The Fratellis - The Institute Birmingham - 13-04-13, a set on Flickr.
Saturday, 13 April 2013
Sunday, 7 April 2013
Well tonight I’m one of the lucky few, I’m one of only 650 people who will be at the London Garage to see a band that can sell out arenas, a band who have been going since 04 and a band who are back with a new album and with a more compact line up, that band is Paramore.
Paramore are not the band they used to be, they’ve had 2 members leave which started masses of internet rumours about how they’ll be splitting up and how it’s all about lead singer Hayley(thanks to the leaving letter that was put across the internet from the departed brothers Josh and Zac Farro), but all that has been put to waste, it may have taken a few years but they’re back, and contrary to what allot of magazines have been saying it’s not a new line up, it’s been the same since 2007, its now just 3 members instead of 5 but as their new album has shown that doesn’t mean they sound worse, it actually makes the sound better.
So let’s get down to it, I arrived at the venue at around half 4 to see the normal huge cues thanks to the girls that have come down early to sit around in the cold all day, but at least they got breakfast sent to them from the band, but after an hours wait, we get our wrist bands and can then leave or continue to cue till doors open at 7, I chose the latter. But it was a good wait, chatting with fans of the band, exchanging stories and enjoying the friendly atmosphere that these gigs bring. Eventually I get inside and find my perch at the back behind the sound desk, and the waiting continues as we don’t get a support band like advertised, but when the clock hits half 8 the stage goes into darkness and without a word of warning Paramore burst onto the stage and jump straight into Now from their latest self-titled album.
They sound amazing, with the music coming across clean and every instrument being heard crisp and clear. As I said earlier they are 3 members, but like many other bands they have 3 touring members too, so they have a drummer, keyboardist and extra guitarist behind the main 3 members adding to their sound, which makes for allot of depth as the drums hit hard, the guitars weave together, the bass rumbles and the keys tinkle in the background. Hayley, Jeremey and Taylor are up front and they franticly move around the stage, swaying with their whole bodies making it interesting to watch, Hayley controls the audience, with her powerful vocals and strong stage presence that puts her up there with the best. They continue the set with That’s What You Get, Born For This and For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic from Riot! They all sound just as good, if not better than they did before, as I saw them in 2010 when they played Birminghams LG arena and they sounded great then, but tonight the music fills the room and keeps you locked into the moment, where as at an arena you can feel alone in the masses as the sound bounces around the room.
The crowd loves every second of tonight, as they sing along to every word of every song played, but that was always going to be the case when a big band plays to a small venue of mainly competition winners, you’re not going to get to many casual fans in the room. On the note of the fans tonight, it was good to see that the room was mainly filled with fans and not split half and half with guest list spots from friends of the band/record company. As the set continues the band play a mix of tracks from both Riot! and Brand New Eyes with Pressure from All We Know Is Failing along with 3 of the 4 singles from their singles club they put out last year. One of which was an acoustic version of In The Morning which was done by just Hayley and Taylor whilst they sat down on a box at the front of the stage under a bright spotlight, this was my low point of the night as I would have liked them to keep the pace up and maybe play some more singles that they didn’t play like Crush Crush Crush or Emergency, but again that’s just a personal preference as the crowd loved singing along to a song that at an arena might not go down all too well as the singles club wasn’t advertised to the masses and wasn’t available outside of the US in physical form.
Paramore have been on stage for an hour and show now sign of stopping as they have allot of fan favourites left to play, and as they finish Looking Up, Hayley takes a moment to have a little rant about the media, “You know we have a new album coming out on Monday, and I just wanna say, when we first came to England we got our first taste of what it feels like to have someone write what they think of you in a magazine and its weird, and it’s the worst, well sometimes it’s cool, when their nice about it. And what’s cool, whatever people write about us, you know us the best and so whenever we’re interviewed we feel like ‘what’s the point’ as the fans already know this. It’s funny cos I read a review in Rolling Stone, and we don’t really care about reviews, but this was actually a pretty good one. They did refer to me as some sort of emo/metal/queen… whatever that means(the crowd cheers), but they said something about the album sounding like a great solo debut(the crowd boos and Hayley sticks her finger up) and let me tell you something, this is the only time I’m going to rant about this, and I promised myself not to write about this online, as I tend to do, But I wouldn’t be here and nor would I want to be, if it where for these two guys to my side, and now also if it were not for these 3 back here, cos where a family and you guys are part of that too, and it wouldn’t be the same if it was just emo metal queen Hayley Williams. We’ve also written in our songs very honestly about what’s going on, and the next song is good proof of that(it was Ignorance) and this year as where getting back into the swing of being a band and doing all the busyness and being on TV and whatever comes with it doesn’t really matter as you guys know the truth and love us for who we are know who we are and not for something else entirely, and that means the most to us and that is why where doing this”. I guess this has come from allot of comments about the line up being new and how it’s about Hayley, but although this rant does come across to say we love the fans, it also slams the things the band uses to get to the masses, if they were not in magazines and on TV then they wouldn’t be as popular, so to criticise the machine that pushes them along just because people focus on her and not the group is silly, she’s correct the fans will always know the truth and love them for who they are, but does it matter if people who are just finding their music or casual fans think it’s just Hayley? I don’t think so, but I guess it means allot to her, and it’s quite nice to hear someone speak from their heart on stage instead of the normal throw away bits like ‘we love you london’ (which was also said) that bands say.
They end their set with Monster and Brick by Boring Brick before leaving the stage, and after a few moments of darkness Hayley and Taylor take back to the stage to perform an acoustic cover of Matilda by Alt-J which was truly boring, I’m sure no-one in the room new the song as no-one sang along, but the crowd where woken up when the rest of the band entered the stage and played their latest single Still Into You, which blew me away, I had heard them perform the song on the radio a day before and Hayley didn’t do the high part towards the end of the song, but she nailed it tonight and it sounded amazing! They then said their goodbyes and told the crowd how they knew what was next, and started into Misery Business, this would have been a great end to the show if it wasn’t for part way through as the song does its final build up the lights come on and Hayley says “You know what’s coming now, we have someone come up and finish the song with us, and we already know who it is tonight” as they get security to pick this girl up on stage with purple hair who supposedly sang the song with them on Skype when they were last in the UK, the girl is given a mic like Hayley’s (wrapped in coloured tape from top to bottom) and as the band start back into the song Hayley goes to the back of the stage and sings along, as this girl sings at the front, it then gets to the last chorus and the girl grabs Hayley’s hand and drags her onto the box at the front of the stage to sing together, this was really hard to watch and even though Hayley enjoyed it I found it very cringey, it might have been fine if it was early in the set but the final song ended by a fan who drags the singer to the front was truly astonishing especially since the fan was taking the shine from the band and putting it onto herself. The band thanks the fans and the lights rise and people start to leave.
Overall the gig tonight was amazing, they sounded great, they performed well and they spoke from the heart, if they hadn’t have had the 2 acoustic tracks and the fan on stage ending the gig would have been perfect. Paramore know how to treat their fans, and as an added extra to this special gig they gave fans a memento in the form off a limited plectrum along with a certificate of authenticity. You can expect Paramore to be back before the end of the year probably with an arena tour and with a set list that includes more songs from the new album (which is fine by me as the new album is amazing!), but you’ll be hard pushed to get an atmosphere like tonight!