LIVE: Paramore at Highbury Garage [05/12/2013]

By Tom Aylott

Paramore – Photo Credit Ian Collins

Intimate shows are now such a part of a band’s release cycle that sometimes you feel like you can set your watch by them. They’re obviously pretty great for promo: everyone loves to feel part of something special. It does feel sometimes that it’s got to the point where a “growth of the fan/band relationship” is forced upon both the band and the fans sometimes, but tonight it doesn’t really feel like much of a marketing exercise at all.

The last two times Punktastic saw Paramore were at the O2 Arena and Reading Festival, so to see them in front of a few hundred fans is pretty fucking cool, and this combined with THAT Fall Out Boy show earlier in the year makes us feel pretty lucky. We’re in a fair bit before the band kicks off, and eagerly find a spot that we think will give us a good view over the crowd that haven’t all arrived yet. It gets closer to the start of the gig, though, and it’s noticeable that there’s quite a bit of space near the back of the main bit of the Garage. You can make up your own mind on that, and also have a little cry knowing that they probably could have fit 50 more in there with any problems, but it gave us room to have a beer and and not spill it so we’re really not complaining.

Anyway, Paramore take to the stage with a spring in their step and blast straight into ‘Now’, the lead single from their imminent record, and it sounds pretty fucking massive live. From here on in, the hits come thick and fast, with ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘Pressure’ being the bigger moments of the first half of the set. Paramore are pretty great at ballads (see: ‘The Only Exception’), but it’s the high energy moments that really make the set tonight, and those are the tracks that feel ‘Born For This’ (lol) kind of show.

The band are on top form tonight, and the fact that the band do what they do very, very well has changed not an inch with new members. The new tracks that the band wheel out tonight suit the suit very well, and an hour and a half (ish) flies by with plenty of singalongs and high points. Ms. Williams leads the charge incredibly well in venues of all sizes, and even if you kind of break it all down to “a band playing a venue” rather than “Paramore playing in a tiny venue (for them)”, it’s rather good.

By the time the band come out for a quick encore of ‘Still Into You’ (big live) and bring the house down with their career exploding ‘Misery Business’, everyone in the crowd and on the stage has had a lovely time. And that is the most important thing? Who wants to buy a limited edition plectrum from the show for £1000? G’wan.