Almost three years ago my best friend and I were thinking about seeing Paramore at the Arena in Brisbane. We passed it up and regretted it immediately. What fools we were. And now that we both saw them last night at The Tivoli, that mistake seems even more foolish, because by god was the gig spectacular, thrilling and thunderous, just like we hoped it would be.
Sometimes the mere fact that I can get to these gigs is a triumph. Getting a view at a sold out gig at The Tivoli though is a luxury that a sit down cripple such as myself does not get. No matter, because last night, more than ever, visuals was not required to appreciate what for all intents and purposes was a 'Pure Rock Concert', complete with ear piercing screams, accompanying bass vibrations which you could feel tingle down your legs, and guitar lines that were immediately connected via drip feed into your soul.
However it was not all like this. Unfortunately, the gig was an all ages affair, so pre-pubescent girls resplendent with glitter, and bright orange streaks in their hair populated the venue in an attempt to mimic Paramore’s charismatic front woman, Hayley Williams. However that was not the worst crime against humanity: that honour was left to the support band, British 'emo' act You Me At Six.
There’s an inherent checklist that these type of bands live up to, and unfortunately You Me At Six checked all the boxes to indicate a new level of pathetic live performance:
1. A lead singer with an incessant whine, who thinks he’s good with the ladies and tries to have eye sex with them, but really sounds like he’s been castrated, rendering all the above techniques useless
2. Matching hair cuts to resemble the male cast of Skins. How many Tony Stonem lookalikes can one band have?
3. Overwrought lyrics of the highest order
4. Over the top references to ‘sucking cock’ just to sound like total douchebags
5. An attempt at an ironic cover, which fails miserably (in this case of course it had to be Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, the most unoriginal idea ever in the history of 2010 live performance).
Thankfully, the quality considerably lifted once Paramore entered the stage, their only failing it seemed was choosing the quality of their opening act. Starting emphatically with the first single Ignorance off their latest record Brand New Eyes, flame haired Hayley was sprinting around the stage, (my only view being the top of her diminutive five foot stature) whilst belting out the lyrics with her customary fervour, and not a single note out of tune. Quickly transitioning to Looking Up this provided the moment of the night. At the song's standard pause two thirds of the way through, Hayley screams ‘WE ARE PARAMORE!!!!’ eliciting a reaction that I have never ever heard before, and which will probably require me to get my hearing checked soon. The song then continued without a moment of hesitation, the band acting as if that transformative period had never even occurred.
Other highlights included Let This Go, That’s What You Get and of course crowd favourite and Twilight inspired Decode. This prompted my friend (who is notorious for showing no reaction at shows regardless of quality) to smirk obviously as the 12 year old girls screamed frantically, acting as if Edward himself had walked into the venue. However my favourite song of the night was the one that made me fall in love with Paramore in the first place, Riot! opener: For A Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic, which along with being the best song title in the history of popular music, is also the song which typifies Paramore the most: The almost obnoxious attitude, the driving guitars, the pounding drum beats, and of course Hayley, oh Hayley.
Rest assured we won’t be missing Paramore the next time they come around. In fact, next time they might even warrant a tour of Tegan and Sara type proportions. Except they can leave You Me At Six Behind. How about getting the Quin Twins instead?