Don’t count Paramore’s absence from the UK as a dismissal of their UK fanbase, their previous tour in 2013 hit arenas up and down the country and eventually leading to a richly deserved co-headline set at Reading And Leeds Festival alongside Queens Of The Stone Age a year later. They then but almost disappeared from our shores. But in fact what was happening behind the scenes was quite the shock, bassist Jeremy Davis departing in late 2015 after being a prominent member for so long, caused yet another reshuffle of band members. In an all so weird tale as one important member leaving, former drummer Zac Farro, who left with his brother Josh back in 2010, officially re-joined the band at the start of this year to record After Laughter.
And what a more fitting opening than a song from that very album, ‘Told You So’ to start the proceedings inside Manchester’s O2 Apollo. Not only does it feel fresh, new and exciting but the bands admiration of the overall volume of the crowd was endearing to watch. However the undeniably timeless ‘That’s What You Get’ took everything to the next level. The already soaring heat inside the venue created by a collision of the weather outside and the surging inferno of over excited fans was enough to make you think twice about bringing some sort of handheld fanning equipment.
Paramore’s arrangement of all five albums fell heavily upon After Laughter and their self-titled record, nothing from All We Know Is Falling made any sort of presence, the Twilight movie soundtrack double whammy made an interesting few minutes, ‘Decode’ followed by ‘I Caught Myself’, maybe this was on purpose to transport people straight back to 2008, or maybe not.
Of course with the events of Manchester still a heavy subject in the city Hayley Williams’ speech before heart warming track ‘Hate To See Your Heart Break’ was lovingly appreciated; “in the face of anything, you are so damn strong.” She continued on to talk about showing each other love and how music can do that. A little Fleetwood Mac cover here and a chance for Zac Farro to introduce his music to lot of people in the form of HalfNoise’s ‘Scooby’s In The Back’, this tour feels like the most free the band have been maybe their entire career. And what a sight it is to see. Guitarist Taylor York, Williams and Farro make for the most unique, arguably the most suave dressed and wonderfully talented version of Paramore yet. And speaking on behalf of everyone involved in the entire tour, Paramore, please don’t take as long as last time to return.
All photos by Kelly Hamilton.