A Paramore Review

If you have Paramore tickets, I'd recommend selling them and going to see 10 £6 gigs instead. Paramore were good, but her voice still starts to grate after a few songs, and the support acts were SHOCKING. Plus, a beer was the best part of a fiver, and you couldn't go out to smoke. Here's what I wrote for my magazine:

Tonight’s performance of Paramore at the MEN was sold out. The arena was, unsurprisingly, packed with a multitude of bright young things bedecked in their most emo finery accompanied by disgruntled parents. This was the first gig for many fans, according to the busy Paramore forums, and they couldn’t ask for a more tailored introduction to the world of live music.

I arrive to a fairly startling sight: All those who have paid for standing tickets are sat on the floor. As a self-respecting adult, I obviously refuse to join them, and am as such instructed to move further back. Right.

The first act to come onstage was Now, Now Every Children. The act was short, thankfully, as singer Cacie’s falsetto Hayley Williams impression fell somewhat on its face in the huge arena, with the pair failing to fill the stage adequately, as well as sounding somewhat strained.

Paper Route, the second support act of the night, also failed to impress. The large audience seemed unfamiliar with their music and did not receive the electronic pop warmly. The band is, on record, somewhat New Order like, with a sound that is vaguely familiar whilst being simultaneously instantly forgettable, though not terrible, just mediocre. However, in the vast cavern of the MEN arena, with its terrible acoustics, all that is good about Paper Route floats into the ether, leaving us with flat notes, synthesisers and pounding drums. Had the audience been more experienced with live music, they would have been heckled offstage.

You Me At Six were a testament to the power of post-production on singer Josh Franceschi’s warbling voice, though this might again be the hindrances of performing in the MEN arena. The band was lively and performed well, with their beautiful album artwork providing a backdrop, but the whole performance was suited to a much smaller venue. The nearly 20,000 strong audience were familiar with You Me at Six’s songs, and reflected the band’s onstage enthusiasm, despite Franceschi’s vocal problems.

By the time Paramore take to the stage, the audience are lively and fully ready to deal with lead singer Hayley William’s extraordinary energy. Williams is tiny, yet her presence easily takes over. The band is tight, barely missing a note, and is clearly accustomed to the arena circuit by now. Every member contributes to the onstage energy, which miraculously reflects that of the huge crowd, who know every word.

Paramore open with “Ignorance”, from the new album, though it is barely audible, such is the volume of screams emanating from the stands. They follow with “I Caught Myself” from the Twilight soundtrack. This is received with yet another bout of screaming, unsurprisingly. The next few tracks are from the band’s popular two previous albums, “Riot” and “All We Know is Falling”, which are well-known amongst a crowd even this young, and particularly amongst the older members of the audience, having been popular in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Other stellar moments included “Decode” - the other Paramore song from the Twilight soundtrack, their 2007 hit “Misery Business” and bassist Jeremy Davis’ back flip whilst playing.

All in all, Paramore played well, despite their leap to an arena stage of this size, proving their long-standing ability to connect with a young teen crowd.

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