Concert Reviews

Paramore at Massey Hall

Photos by Neil Van

Paramore brought their fun, exuberant emo pop to an adoring crowd at Massey Hall, showcasing new album After Laughter as well as their plethora of hits.

This is the first time I’ve seen Paramore with their three-person line up and, as it turns out, it’s seven musicians that rapidly appear on stage to start the set with new album opener Hard Times. There’s an impressive shout of excitement that accompanies the beginning of the set that sweeps you along in a whirl of teen excitement. This crowd is infectiously enthusiastic.

Williams matches this enthusiasm and bounces around the stage as energetically as she always has, interacting with the crowd well, bringing the peppy tracks to life and adding heart to the more emotional offerings. Fake Happy proves that Paramore are still great at tugging on the heartstrings while making you want to dance, whereas 26 provides a melancholy loveliness to the set, as does the country style Hate to See Your Heart Break. But it’s track like Ignorance and Misery Business that really bring the house down. The customary invitation of a fan from the crowd to come up for Misery Business is still delightful, and Gabriella, who was chosen for her big ska-style arrow was great – and gave Williams a run for her money as the most impressive head-banger on stage.

The set made clear that Paramore have a generous number of great tracks to play from their back catalogue, which made the selection of Fleetwood Mac cover Everywhere all the more baffling, especially when playing to a teens and early 20s crowd. I still think Brand New Eyes is their best album to date and not playing The Only Exception during a slow portion of the set was a misstep. I would have liked to hear Now or Monster from the last album, but After Laughter is a poppy, quirky album that played well. However, playing an encore with introductions for each band member, new album tracks and song from drummer Zac Farro’s side project made me wish I’d left at the end of the main set.

 

Setlist

  1. Hard Times
  2. Ignorance
  3. Still Into You
  4. Daydreaming
  5. Forgiveness
  6. Brick by Boring Brick
  7. Playing God
  8. That’s What You Get
  9. I Caught Myself
  10. Hate to See Your Heart Break
  11. 26
  12. Told You So
  13. Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac)
  14. Fake Happy
  15. Misery Business
  16. Ain’t It Fun

Encore

  1. Caught in the Middle
  2. Scooby’s in the Back
  3. Rose-Colored Boy

About author

Northern English gig monkey, feminist, indy kid. Mostly enthusiasm and elbows.