Following the release of the incredibly successful Brand New Eyes, emo superstars Paramore roll into Boston’s House of Blues, for a fairly intimate show – by their standards, during their aptly-named Brand New Eyes Tour.
The evening starts off with The Swellers – now labelmates of tonight’s headliners – as they storm through their set of punchy melodic punk. Predominately playing tunes from their latest release Ups and Downsizing including 2009, Sleeper and Welcome Back Riders, older tunes such as This Is My Everest and Bottles from their 2007 effort My Everest also get a look in. While an usual crowd for the Michigan quartet to be playing to, the band have the 13-year-old contingent firmly wrapped around their finger with the endearing banter from vocalist Nick Diener, gaining a good few new fans.
Following such an energetically strong performance, Paramore’s fellow Tennesseeans Paper Route, have a lot to live up to – however, pretty much all momentum is lost as they let loose their dreary sound of ambient electronics, in the vein of The Postal Service – clearly, not as good or captivating, though. It’s all pretty uninspiring stuff, with songs such as Are We All Forgotten from their latest full-length Absence boasting a really repetitive and grating chorus of “don’t you break my heart”. An odd and displeasing choice of support – one I can’t see going down too well in those arenas in December.
Finally, it’s time for the pint-sized starlet and co. to take to the stage, who are greeted to an ecstatic roar and a succession of jubilant smiles, which never fade from the faces of the 2000 strong as they incessantly swoon over their heroes in absolute adoration and for those who have spent hours queuing on the bitter streets of Boston, ditching school, it all suddenly seems worth it.
Beginning with the Billy Talent-esque single Ignorance, the first riff is met to yet another excitable response of shrieks and is the start of a 17-song set, a healthy mix of old and new. All the hits are there like That’s What You Get and emo-pop anthem Crushcrushcrush providing hearty sing-a-longs aplenty.
Oldies such as Conspiracy and the boppy Here We Go Again are even dusted off from 2005’s All We Know Is Falling. Whereas, a decent amount of new material such as Looking Up, Turn It Off and Where The Lines Overlap freshen up the set and go down a treat – however, it’s the mediocre Decode a.k.a. ‘the Twilight song’ that, as expected, gets one of the best responses of the night setting off many a fangirl into a spazz.
The stage presence of Hayley Williams is exceptional as she confidently belts out number after number, but the in-between-song banter occasionally feels somewhat textbook and a little forced, but the crowd, naturally, eat up everything that is spouted from the newly-blonde’s lips.
The set ends with a stunning outro demonstrating the petite front woman’s bewilderingly powerhouse and operatic vocals – despite recently suffering from laryngitis. The band then leave the stage, only to shortly return for a three-song encore, beginning with the acoustic and folksy Misguided Ghosts, with accompanying vocals from guitarist Josh Farro.
Things soon pep up when the violin intro to Misery Business kicks in with Williams gleefully assuming, “You know what’s coming” and that the masses do, as the House of Blues erupts, screaming along word-for-word at the top of their lungs. New single Brick By Boring Brick, surprisingly, closes the night, and while it doesn’t garter the vivacious reaction of ‘MizBiz’, kudos to the band for not ending on a predictable note and, after this performance, it’s no wonder that this fivesome are soon-to-be headlining arenas.
– Faye Turnbull.