Emotions ran high when chart-topping American pop-rock band Paramore stepped onto the stage of the SM Mall of Asia Arena last night. First came the screams from the group’s hardcore fans, then came tears of joy as Hayley Williams, Taylor York, Zac Farro, and the rest of the band members ripped into their set.
It took five and a half years for the Grammy Award-winning act from Franklin, Tennesse, USA to return to Manila for their current “Tour Four” concert series. Their last visit here was in 2013 with their Post V-Day concert also held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
It was also in 2015 when the band’s vocalist and primary songwriter Hayley Williams took a hiatus from recording and performing because she was battling depression. More trouble followed as the band’s longtime bassist left the group and took them to court for a share of the royalties (both parties reached a settlement in 2017).
But after weathering the storm of personal and professional challenges, Paramore came back stronger then ever. Last year, they released their ironically titled fifth studio album “After Laughter” to much acclaim.
Paramore’s set list made us feel all the feels.
Last night’s concert showed just how much Paramore has grown since they started out in 2007. The band brought the fans to their feet with their first three songs, the rollicking numbers Grudge, Still Into You, and Rose-Colored Boy. From there, they did a throwback to Riot!, their first studio album from 2007 by playing edgier songs That’s What You Getand crushcrushcrush. Just before the mid-show break, Paramore launched into two songs from their current album, the pop-tinged anthems Fake Laugh and Pool. They also performed Playing God and the hard-rocking Ignorance from their third album, 2009’s Brand New Eyes.
After the break, the band came back with an acoustic set that started with a cover of Drake’s hit Passion Fruit, a song Hayley says “they really like.” Then, the crowd lit up the massive arena with their cellphone flashlights the moment Paramore started playing the stripped-down ballad Misguided Ghosts. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when this heartfelt song came to an end.
Paramore picked up the pace with its next set of songs, the dance floor numbers Caught In The Middle, Idle Worship, Ain’t It Fun, and No Friend. Then, one audience member was invited to the stage to sing along to Misery Business, one of the band’s biggest and earliest hits. How lucky!
For their encore, the band swung into Told You So and a rousing cover of HALFNOISE’s dance hit All That Love Is. Finally, Paramore closed their show with the tropical sounding anthem of survival Hard Times.
The “Tour Four” show is definitely a concert that we Paramore fans will never forget. From their Riot! days to their After Laughter years, they will always be a band that will get through all the Hard Times. Truly, nobody was Fake Happy that night.