O2 Arena, London
Thursday 20th April 2023
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PARAMORE – LONDON – LIVE REVIEW
It’s fitting that Paramore come back to the UK around Easter time as their return has been received much like the second coming. Yes, you’d struggle to find a more engaged and dedicated audience than the hardcore Paramore fanbase.
Tonight their tour arrives in London at the gargantuan O2 Arena. It’s within this cavernous space that opening act Rozi Plain serenade the early attendees. What I can hear sounds delightful however their sound does struggle to fill the venue.
Our next act don’t struggle with that issue however as indie icons Bloc Party deliver a short and succinct set that mixes old and new to good measure. The uninitiated in the crowd seem somewhat unsure of what they are watching, but those familiar like myself have a great time with this gem of the landfill indie era. How can anybody not perk up to the likes of ‘Banquet’, ‘Flux’ and ‘Helicopter’?
WATCH ‘HELICOPTER’ ON YOUTUBE
Soon enough the lights are dimmed and Paramore arrive on stage where they quickly deliver two new tracks ‘You First’ and ‘The News’ from recent album ‘This Is Why’. Soon thereafter classic tracks ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘Playing God’ kick the evening into another level.
The dynamics of arena seating has always intrigued and annoyed me; particularly the perhaps controversial issue of whether fans in seating should stand up during the show. Personally, it’s fine but it needs to be all or nothing – either everyone stands or everyone sits, not little pockets of standing people ignoring the fact they are blocking the view of those around that remain seated.
WATCH ‘THIS IS WHY’ ON YOUTUBE
The other thing that gets me is the disrespect of only standing during certain songs. Tonight it was telling the moment Hayley Williams said “my band are letting me play a solo song” or “Zac is going to sing a HalfNoise song” that the vast majority instantly sat down before even a note was played clearly indicating that they weren’t interested in even giving these tracks an opportunity.
This was a theme throughout the night with the older hits getting people stood up (usually to just film the song on their phones), and anything more obscure being treated with utter contempt. This isn’t of course a new phenomenon but it was very noticeable this evening.
Performance wise though, whether the audience reciprocated or not, the entire set was Paramore on top form. It was great to see the band clearly enjoying themselves again, something else which was evident from the night.
By the encore of ‘All I Wanted’ and ‘This Is Why’, the band have delivered the goods and the fans whether sat down or stood up are all clearly pleased with the show. It’s great to have the band back!
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