Subject: Re: COMPANY Rocks! Contributing Music Ed
"Where the lines overlap"
So 'Here We Go Again' the start of another new year, a time to look forward to the return of the sunshine, new album releases and the Great British summer of music festivals. January is also a time to reflect on the past years events, for me this included turning 21 , losing my Glastonbury virginity, owning my first pair of Wayfarers Ray Bans, Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs' becoming my 400th Cd to join my collection and spending nearly £1000 on Gigs and festivals up and down the country! But 'That's What You Get' when you have a immense passion for music, money well spent in my opinion! So as 2010 started to draw to a close one of my last gigs of the year were the punk-pop rockers from Franklin, Tennessee, at the London O2 on the 15th November, PARAMORE.
Having never seen Paramore or been to the O2 before it was a whole new experience for me but both surpassed my expectations. Fronted by the coolest chick in rock Hayley Williams, Paramore have grown to become one of the best young rock bands of today, just watching their set at Reading&Leeds made me want to 'rock-out' in my lounge like never before! For me Paramore represent my youth. Their debut album was released in 2005 just after i finished high school. The grunge rock sound of "All We Know Is Falling" became the soundtrack to my summer. Two years later just as i was finishing Sixth Form "RIOT!" was released in the June of 2007. "RIOTS" raw energy,emotion and it's rebellious,sexier,edgier sound quickly became our party album of the year. So when the deep and reflective tones of "Brand New Eye's" arrived in 2009 it felt like a retrospective musical equivalent of my life. It was an album full of heavy emotion's and insecurities but with a feisty,zest captured in Hayley Williams lyrics, Josh Farro's and Taylor Yorks outstanding guitar interplay, Jermey Davis skilful bass guitar and Zac Farro's ferocious drum beat. So when they announced their 2010 UK tour i just had to get tickets.
Arriving at the O2 my excitement levels were rising at an impressive rate. The buzz from the crowd was infection, I found myself surrounded by a sea of red, purple and orange hair coloured teens, An army of mini Miss Williams. Standing only 5 rows from the barrier and being possibly the only person in sight old enough to buy a beer, i was left wondering if i was perhaps too old? but then again Paramore themselves are all in their early 20's, so i stood my ground. As the minutes ticked by and the chants from the fans increased in volume by the second, When B.o.B took to the stage, the eruption from the crowd was incredible. B.o.B aka Bobby Ray performed hits from his album 'B.oB Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray' and showcased his talents as not only an up and coming Rap artist but as a guitarist and a singer, impressively. The moving performance of "Don't Let Me Fall" the bouncy excitement of "Magic" the big ballad style sing-a-long of "Nothin On You" could not prepare me for the intensity of the crowd when Hayley appeared to perform their hit of the year "Airplanes." The perfectly constructed "Airplanes" has it all; the haunting piano, the beautifully melancholy vocal chorus performance from Hayley Williams, which anchors the song from the start and Bobby Ray's creative and refreshing lyrical abilities are demonstrated in one of the hottest collaboration of 2010. After a breathtaking rendition of "Airplanes" i was convinced that, that would be the moment of the evening, B.O.Y was i wrong.
It was nearly time for Paramore to commence to the stage,'Hallelujah' As the stage crew scuttled about. The crowd began to heave towards the barrier,the atmosphere was electric and within minutes the lights dimmed and the audience ruptured into a frenzy, uproar had taken over the arena and Paramore had entered the building.
Paramore smashed into "Ignorance". Hayley's brutal vocal depiction of the song was beautiful and the crowd ignited with rock ecstasy. I found myself in the middle of a mosh pit but through the driving force of the song it carried me and everyone else along. "Feeling Sorry" was followed back to back by "That's What You Get" and "For A Pessimist,I'm Pretty Optimistic" then straight into their second single "Emergency" which gained the band critical acclaim. Songs from all Three albums where complied to complete the setlist, Josh Farro outstanding performance of "Decode" showcased his skills and talents as lead guitarist as every note was played with precision and timing. After "Playing God" Paramore took the tone down as the crowd had been frantic for the first 7 songs of the set. They brought a red leather sofa onto the stage, similar to the one on the cover of "All We Know Is Falling" and gathered round to play stripped down renditions of "When It Rain's" and "Let This Go" which had a intimacy that reached out to everyone in the arena and really demonstrated how individual and powerful Hayley's voice really is. They ended the acoustic section of their set with a beautiful portrayal of "Misguided Ghost's" which mesmerised the entire audience as Hayley's voice soared over the crowd. Acoustically Paramore are just as strong musically as they are when in full flow and giving the band a chance to show there outstanding versatility.
To Kick the party back into action, they launch into crowd pleasers "CrushCrushCrush" and "Pressure." With the audience singing every word of every song and the crowd jumping to the beat of Zac's immense drumming, Hayley screamed for the audience to put the devil horns up high, the crowd were ready to rock. Hayley Williams capability of controlling 20,000 strong crowd is phenomenal, with such stage presence, incredible vocal performances and outstanding ability to headband which on its own is impressive to watch. Hayley literally throws her body,heart and soul into every song, performance and tour! The arena spotlights panned across the crowd and the intro for "The Only Exception" began to take control of the audience as anything that glows is held up high in the air and the arena is lit up like the stars in the sky, stunning. "The Only Exception" has become Paramore's anthem and the crowd sing every word back to band. After an emotional and heart-felt performance of "The Only Exception" the audience brake into rapturous applause and That's it, the band exits the stage and the arena fills with chants of "we want more."
Paramore return to the stage for their encore and thunder into "Brick By Boring Brick." Hayley's stage charisma is infectious and with her signature coloured hair, this time bright pink, she rocks with the audience as Jeremy flips over Josh and the crowd sets off like wild fire, its jump or die and to go out with a bang, well thats exactly what they did. The raw energy of "Misery Business" goes off like dynamite, it is a masterclass of modern rock song writing, with it's fierce guitar riffs and thumping bass lines this is a monster of a song. The audience singing their hearts out and rocking out like never before, Paramore invite B.o.B onstage to have the audience sing him happy birthday before the crowd erupt into a frenzy and streamers of red and yellow confetti launch into the crowd from canons at the sides of the stage. As Hayley and the Guys bow out, the crowd full of voice, sing all the way out of the arena and chants of Paramore can be heard all throughout the O2.
Paramore came to rock and rock they did. The passion the crowd have for Paramore and that Paramore have for their fans was all-consuming, there was no escape, you just had to embrace the intensity of what Paramore live in concert was all about; one of the best gig's i have ever experienced. Incredible. Paramore where 'Born For This.'