Paramore decide to warm the audience up with some classic pop music before they take to the stage. A huge cylinder of lights protrudes from the back and feels almost space like. Paramore in 2018 is not the same as Paramore in 2008. The band has evolved and so has the line up as tonight we see a whole cast behind the main trio. The colourful haircuts are gone, that teenage punk frustration is gone, that rawer guitar sound is gone, but the fans never went anywhere. Many here tonight will remember their youth growing up with Paramore and many tonight respectively have grown to fall in love again with their newer (somewhat 80s) polished sound.
Starting with Hard Times Hayley bounces around the stage throwing some high kicks here and there whilst her blazing blonde hair glows from the beaming lights behind. This, along with her 80s look is a brilliant subtle homage to Blondie, whose song Heart Of Glass features as a mash-up within Hard Times.
“Hope you’ve brought your dancing shoes” she bellows as a sold out arena sings back at her throughout the whole night. It oddly doesn’t feel like an arena show – the vibe is rousing but at the same time it feels too intimate, almost like a friends house party where everyone is just here to enjoy the moment and everyone is as excited now as when they were fourteen. The front row is littered with signs for the band which sees Zac and Taylor swagger around the sides and take heed towards the crowd, smiling back at adoring fans and masses of cameraphones.
Paramore aren’t afraid to push their newer material and make a stance on their sound as recent album After Laughter gets a good chunk of the set dedicated to it. Although hits like Misery Business aren’t going away any time soon and for one lucky fan a captivating moment came when Hayley pulled up a young lad to help sing out the rest of the song.
Humble comes across a lot tonight as Hayley, whose charisma and energy drives this performance, reminds us she’s not forgotten about the fans that have grown up with them nor the band as moments see them talk and appreciate each other quite openly on stage. “Who came with people you love? Because we came with people we love” – it’s clear each member is a piece holding the band together in their own respective ways.
Tears have definitely been shed tonight by the old and new. Paramore fans are for life, that’s for sure.
ParamoreCardiff Motorpoint Arena - 11th January, 2018
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com Photos are not to be used without permission.