Paramore: Tour Three Review

SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Saturday 20 January 2018

I didn’t have to wait long to see my favourite band again. After biding my time for eight years to see Tour One last June, Paramore returned to the UK for Tour Three merely a few months later. They’ve been on the road relentlessly since the release of their fifth album After Laughter back in May, with Tour Two taking them all over America last autumn, and Tour Four about to start in Australia next month. After such a lengthy hiatus, Paramore are undoubtedly making up for lost time.

The SSE Hydro has become the go-to venue in Glasgow. Any band who have made a name for themselves are sure to light up the stage at some point, as the SECC becomes a distant memory. In fact, the last time I saw Paramore in Glasgow was in that very building in 2009. But, tonight the Hydro is packed to the rafters with old and new fans alike. It’s easy to tell those who have been around for a while – because we’re not as young as we used to be!

Paramore released their first album almost 14 years ago and many of the teens who loved it are in the audience tonight, proudly supporting a band that have survived challenge after challenge. It’s something that makes them more endearing now than ever; those same teens will have overcome challenges of their own throughout those years and can say they made it, too. Paramore’s lyrics epitomise that now, evolving from pop punk angst to heartfelt reflections on the hardships of life.

Paramore Tour Three

The set opener “Hard Times” couldn’t make that any clearer. The debut single from After Laughter sees the Hydro erupt into a singalong from the off, heralding a night of fun and enthusiasm ahead. Hayley even throws in some lines of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” into the song – mixing iconic songs into theirs is a habit which the band has picked up as they’ve grown.

After that, it’s straight into “Ignorance” from their third album Brand New Eyes, which sees Hayley use a megaphone for the first time of any Paramore tour I’ve seen. It adds another feisty layer to the song, which has become one of my favourites over the years. Interestingly, this is the only song from that album that makes the cut into the Tour Three set. Considering what that album signified, it’s not too surprising that they don’t feel like revisiting it in depth. Although, I’m still longing to hear “All I Wanted” live one day…

“Still Into You” is always a fan favourite, but it’s bleakly contrasted by “Forgiveness” which broaches the subject that presumably factored into Hayley’s divorce. She announced her split from New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert last July, which revealed the meaning behind this heart-wrenching song. The motivation behind much of After Laughter is made much clearer when you start to realise what Hayley must have been going through at the time of writing it.

Hayley Williams

A new transition between “I Caught Myself” and “Pool” is unveiled soon after. Something which I’ve always loved about this band is they like to experiment onstage, adding intros and outros, new lyrics, and transitions to their set. It makes seeing them live that bit more special. This leads onto a highlight of the evening, “Hate To See Your Heart Break”, which sees the Hydro sparkle with flashlights as the audience sways along to every word.

The difference in this Paramore compared to a decade ago is exemplified when Hayley lies down on the stage after “Idle Worship” to let Aaron Weiss from MewithoutYou screech “No Friend”. The song is deliberately obscure and references much of Paramore’s back catalogue to make a point about how much things have changed. This continues when Hayley announces before “Misery Business” that she’s not the same person that wrote this song. She goes a step further and doesn’t sing a certain line in it, but the crowd are more than happy to do that for her.

As per tradition, Hayley invites a fan up onstage to sing the bridge. But, this time she can’t choose just one, or two, or three, but FOUR fans do the honours. It’s always a fun moment that sees the audience and fans onstage go wild. Whether they like it or not, “Misery Business” will forever be their defining anthem.

Hayley Williams singing

A close second is Grammy award-winning “Ain’t It Fun”, which rightfully finishes the set before the encore. They return for a rendition of “Grow Up”, before inviting Zac to the front of the stage. Like Tour One, the band do a cover of one of HalfNoise’s songs – that’s Zac’s other band, by the way. While this is supposed to be a fun moment, the mood noticeably shifts in the arena as most of the crowd aren’t there to hear HalfNoise covers.

This soon changes, however, when they launch into the final song of the evening “Rose-Colored Boy”. A standout of the album, it is a joyous three and a half minutes that gets everyone dancing. Hayley goes on to sing a few lines of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” as the song comes to a close, signalling the end of Tour Three. As the stage empties and the lights come up on the Hydro, there’s no doubt that they’ve ended it on a high.

Until next time,
Donna x

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