This month has been extremely eventful and unexpected in many ways. One of them was seeing Paramore at The Royal Albert Hall. After their London show sold out in under a minute I had pretty much written off the dream of being able to see them one last time before they sold out arenas again with a tour supporting their new record.
It's a strange feeling witnessing the transformation of one of your favorite bands from appealing to an alternative subculture audience into being Grammy-winning mega stars. The critically acclaimed 'After Laughter' is also a testament to their departure from their previous sound and I am still coming to terms with the fact that they are moving on. This is definitely on me, not on them, but it's such a radical cut of their ties to the past and I am a very nostalgic person. It will still take me some time to process the feelings I have towards the album and towards the reality that there won't be another album in the style of 'Brand New Eyes' or even their self-titled album, which had already pushed the boundaries quite a bit.
While new songs such as 'Rose-Colored Boy' or 'Fake Happy' are dramatically extended and gain in dimension when played live like at tonight's show at the sold out epic venue it feels like a different audience than on their last Euro tour in 2013. People are - strangely - happier and look more diverse and confident. All songs off 'After Laughter' are already perfectly learned by heart and gain the same bursts of screaming applause than Paramore classics like 'That's What You Get' and 'Decode'. While the band pay hommage to their third and fourth records with 'Turn It off', 'Playing God' and 'Hate To See Your Heart Break' it's definitely introducing the crowd to a new kind of Paramore show, with 80s vibes and dance elements as they cover Fleetwood Mac's 'Everywhere' to perfection with Hayley's vocals and play Halfnoise's 'Scooby's In The Back' with Zach Farro on the mic.
The one thing that hasn't changed is Hayley's incredible vocal performance and her unique, playful stage presence and the band's impeccable unison as they create a new kind of Paramore that has the potential to transcend limits such as genre and band membership, as they have proven most evidently with their latest record. It's something bigger than any of us at the show tonight, something Hayley implies while talking to the crowd in between songs and that we all can feel. With me not being a Londoner what she says strongly resonates with me. What a lucky coincidence that we are all here tonight, just because at some point some song that they made spoke to us and this tiny part of their art is what all unites us tonight.