Originally posted at [V] Website
If like me, you consider yourself a young adult chances are very high that you experienced first-hand, either as an observer or participant, the glorious age of the noughties where side-fringes reigned supreme, eyeliner crossed gender boundaries and melancholy was the coolest. Emo culture definitely ruled a solid era of my formative years and I’m not ashamed to admit I, like everyone else at my high school, fell for the youthful angst mixed with melodic guitar riffs of the likes of Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. With these memories swirling in my mind (in addition to the thought “thank fuck I grew out of that”) yours truly and the majority of Sydney’s lesbian community headed down to the Enmore Theatre to re-visit this musical epoch via the sounds of pop-punksters Paramore.
Due to car issues (read: drinking/time-management issues) I unfortunately missed the support band but I’m sure that the certain amount of band members on stage played their respective instruments to some varying degree of success generating an appropriate response from the present audience. And that my friends, is a review you can take to the bank.
With the sold-out Enmore heaving with a fairly gender-unbalanced crowd (helloooo ladies), 9pm arrived and the incessant chanting of “Paramore” finally gave way to the lights dimming and the band taking the stage with the loudest ear-splitting scream saved for the entrance of the woman who launched a thousand 15-year-old Mitch boners: Hayley Williams. Sporting her signature flaming red hair, matching orange microphone and thankfully a full set of eyebrows (have you seen their latest music video? That shit’s freaky) Hayley immediately captured the hearts of every punter in the room launching into latest single ‘Now’ and bouncing round the stage in a way only a true pop-punk princess could.
The set, which stuck to mainly taking from the bands most recent two albums Brand New Eyes (2009) and Riot! (2007), was executed with constant, full-throttle energy, not only from the indefatigable Williams but in equal measure from guitarists Taylor York and Jeremy Davis with barrel-rolls and full-stage circuits very much the par. The ardent followers of the Church of Hayley were definitely out in force with every lyric of every song screamed by both the pitch-perfect
Williams and the enthusiastic audience. One particular Paramore fan got the experience of a lifetime being brought up from the crowd to help sing the final chorus in closing number ‘Misery Business’. Definitely no wall-flower, the wide-eyed girl leapt about the place (whilst no doubt simultaneously shitting herself) and to her credit nailed every “woah-oh” arm in arm with her idol.
The massive cross-genre appeal and mainstream success of Paramore is evident in the band’s ability to not so much as straddle the line between pop and punk as much as gleefully leap back and forth between the two. In one moment of the night I witnessed a characteristic punk scene with a lead singer gratuitously spitting into the air whilst thrashing crowd-surfers were plucked from the mosh by security. A couple of songs later and I’m experiencing a band initiated synchronised finger-snap-along (like a clap-along but… more delicate) and then a sea of camera phones recording an
unashamed acoustic pop-ballad (‘The Only Exception’).
Over 90 minutes Paramore explored every corner of grey between the genres of pop and punk and in doing so gave an impressive, grand and comprehensive show both young adult Mitch and Emo- teen Mitch got a kick out of. If the copious amounts of sweat dripping from the exhausted, smiling masses exiting the Enmore are anything to judge by I wasn’t the only one.