On the 12th January 2018 Paramore played the O2 Arena, in London, as part of their Tour Three UK tour. The band were supported by long term friends MeWithoutYou.
The band last played The O2 in 2010 and have since shifted in sound and faces. They’ve won Grammy’s, lost members and put out two CDs, but it’s taken 8 years for them to come back as self-confident and happy as they did this time. Tour Three came off of the back of their fully sold-out Summer 2017 shows, which saw the band conquer an incredible, yet intimate sold out night at The Royal Albert Hall, in London. The band have definitely filled into their new material. They brought their spectacular musical catalogue and staging to London, with optimism by the bucket load.
Paramore opened the night- met with a roar of applause from the packed out crowd- with the gloriously up-beat, pop hit, ‘Hard Times’, which was the band’s comeback single last year. They intertwined it with a snippet of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’, a band which Paramore draw reference to quite often. This prepared the audience for the highlights from their latest album, which were sewn between reworked hits from their previous four albums.
The band don’t dwell on a lot of their old material, with tracks from their first couple of albums phasing out over the last few tours. Those left in were successfully reworked to mirror their change in line-up and increasingly positive and comfortable presence. ‘Hard Times’ flows seamlessly into Brand New Eyes’ ‘Ignorance’- sung into a megaphone- and the bubble-gum pop hit ‘Still Into You’, with ‘Grow Up’ also receiving a makeover as it was peppered with a snippet of SZA’s ’20 Something’. Having said that, tradition still remained as Hayley Williams invited a lucky seated fan to join her on stage for ‘Misery Business’, par for the course.
Of course, After Laughter took centre stage. The band rattled through songs from the album, performing each with perfect precision. Williams let MeWithoutYou’s Adam Weiss take the reins for their track ‘No Friend’, whilst Taylor York, Zac Farro and co. had a chance to show off their incredible instrument playing. The band closed the show with their latest single ‘Rose Coloured Boy’, which saw the audience fully won over. Their encore also saw drummer Zac Farro play ‘French Class’, one of his band HalfNoise’s tracks, similar to what they did on the last tour. It worked really well and was very refreshing to hear.
What struck me most, as a fan who has been following them for nearly 8 years now, was how comfortable the band sounded. The band’s sound and stage presence finally felt relaxed and happy and, as a result, the fans seemed to respond to it more positively. It was the ultimate dance party and enough to keep any fan happy. They spend so much time as a band building their fan base to feel like a family and that was definitely reflected in the atmosphere on the night. As Hayley Williams said, between new and old tracks, “we’re not who we were when we were 15. We won’t judge you by how you were then, so we hope you don’t judge us”. I can’t wait to see what Paramore do next and I, for one, will follow it.