Now, after about twelve years of being a fan of Paramore, just the very thought of seeing Hayley Williams and the gang live for the first time was enough to send shivers down my spine and throw uncontrollable feelings of excitement through my stomach. My deep desire for them to play the entirety of All We Know Is Falling (their absolute best album, which is a proven fact I may or may not be able to prove with science) was probably a little far-fetched and fantastical, but that didn’t matter. These guys have such a brilliant back catalogue of solid gold tunes, that a little helping from each album would have been absolutely perfect. So, as I took a deep sip from my fruity beverage and the house lights went down to a cacophony of screams, expectations throughout London’s O2 Arena where eye and the anticipation was now to be quelled…
… And what a way to kick off a show!
Launching into the debut single from 2017’s After Laughter, it was immediately clear that the band were on absolutely top musical form, each member tuned into the next and clear on their job for the performance. Following up with the raw, angst-laden ‘Ignorance‘ was only ever going to amplify the audience to an even high state of euphoria and amplify it did. This was going to be a set of fan favourites interspersed with all the best cuts from the new album. Right?
Now, from here lays a very important debate when it comes to live music, in wondering how much fan service a band should put into their live sets? With certain bands, you just expect certain songs, don’t you? It’s not a God-given right for us gig-goers to expect such things, but when you’ve forked out the best part of fifteen notes for not much over sixty minutes of music (yes, the set was also a surprisingly short one, ending not much less than a full hour before venue curfew time), is it ok to expect to hear some of the more popular numbers a band has created?
For an eighteen song set, no matter how well the band performed, it was notable as to how many fans (including myself) left feeling a little shortchanged. The reaction for tracks like ‘Still Into You‘, ‘That’s What You Get‘ and ‘Misery Business‘ was so rapturous, it only made the absence of a lot of the bands biggest hits all the more evident.
No ‘Pressure‘, ‘Emergency‘, ‘Hallelujah‘, ‘Brick By Boring Brick‘, ‘The Only Exception‘, ‘Crushcrushcrush‘, ‘Decode‘ or ‘Fences‘ (to name a handful), but a track from drummer Zac Farro’s own back catalogue (in itself, a very good song) and an all too long interlude style guest performance from the front-man of MewithoutYou (the rather marvellous support act for the evening, who you should definitely check out!) during which half the band simply laid upon the floor? Yeah… Could we have had a couple from the aforementioned list instead please!
Still, the mood was not about to be dampened by such matters and the music, although not what many expected entirely, was still excellently executed by a band at the top of their game and at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Here’s hoping that one of the best bands in the more alternative realms of the charts bring back their marvellous live show soon, with perhaps a few more of the tracks that we’ve all grown to love over the last thirteen years?