Gig Review | Paramore | OVO Hydro | 17.4.23

I’m not sure I can honestly do this gig justice by putting into words how amazing this gig was – you had to be there! Many pop-punk rockers, emo’s and even new fans were not disappointed as Paramore took to the Ovo Hydro stage last Monday! It’s been a while since the band’s last visit to Scotland and after 5 years it was evident that this sold-out gig was truly worth the wait. 

Supporting the American power pop rockers were fellow rockers Bloc Party – and a party they did start as they did an outstanding job opening for Paramore. The England-based indie rockers who are well known for their chart hits ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Flux’ got the crowd warmed up with their 10-song setlist introducing us to their new song ‘High Life’. 

 It was great to see Bloc Party back on the scene and given their success in the early 00s it’ll be exciting to see where they go next! 

An electric atmosphere filled Glasgow’s largest indoor arena for the ‘This Is Why’ tour. The buzz filled the place with anticipation as the lights dimmed and a spoken word was played by no other than the lead singer, Hayley Williams.

As it continued to build, the crowd welcomed the band on stage as they opened with ‘You First’ taken from their sixth studio album ‘This Is Why’, as Willams’ strutted her stuff with her mesmerizing and vibrant dance moves to go so well with her sensational personality and bright orange iconic hairstyle. Hayley Williams spoke into the mic with such gratitude, “This is one of our favourite cities in the world to play – it’s been too long.”

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With a lot of new material included in their setlist, they still covered popular well-known hits from their other albums including ‘That’s What You Get’ taken from their second studio album, ‘Riot’. 

 You could tell that it was a mixed crowed with old fans and new fans as Hayley welcomed them to the Paramore family, reminding us that no matter our circumstances, the power of music gives us that one thing in common as she said:

 “How did we get here…we’ve been through a lot since we were last here. It’s been 5 years, and that’s a lot of life to happen to all of us, wherever you’ve come from, whatever you’ve gone through, you are in the right place. This is a safe haven. Inside these walls…these are your family.” 

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It was appropriate to then go into ‘Running Out of Time’ as it’s based on the habit that most of us will experience at some point in our lives where we give ourselves a hard time for not meeting our own personal goals on time.

Bursting into the upbeat, pop-power song ‘Hard Times’ you can see how creative this band get from their stage presence, personalities shining through their dynamic vocals, powerful meaningful songs and how they ended this hit song from 2017 with a new spin by adding the legendary Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ as the outro. 

That wasn’t the only cover we got that night as Hayley covered her own solo material singing ‘Crystal Clear’ which delighted devoted Williams fans, and we also got a cover of ‘Baby’ by HalfNoise which is the musical project of Paramore’s drummer Zac Farro.

This was followed by the final cover of the evening which was an extremely pure and stunning moment.  Willams appeared on her own, centre stage with an acoustic in hand, and shared vulnerably with us: 

 “I’m terrified of singing without the band…but in a way, I tell myself this is self-serenade…This is actually Zac’s (drummer) favourite song but I’m gonna do it a little differently” as she took her creative spin on former Scottish pop band, Orange Juice as William’s played a beautiful slowed-down acoustic version of ‘Rip It Up’. This was such a raw and real moment, no matter where you sat or stood in that venue this felt like it was up close and personal for every single person.

A moment towards the end, Hayley of course knows no introduction but got the crowd ramped up introducing us to who Paramore are! We were blown away by Brian Robert Jones as Hayley introduced him as the newest member of the band on guitar. Also on guitar and featured also in HalfNoise was Logan MacKenzie. Then we met percussionist Jon Howard, bassist Joey Howard, and of-course guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro. 

 CC: Instagram @zacharygray

Finally the little but fierce power woman “I’m Hayley, Ms Williams if you’re nasty” – as hearts throbbed for the outstanding performer of the night! 

Now it wouldn’t be a Paramore gig without hearing the hit that is ‘Misery Business’ where one lucky fan was picked to join in the last part – what a memory! (Check out our clip on our Facebook and Instagram).

My personal highlight of the night was the two songs that followed before the encore which were ‘Last Hope’ and ‘All I Wanted’. 

 For anyone who has followed Paramore since 2004 and has attended their gigs throughout their journey being able to finally hear ‘All I Wanted’ as a live debut was a spine-tingling, and goose bumps moment. Hayley hit every note with our power ballad vocals and sounded phenomenal live throughout.

This night was “unbelievable” as Hayley said into the mic during the encore of ‘The Only Exception’ and one of their latest releases, ‘This Is Why’ as she concluded by sharing: 

 “Words won’t describe this, how people have found us, but it is because of music, the connection of music. The last 29 years or so is just the beginning we’ve got so much more for you and we wanna know you for so much longer. We love you Scotland.” 

And I think it’s safe for me to say, Paramore, Scotland loves you. 

CC: Instagram @zacharygray