Rod Laver Arena came alive on Monday night as alternative rock icons Paramore took to the stage. After playing their biggest-ever headline show a few nights before in Sydney, the hype for their first (of three) Melbourne shows was off the charts. From the moment Remi Wolf set the stage on fire as the opener, the tone was set for a night of incredible music and a sense of belonging that enveloped the crowd. The band was in top form, exuding an infectious energy that kept the audience on their feet throughout the entire performance.
Kicking off with “You First,” Paramore slowly eased the crowd into the night, but by the second song, “The News,” the arena was a frenzy of jumping and raw excitement. “Decode” struck a nostalgic chord, with everyone passionately singing along, taking them back to their emo Twilight era. Front woman Hayley Williams did not miss a beat with her incredibly infectious and joyful performance, constantly dancing and exuding confidence.
One of the standout moments was “Last Hope.” As the crowd lifted their torches, a wave of sincerity and shared emotions swept through the arena. It was a touching moment where the song’s depth resonated differently with each person, creating a powerful, unifying experience.
“Liar” and “Crystal Clear” were performed acoustically on an elevated stage, showcasing the band’s versatility. The inclusion of “Crystal Clear” from Hayley’s solo project, Petals for Amore, added a unique touch to the setlist.
“Hard Times” was super fun, and Williams was on fire- almost literally, too! There seemed to be an issue with the pyrotechnics during this track, which caught her off guard. Although she laughed it off, she did change the lyrics to “Somebody’s getting fired, Beyonce did it so we can too, I can’t wait to speak with you, it’s the third time you’ve done that shit to us”, but besides this, they did not seem too concerned with the situation and quickly got back to rocking out.
“Only Exception” sent shivers down the spine, with Hayley declaring it as a love song about their fans. Drummer Zac Farro took centre stage to deliver a lively rendition of his band HalfNoise’s song, “Baby,” adding an extra layer of fun to the evening.
“Misery Business” was a nostalgic trip, made even more special when Hayley invited two super fans on stage during the bridge, something that has become a tradition for each Paramore show. It was a sweet moment and quite emotional watching their dreams come true and they did a great job singing the bridge with Hayley and the band hyping them up.
The show closed with “Ain’t It Fun,” culminating in a shower of confetti and fireworks. The encore of “Still Into You” and “This Is Why” left the audience on a high, appreciating Paramore’s evolution and distinctive sound. Despite their long journey since forming in 2004, the band’s energy and direction feel fresher than ever, demonstrating a continued vision that resonates deeply with fans old and new.
In summary, Paramore’s Melbourne show was a testament to their enduring popularity and growth. They’ve not just endured but evolved, showcasing a newfound vitality that cements their place at the peak of their career. It was a night that perfectly encapsulated the band’s evolution, leaving the audience with a profound sense of connection and an unwavering appreciation for Paramore’s musical journey.
FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Photo credit: Zachary Gray