A Saturday night in the Welsh capital is usually a good one, but with alternative, pop-punk, and overall modern rock icons Paramore returning to the capital for the first time in over five years, then this Saturday night was set to be better than most.
Following a poem recited by lead singer Hayley Williams, Paramore, and their cast of touring members take to the stage to kick off the second night of their UK and Ireland tour, hoping to improve upon the previous night in Dublin, which was littered with sound and technical issues.
Their set began with the explosive ‘You First’, their latest installment ‘This Is Why’, a ferocious modern rock song that suited the opening track spot well. ‘The News’ quickly followed soon after as the band looked to keep the momentum up, with both of the tracks from the new album being well received by the CIA’s sold out crowd.
The excitement truly began for many when the opening of ‘Playing God’ began to echo throughout the arena, a dive into the deeper cuts from the Nashville band’s discography, which was then accompanied by arguably one of the band’s most popular songs; ‘That’s What You Get’.
The magic of the show was continued with tracks such as ‘Running Out Of Time’, ‘Hard Times’, and ‘Caught In The Middle’, before yet another colossal track, ‘Ain’t It Fun’, was deployed, a stark reminder of the band’s immense amount of bangers.
Respite came in the form of ‘Liar’ and some of Williams’ own solo work in ‘Crystal Clear’, which although might have been lost on some of the more casual attendees, was met with a warm welcome amongst the die-hards of the crowd, especially since Williams’ solo tour was one of the many that fell victim to the pandemic.
“There’s something better than singing about love, vampires. And the only thing better than Vampires, is singing about Vampires being in love,” exclaimed Williams, before bursting into the Twilight cult-classic song ‘Decode’.
While many will quite reasonably have eyes on Williams and her captivating performance on stage, bandmates Taylor York and Zac Farro‘s certainly weren’t forgotten, thanks to their exceptional performances. Farro in particular wasn’t shy of the limelight, as he got to come to the front of the stage to perform ‘Baby’, an unreleased song from his project HalfNoise, who touring percussionist Joey Mullen, is also a part of.
The rest of the band then left the stage as William’s performed ‘What Can you Say’ (Adrianne Lenker) as one of her ‘self-serenades,’ a running series of covers she had been doing throughout the first lockdown. And despite having issues with hearing her own guitar, and being in the wrong key, the fans rallied around Williams as she made it through, leading her to say that the crowd was “never to speak of it to anyone”.
Two more deep cuts emerged from the band’s vault in the forms of ‘Last Hope’ and ‘I Caught Myself’, but the real highlight of the night was the band’s first ever performance of ‘All I Wanted’ on UK soil, a song that the band had previously considered to be too difficult to perform, and one which had been the night before due to the aforementioned technical issues. But it was safe to say that this fan-favourite’s UK debut was a successful one, with fans in awe at the sheer power in Williams’ vocals.
From one fan-favourite to another, the contentious, and previously retired ‘Misery Business’ was the perfect throwback to the band’s pop-punk and emo roots, with two fans getting the privilege of joining the band on stage for the bridge and final chorus. The show then reached it’s faux-conclusion with a stunning performance of ‘Crave’, with a revamped outro, before the band left the stage for the second time in the night.
An interlude comprised of iPhone videos and photos taken from the process of recording the new album, before the band returned to the stage, with the heartfelt ‘The Only Exception’ drawing out swaying arms and camera torches from the crowd.
The final song of the night, was, as Williams put it, “a celebration of the latest album” in the guise of gutsy title track ‘This Is Why’, which saw the crowd adorned in themed confetti during the last chorus, before the band thanked the crowd a final time before departing.
Despite the turbulent time the band has had throughout its life span, it’s evident that they have never been in a better place as a collective, which is reflected not only in their studio work, but also throughout the fun the members have on stage performing too. You can only hope that it isn’t another five year wait before the band visit the Welsh capital again.