There’s no denying that playing the Royal Albert Hall provides a somewhat poignant moment for any musician during their career. Tonight, as the UK’s sweltering heatwave reigns on, that’s no different for Paramore. It’s not just this evening’s venue that gives their London show a sense of occasion though.
Thinking back to their last live appearance on our shores seems like a lifetime ago. Since their Reading and Leeds sets back in 2014 – where the band co-headlined the festival alongside the mighty Queens of the Stone Age – many things have changed for the Nashville natives, but based on their performance tonight, they’re back to full strength.
Having always been masters of the live show, their return to the capital is business as usual in some senses: ‘After Laughter”s gorgeous ‘Told You So’ opens proceedings with a real sense of slick bombast, before the one-two hit of ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘Brick By Boring Brick’ speeds things into dizzying overdrive. Tonight’s agenda is a high octane blitz through their last decade of being a band, and the likes of ‘Turn It Off’ and ‘I Caught Myself’ provide some of the set’s more unexpected, but glorious moments.
Their set is also, at times, a reflective one; frontwoman Hayley Williams introduces the beautiful ‘Hate To See Your Heart Break’ by touching upon current world events, while the band are silhouetted to open the encore with new offering ‘Forgiveness’. More than anything, though, tonight feels like a real moment for both audience and band. Having faced quite the journey to get here, there’s a real sense of catharsis in the air as the trio dive into a cover of the ultra-psychedelic ‘Scooby’s In The Back’ - a track from drummer Zac Farro’s solo project HalfNoise – and they have the time of their lives in the process. They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and tonight, against the iconic backdrop of the Royal Albert Hall, Paramore prove to be at their most powerful.
Photos: Emma Swann