Fist-pumping, headbanging, anthem-singing rock ... welcome to the wild world of Paramore.
Maybe I’m still a bit buzzed after their killer show in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, but I think Paramore’s journey from being emo-rock outsiders to rock heroes is now complete.
There are concerts, and then there are rock shows – Paramore don’t do concerts. They do fist-pumping, headbanging, anthem-singing rock shows that make you feel alive.
and I know their rock credentials haven’t exactly been universally accepted, given that they started the band six years ago as teenagers from Tennessee, the United States, playing a genre often dismissed as pseudorock; but they have grown into a band of accomplished songwriters, musicians and performers that can get any stadium or arena full of young people rocking out with them.
That’s exactly what their Malaysians fans did throughout the band’s 90-minute show at the bukit Jalil National Stadium. a huge crowd of fans were already lining up outside the stadium hours before the show even started, and they were mostly teenagers and young people.
by the time the band kicked things off with their trademark opening at 8.30pm, the free-standing area in front of the stage was already jam packed and screaming out for Paramore.
a huge black drape dropped down and covered the stage while the band, singer Hayley Williams, lead guitarist Josh Farro, drummer Zac Farro, bassist Jeremy Davis and rhythm guitarist Taylor york, took their positions behind it and started playing some riffs.
When the drape fell to the ground to reveal the band and Hayley in centre stage giving her best rock pose, the 9,000-strong crowd just went insane.
The band immediately burst into a furious rendition of Ignorance, followed quickly by Feeling Sorry, before wrapping up their open- ing set with crowd-favourite That’s What You Get. It was some pretty powerful stuff. The younger of the Farro brothers, Zac, was a monster on the drums, while Hayley was her usual fire-cracker self, prancing and dancing around the stage and banging that orangehaired head of hers. She was playful, sexy and cool all at once, and the crowd was loving her every move.
Hayley was quick to return the compliment, saying: “I can’t believe it’s out first time here. The way this looks, we should’ve been here a long time ago! If only america can see this. This is sick.”
They went through other hits like Emergency and Decode before settling down on a white sofa for an acoustic set.
From screaming and wailing during the full-out rock sets, Hayley still managed to provide the sweet stuff for the acoustic versions of When It Rains, Where The Lines Overlap and Misguided Ghosts, and the rest of the band sounding really good too.
after that they were back to their usual posts, and Hayley asked the crowd to dance along with her as they played Crushcrushcrush, Pressure and Looking Up.
but probably the best moment of the concert was when everybody got their cellphones up in the air and sang along for The Only Exception.
after that, it all descended into one big party on stage during the encore, when Hayley invited opening act y2K back on stage, and she picked someone from the crowd to join them. She even gave the guy a microphone to sing along with.
“I really love you, Hayley!” the guy screamed once he got the mic. He didn’t get a single note right on Misery Business, but nobody really cared. everyone was too busy jumping and having fun.
about a half hour after the show was over, the crowd was still buzzing and screaming outside the stadium, much like it was during my first Paramore concert in Singapore earlier this year.
and that’s when you know you’ve had a really good rock show.
Fire cracker: Paramore’s lead vocalist, Hayley Williams, performing during the band’s concert in the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Tuesday.