Review: Paramore | Melbourne | 8.2.18

Friday, February 9, 2018
(Photo - Kristy Smolcic)

Melbourne's city centre was scattered with Paramore t-shirts, fans of all ages, all showing their appreciation for their favourite band. 

Fans packed the venue, all hoping to catch Jack Antonoff's band Bleachers. Initially, the thought of having an indie-pop band open for Paramore might sound surprising for some. But, this pairing is actually a match made in heaven when considering Paramore's sparkly new sound. 

Bleachers, who hail from New York, released their sophomore album Gone Now, which received acclaimed reviews from critics and spots on many end-of-year lists (including on NME's best albums of 2017 list). Their music transformed into something extremely special in a live setting. Jack Antonoff's stage presence was utterly captivating. During the show, Antonoff discussed that many of the songs were written in his old bedroom, with the whole idea being to write songs of sadness, to then shake it off and dance it away. By the time they reached the end, it was easy to forget that they were in-fact the opening act. 

Finally, it was time for what everyone was waiting for. Paramore made their way onto the stage to a sea of chants. 

There's a new sense of confidence to the new Paramore. Perhaps this has something to do with the joy they get from moving away from their older music and playing material that represents the new them. Paramore's mature sound is more relatable to the fans who have matured along with the band, moving away from the trends of the past. 

Throughout the night, Hayley Williams encouraged the crowd to to get their "dancing shoes on", which is in tune with the vibes of their latest album After Laughter. Their show consisted of much of their newer material, including tracks like 'Hard Times', '26' and 'Caught In The Middle'. 

During the show, Hayley Williams was reflective when talking to the crowd. She noted that a lot can change in four years and discussed her change in perspective. This includes the fact that people change and as time goes by, we realise that we are no longer the same. She also noted that change is a good thing, and it's okay to grow. These words are extremely relevant for Williams, considering that the majority of her career with Paramore has been crowded by stereotypes. Before launching into their well-known hit 'Misery Business', she said that the song still represented Paramore, but was no longer them. During the performance of the song, she held out her microphone, letting the crowd do the bulk of the singing. 

As the night drew to a close, some frustrated fans were screaming out songs that they hadn't heard yet (the majority being older songs).  Where these fans missed the mark was that Paramore's show was intended to be a reunion show of their former hits, but instead an introduction of what's to come from Paramore going forward. 

Paramore's show was an electric insight into the new direction they're currently heading in. Though it may bother some of their older fans, this will bring in many new Paramore fans into the fold.

Photographer: Kristy Smolcic