05 April 2013 (gig)
12 April 2013
While the Kerrang! contingent are in mourning for My Chemical Romance, tonight brings a welcome reminder that there are still other passionate emo-esque bands very much alive and kicking.
Ahead of releasing their self-titled album, Tennesse’s Paramore headline the Garage for the kind of intimate show fans have only dreamt of. And it’s clearly a thank you for their eight-year loyalty as singer Hayley Williams punctuates the set with plenty of gratitude and reflection.
The flame-haired sprite bounces around the stage belting out numbers old and new, with consistent audience participation, for a gig bursting with anticipation and excitement. Commanding the stage without a smidgen of self-importance, Williams is more than happy to share the air with her army of followers (deemed extended family) even pre-arranging for a fan to duet with her on Misery Business.
Williams’ chipper but sincere banter also extends to acknowledging her comrades, guitarists Jeremy Davis and Taylor York. The group now officially lists three members – following the tumultuous 2010 departure of the co-founding Farro brothers – and the singer bemoans Rolling Stone’s accusation of their fourth album being her solo debut. Paramore are indeed a band, but when their singer shines as brightly as Williams, it’s hard not to shift focus, even if she would never knowingly steal the spotlight.
Tonight feels like a celebration and a launch. The set, combining Now and Still Into You from the new record with staples, such as Ignorance, Monster and Brick by Boring Brick, plus a gentle cover of Alt-J’s Matilda, says Paramore are on top form. Album number four, their first as a three-piece, is set to ring in another successful chapter and, sounding as young and honest as ever, fans couldn’t really ask for more. Relevant seems like a massive understatement.
Photo credit: Ian Collins