It’s been a year since Paramore played Birmingham and with their sub-headline slot at Reading and Leeds festivals going down a storm they are back to prove once again why they are one of the biggest Rock bands going.
Paramore have brought along two great support acts, label buddies Fun and the newest Hip-Hop sensation that is B.o.B. Fun are up first and they may be relatively unknown but their blend of Indie-pop rock is refreshing different to the other acts. Front man Nate Ruess is like jack in the box as he bounces barefooted across the stage, his voice never faltering. Latest single At Least I’m Not as Sad as I Used to Be sounds great live and a very impressive version of Queens Radio GaGa has the crowd clapping along.
It’s safe to say that 2010 has been B.o.B’s year with number one singles Nothin’ on You and of course the massive hit Airplanes. It’s a brave step for Paramore to take such a contrasting artist on tour but it appears to have payed off, as the welcoming cheer as B.o.B takes to the stage is thunderous. Opening up with I See Ya, Bobby Ray is joined on stage by a full band complete with backing singers and 2 slightly ridiculous dancers, it’s a massive contrast to Fun and the crowd are definitely more into it. Turns out Bobby Ray is somewhat of a chameleon as he can rap, sing and even picks up a guitar for a couple of songs! Beautiful Girls gets the crowd singing along there’s even a surprising cover of MGMT’s Kids thrown in which is definitely an interesting choice but it works. There’s no surprises though for the finale song, and before its even played there’s an ear-piercing scream. Airplanes it is then, and when Hayley bounds onto the stage the whole room erupts almost drowning out the guys on stage.
During the wait for Paramore a Mexican wave makes it way around the huge arena, the fans are eager for some action and it would seem it couldn’t come quick enough. The house lights are killed and the black curtain obscuring the stage falls down to reveal the band who get the loudest scream of the evening so far. Opening with Ignorance, Hayley Williams is proudly sporting a homemade Beware Of You vest top and addresses crowd telling them that ‘Tonight you belong to us’. The orange hair may well be replaced by a new pink ‘do’ but Hayley is still instantly recognisable and is one hell of a front woman, she has the entire crowd eating out of the palm of her hand. It’s not all about her though, Paramore is a bunch of talented musicians, bassist Jeremy Davis runs all over the stage playing his bass with frenzy which is matched by rhythm guritarist Taylor York and Zac Farro keeps things all together with his intense drumming.
Mid-way into the set things are slowed down as Hayley and guitarist Josh Farro take to the side of the stage for a stripped down, acoustic version of Never Let This Go. There aren’t many bands that can throw in a 4-song acoustic set into the middle of a rock show but they pull it off with flair. The rest of the band join them on a black sofa which has been set up on the stage and Hayley introduces the next song as ‘the song we wrote for England’ and they head into the aptly named When it Rains.
Hayley was certainly determined for everyone to have a good time especially those in the seats who she addressed and ordered stand up, putting it eloquently ‘Those seats are to catch you when you fall!’ The Only Exception showcases Hayleys vocal talents and is massive sing-a-long for the fans as the LG arena is lit up by hundreds of lighters and mobile phones which is an awe-inspiring sight.
The encore kicks off with Brick by Boring Brick followed by the massive hit Misery Business, which sees Hayley invite two fans onto the stage to sing the chorus. I must say the girl who came on stage did a great job giving Hayley a run for her money with the way she belted it out!
Paramore have proved tonight why they are so big, for a band that’s only being playing live for 6 years to have come to this stage in their career after a relatively short time is a impressive feat and love them or hate them, it’s well deserved.
Review – Hannah Sebestjanowicz
Photos – Steve Gerrard