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  • Jazmin Pezzano

REVIEW: PARAMORE HIT SYDNEY FOR THEIR BIGGEST SHOW EVER

This Is Why the world loves Paramore!

Image: Zachary Gray.


On Saturday night, Paramore descended on The Domain in Sydney to a sold-out crowd for their biggest headline show in the bands history. Here’s how the night went down featuring some of our favourite songs on the setlist...



YOU FIRST

Kicking off with a single from their latest album This Is Why, right from the jump it was clear that Paramore would not be holding back. It's been over four years since they had performed in Australia, and the fans could not have been more ready and willing to receive. With huge screens, pyrotechnics, confetti and streamers, the stage was truly set and the band's lead singer Hayley Williams was there to deliver.



THE NEWS

Second song into the night and The News in our case was that unfortunately there were massive technical difficulties that seemed to go unchecked by the production team and lingered throughout the show. For those of us a little less in the thick of it, relying on the back row of speakers, we realised pretty quickly they weren’t functioning as they should be.


Sadly this meant speaking to the person next to me at a normal volume sounded like a yell and anything Hayley said in this time went completely unheard by at least 40% of the crowd. Singing out loud also had the same energy as it would at a silent disco, so it all became a bit uncomfortable.


Thousands of fans chanted variations of “Turn it up!”, “Louder!” and “We can’t hear you.” - poor Hayley misunderstanding peoples hand gestures for turning up sound as a request to drink from a shoe (can we officially stop this yet?). At some point later in the show only a portion of the back speakers seemed to be fixed, but I’d estimate that 25% of the audience suffered for the entire show - something Paramore would be disappointed to hear, and something they and their adoring fans don’t deserve.



Image: Zachary Gray.



ROSE COLOURED BOY

Lyrically, Rose Coloured Boy is very self aware and gives perspective on how we function with optimism in sometimes - maybe often - hopeless moments. The catch is it’s wrapped in an endearing bubblegum sound that makes you want to dance and bop along, and that’s a classic Paramore twist - making how we interact with potentially uncomfortable emotions more easily digestible.


In the spirit of that sentiment, I’d also liken this song to the audience of Paramore - in touch with their emotions and ready to feel, but layered with optimism and warmth. The band have some very invested fans as well as casual listeners like any artist, but across them both there is a clear thread of diversity, inclusivity and a welcoming energy.

No-one was put off by the mud or the thought of impending rain, they all just wanted to be there, and even through the sound issues people tried their best to make the most of the moment.


It was all very lowkey - no pressure - just hanging with Paramore in the weather.


DECODE

A song that undoubtedly put Paramore on the world map and for good reason, all it took was a single chord from guitarist Taylor York for the crowd to go wild. Aside from it being associated with one of the most iconic movies of our time [Twilight], this song is a true punk ballad designed to be sung with passion, and the audience did just that.


Of course this was also the perfect moment for the camera team to cut to a giant cardboard bust of Edward Cullen floating above the crowd. Hayley finishes the song and stops for a look “Is that Edward?… Hello our love”, with laughter then echoing throughout the park and creating an ’in-joke’ we were all a part of.


Image: Zachary Gray.



THE ONLY EXCEPTION

Lyrically one of the most beautiful songs ever written, paired with the incredible tones of Hayley Williams' voice, a crowd singing every word and a curtain of fireworks in the same way The Harbour Bridge does on NYE. I was in awe of this moment, it was very special indeed.



MISERY BUSINESS

Paramore fans are forever grateful that the band has un-retired one of the greatest angst songs of all time - the 2007 Tumblr girls KNOW what I’m talking about.


But aside from it being an absolutely mammoth moment in their set, it’s also one of the most wholesome as Hayley continues the tradition of selecting an audience member to join her on stage to sing. Williams abruptly cuts her vocals right before the climax of the song - leaving the audience to simmer in anticipation as she starts her journey searching through the crowd, reading all the signs and selecting a lucky fan. It doesn’t take long before she points out Jayde, someone who Hayley recognises from being at their previous shows by their sign and gorgeous bright red hair. The audience gets around Jayde as if they’re a member of the band, in this moment they represent all of us in the crowd and we want them to smash it.

The crowd now has the same energy as a runner at the starting line of an Olympic race, the tension is palpable as we wait in position for the starting pistol which in this case is Jayde leading us into the iconic bridge, guitar solo and epic final chorus (the one you’ve been saving your voice for so you could lose it in this moment). And it happens, there’s streamers, there’s applause - core memory made.


Image: Zachary Gray.


THIS IS WHY

After a nearly two hour set Paramore left and returned to the stage for their encore, wrapping up their huge night in Sydney with big bangs of custom This Is Why confetti and lots of gratitude.

Although there were definitely songs for a first time Paramore concert goer, but long time fans like myself, would have loved to have heard [Ignorance, Brick By Boring Brick and All I Wanted], overall the night played out like a shuffle of the Apple Music Essentials Paramore playlist. With a pretty good overall pace and flow, even in the pared back acoustic moments of their set the audience stayed engaged with beautiful proaction, lighting, visuals and Hayley's voice keeping us all captivated.

There’s a clear reason why pop artists of today are influenced by the sounds of Paramore. Amongst other things like great lyrics and music, Hayley Williams is a formidable performer with a captivating stage presence.


The band as a whole is built on friendship, a love of music and a love for their fans - a connection they vocalise their appreciation for often, and This Is Why Paramore will absolutely stand the test of time in the ever changing music scene.



Image: Zachary Gray.



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