By Patrick Campbell
Date / Venue: Sunday January 19th, Vector Arena, Auckland
There was something special in the air tonight at Vector Arena, it's been a while since Paramore has graced our shores in support of their previous album. The fans were definitely over waiting and were ready to see the band showcase their latest album, as well as their classic hits in the final show of their world tour as they flocked into the arena.
Opening act Twenty One Pilots showcased an interesting blend of pop and hip hop in their half an hour set. Just two men on stage; one on drums, the other moving between a piano, singing and rapping. For most of the audience this was an enjoyable energetic act, the perfect way to start the night and they were met with a huge amount of support. However, for me and a few stragglers at the back we found it extremely hard to enjoy and they were one of the first times I've ever considered walking out on an opening act. For me this came from a mix of lack-lustre vocals, and a lack of seriousness and intimacy. Someone behind me referred to them as "self-indulgent" which I think was a fair assessment. Luckily, their set went by briefly and once they finished with an erratic display of drumming it was a short wait until Paramore graced the stage.
Opening with Grow Up, the band appeared as silhouettes backlit by three large light rigs at the back of the stage. This simple lighting was utilised throughout the opening of the show as the band played songs from their most recent, self-titled release, as well as classic songs such as That's What You Get and Decode. Throughout the first four songs lead singer Hayley Williams whipped the crowd into a frenzy, her energy was infectious as she jumped around the stage showcasing her voices incredible range. An "Interlude" gave the crowd as well as the band a chance to calm down, a single spotlight on Hayley accompanied by a ukulele as she once again proved why she was the face and voice of one of the biggest rock bands in the world right now.
The show continued for another hour, filled with new songs such as the incredible ballad Last Hope, and a few more of their older tracks, the most prominent of which was CrushCrushCrush. A highlight of the show was when a gospel choir came up on stage to assist the band for the last half of latest single Ain't it Fun, this was the biggest sing along I have ever witnessed at a show, Williams told the audience "We're gonna take you to church" and they certainly did just that. With one more interlude woven into the show and a short stripped back session including The Only Exception and a short cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic Landslide, it came time for the final song. The band tore through Misery Business with more energy than ever, and William's invited two fans on stage to sing the bridge and final chorus with her, much to the girls - and the crowds - excitement.
A three song encore which ended with their most successful recent single Still Into You and a hundred balloons falling into the crowd was enough to satisfy the frantic crowd who had been calling for less than a minute at a volume not many artists can warrant. The band spent the final few minutes on stage thanking the crowd, handing out set lists and promising a return very soon. The crowd made it very clear that they were already ready for that return and would be more than happy to spend another night in Vector Arena with the band. I would most certainly recommend that upon their return, anyone who can, should attend their show.