Paramore at Nottingham Capital FM Arena

ParamoreAfter not visiting the UK on tour for years, Paramore are back again, and now they’re all grown up!

With Paramore, you can always guarantee incredible supports, and this tour is no exception to the rule. The best thing is, there’s an incredibly high chance the support will become huge because of the tour – look at Fun. for an example of that! So, on come the first support, Eliza and the Bear. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t have the power, as the first support, to fill the arena. By that, I don’t simply mean volume, I mean having a presence that grasps everyone’s attention. As always though, Paramore had done their research, and the band were absolutely incredible. In fact, although the crowd weren’t raising the roof, they felt pretty alive for the start of the night, and I can imagine them one day playing a venue of a similar size, to a crowd of their own. To finish up their performance, the lead singer thanked the crowd for coming before the main attraction to see them, as “if you didn’t come and see new music, we wouldn’t have bands like Paramore”, before ending with their single Friends.

The second support for the band was Charli XCX, and before you ask “what’s she done that I’ll have heard of?”, she featured on Icona Pop’s I Love It. So yes, she’s going to be big. Oh, and she performed it, too! And even though everyone was at the concert for the band who made songs such as crushcrushcrush… well, you’ve got to sing along to a guilty pleasure, haven’t you?! I was absolutely amazed by her performance – in all honesty I thought she was going to be one of those artists that relied entirely on autotune to do the job for them, but her performance was immaculate. It wasn’t just her singing, it was her general stage presence that blew me away. Well done to her for doing such a lot of dancing on stage, and hardly being out of breath! She did a lot of hair flicking though, which is all well and good until you’re bordering heavy-metal-headbanging. It’s all right if you’re in a heavy metal band, but… she’s not. Still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love it!

And finally… Paramore! The lights come up to Grow Up, and blimey, they have grown up. It’s almost impossible to imagine the 2007 Hayley (Williams, vocals) when she had long hair and was performing songs off Riot! Although her hair is now short and plaited back, and she’s wearing rather glittery eye shadow, she still belts out songs such as That’s What You Get as with as much ferocity as she did when they were first recorded. If I’m completely honest, I was more than a little worried that they would’ve turned into Hayley (and supports), but there’s none of that – they’re very definitely a band, and although they’ll always be known for being female-fronted, they all seem an equal part of it.

They play a fair mix of new songs such as Daydreaming, Ain’t It Fun, and Fast In My Car, and on several tracks, including Now, Taylor joins in the drumming. They throw in pretty much every single they ever released, which is incredible for me as I was totally convinced they wouldn’t be playing Ignorance. Nevertheless, lo and behold they play it, as well as Brick by Boring Brick and Decode.

To add to the spectacle, for When It Rains and Last Hope, Hayley has a piano brought on stage, AND they perform all three interludes off of their self-titled album – could it get any better?! I’m almost convinced it couldn’t, and then they bring out an acoustic guitar, and we’re treated to the eternally beautiful The Only Exception. Apparently, it’s not customary any more to hold lighters up in the air at such moments, but simply to turn the light on your phone on, and hold that up. It’s not quite as magical, but it does the trick and looks phenomenal. I want to say that I kept my emotions in check and had some self-control, but at moments like that, I think it’s acceptable to cry.

It would be an absolute shame if they went the whole performance without playing Misery Business, but they were saving something VERY special for that. Hayley talks for a few minutes, then welcomes onto the stage a girl from the front row, who’s been to twenty Paramore shows (and will have been to thirty by the end of January). Watching such a dedicated fan get to be on stage with her idol, and sing a few lines of Misery Business was insane – it just shows that these bands really do care about their fans.

The show couldn’t be over until the played Still Into You, of course, and after they sure went out with a bang – quite literally. Orange confetti filled the entire arena, and the whole night felt like it came to a close rather quickly. Honestly? I’m blown away.

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