on tour with Paramore. In all honesty, I haven’t ever listened to Bleachers until I saw them live, but let me tell you that their energy and stage presence is so incredible that you can’t help to get involved and be captured by everything being said by the loveable vocalist. With facial expressions that showed how excited he truly was to be playing shows in Australia once again, and to be the frontman this time instead of hidden behind the keyboard. Every other band member became involved in battles of their specific instruments — both drummers battling it out before Antonoff had a fight of his own between guitar and saxophone, seeing who would come out on top.
Next up we had Paramore and boy did they come out of the gates strong with their first release single, ‘Hard Times’ from their recent album, After Laughter which had fans dancing and jumping around like their legs were spring formed. Screaming every single word back at the band with any voice they had, we already knew the night was going to be one to remember. If I’m honest, coming from a place of being both a concert lover and a rather large Paramore fan myself, I have to say that maybe a little bit of their performance style has changed since their parting ways with ex-bassist Jeremy Davis as there always seemed to be this unspoken way that things were done, but it was nice to see the change in their performance and to see something fresh for the band as they start yet another new era. Their setlist, however, has to be one of the best to date, aside from their setlist that they presented on their Parahoy! Cruises in both 2014 and 2016. Those setlists were something quite unique but for an international tour, I’d say this was one of their most well thought out setlists they’ve toured with. Unlike any other tour they’ve ever done before, they haven’t created a set that is specific to just one album and run with it — they have taken songs from their entire discography and played it out for young and old, new fans or the ones who have been on their rollercoaster journey since 2005.
Songs from their Riot! era made the cut with tracks like ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘I Caught Myself’ which yes, is from Twilight but it’s never as well known as ‘Decode’ which frankly, I’m glad it got cut from the set — it needed to be given a rest. Playing hits such as ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Ain’t It Fun’, there was never a dull moment throughout. With the exception of ‘Hate To See Your Heart Break’ and ‘No Friend’, fans never stopped those legs from jumping and we all knew we’d be sore as if we’d done leg day at the gym the next morning, but it didn’t matter in the slightest. The motto that was brought forward with After Laughter that is “Cry Hard, Dance Harder” was definitely something that was felt throughout the room with emotions running high for some fans who resonated with many of the songs being performed and brought to life.
With the return of drummer Zac Farro, there was even a track that was played where Hayley Williams stepped aside from the frontwoman lifestyle and became a backup vocalist for Farro as he took the lead in singing a song from his own band, Halfnoise. Gone are the days of ‘Misery Business’ being the final song, which shocked even me, because for those who go to a Paramore show, it is absolute tradition that their last song is ‘Misery Business’ with a fan being brought up on to the stage to live out their dreams of performing in front of thousands. While this still happened, it was four songs before the end of the show. Instead, this time, the band chose to end on their very recent single release of ‘Rose Coloured-Boy’ and let me tell you, it was a fucking party and a half and fans were even treated to Williams throwing in a little snippet of Whitney Houston’s song ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody‘ which was a perfect transition in the middle to mix things up a little bit.
All in all, the show was one that had the most beautiful light show, incredible energy and everyone felt it. If you didn’t make it to the show, I really do feel bad that you missed out on something that I think every alternative fan should have been at. Whether you love all the albums that have been released or you just love their old ones, I think Paramore always put on one hell of a show and it is not to be missed.
Still Into You
That’s What You Get
I Caught Myself
Hate To See Your Heart Break
Caught In The Middle
Told You So
Ain’t It Fun
Half Noise — French Class
Rose Coloured Boy