Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Thursday February 8, 2018 :
After four years of excitement and longing, the night is finally here! Following the release of Paramore’s 5th studio album After Laughter, the band are back in Australia for the first time since 2014. Fans flood Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena ahead of the first show of this tour, kitted out in bright colours, a smile of anticipation across every face.
First up are Bleachers, New Jersey born Jack Antonoff who is supporting this leg of the tour, and what a way to start the show it was. Kicking off their set with track ‘Wild Heart’ it was mere seconds before he had the whole crowd on their feet and people running to catch a glimpse. High energy from start to finish, including a humbling speech of how thrilled they were to be playing their first shows in Australia.
Now finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Paramore! The lights dim, the music starts and before you know it front woman, Hayley Williams has every eye glued to her. They smash out hit after hit with beautiful moments breaking through the barrier between performer and fans, joking about only needing two things tonight, some tissues and your dancing shoes. One speech from William’s stood out in particular, addressing the four year gap between the last show they played in Melbourne, and the reality of ever changing life. She mentions how Paramore have been touring and growing together for over a decade now, and so have the people that support them. I was fortunate enough to see the band again the following night in Sydney. If I can say anything for sure it’s that it truly didn’t matter where in the stadium you were seated, standing or dancing, you really felt a part of something.
As per Paramore tradition, one lucky fan is selected to carry out singing the bridge of ‘Misery Business’ on stage. Tonight’s pluck from the crowd introduced himself as Levi, going on to impress everyone in that stadium with his vocals, including getting the tick of approval from Hayley herself “I don’t know when his album is coming out but we should all get it!”
The show wraps up with a three song encore, featuring an introduction to everyone on stage, with special mentions to drummer Zac Farro who recently rejoined Paramore in February 2017 after leaving back in 2010. What better way to welcome him back than coming centre stage and performing song ‘French Class’ by his other band HalfNoise, with Hayley on backing vocals.
Last but certainly not least, a chorus of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ is worked into closing song ‘Rose-Coloured Boy’. As the trio leave the stage and the house lights come back on, there’s a warm feeling between fans and exchanging of looks which you knew meant, “Man I could’ve watched them forever!” I myself have been a fan of this band for going on 8 years, and couldn’t have been more impressed finally seeing them do what they do best. If you know what’s good for, get yourself down to one of their shows!
Reviewer : Tay Loane