Friday, 30 June 2017

Paramore (+ Bleached) @ Colston Hall, Bristol | 21.06.17

image via wreckmybrain

Once I turned eleven, I turned emo. I had discovered alternative rock instead of complacently listening to whatever pop was on the radio, and began the journey to become who I am now. Growing up, I was raised around classic rock. But I never really found my footing with the rock music forming around me. I became an avid fan of Green Day in 2004 through American Idiot, but it wasn’t until my cousin blew my mind by making me watch the music channel Scuzz with him in 2007. Through that channel I found Paramore, which threw me on the path of wanting to become Riot! era Hayley Williams.

I took me ten years – ten years – to finally see Paramore live. There were moments throughout those ten years that I had opportunities to see them, but alas I was lacking income from a job and could only rely so much on pocket money. That’s the perk of becoming an adult, kids. You don’t need to ask to go to a gig, you can just go … providing you have enough money from said job. And that’s what I did. I made my way up to the Colston Hall in Bristol on the hottest day of the year (35°c is not the sort of temperature you want to go to a gig in) with my best friend and her boyfriend; both equally – if not more – obsessed with Paramore than I was. 

Paramore -- image via Lindsey Byrnes

It was an extremely surreal experience. It wasn’t until Bleached finished their opening set that it dawned on me that I was actually seeing Paramore. The eleven-year-old inside my head lit up and I lost it. Admittedly, I hadn’t listened to After Laughter as much as I would have liked to – but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the songs from their newest record. If anything, it ruined listening to the studio recording due to how good Paramore performed it live. 

I don’t know what it is; whether it’s the energy that Paramore execute on stage or the way they and the crowd interact with each other; seeing them perform their music live is an experience I’ll never forget. Especially with a band that was more a part of my past rather than a current obsession. It’s safe to say that this gig rekindled my love for them, and made me yearn for my emo days; the days where I discovered bands like Foo Fighters and Paramore. I wish I could go back in time to eleven-year-old me and tell myself that I would see all these bands from 16 onwards – I could have done with knowing that rather than nearly crying every time my bands came to perform in the UK and I couldn’t go.

Freely going to gigs on my own accord is also broadening my musicscape through opening acts. I’ve been lucky enough that most of the gigs I’ve been to, the opening acts are bands that I have been wanting to see for years -- i.e. Noel Gallagher at The Who (I cried so hard, man) and Royal Blood & Iggy Pop at Foo Fighters. On the rare occasion, I become a new fan of bands that I’ve never heard of. Case in point, Bleached. Bleached have been opening for Paramore throughout Tour One (Europe), and Best Coast will be supporting them for Tour Two (North America) – a band that I am also dying to see. 

I wasn’t expecting much from Bleached. I’ve been to two gigs this year that had three support bands each, none of them blowing me away apart from Vant at a You Me at Six gig. Only a minute into their first song ‘Waiting by the Telephone’, I was sold. Their cover of Nivrana’s ‘Territorial Pissings’ near the end of their set sealed the deal for me entirely. Bleached are part of a genre that I’d only just begun discovering a few years ago – the alternative/garage/lo-fi scene in California, following the same patterns as Wavves, Best Coast, FIDLAR and Thee Oh Sees. All you have to do is listen to Vinewood Boulevard Radio on GTA V to get a taster of that genre of music. It’s badass.

I would have been happy with just Bleached by themselves; they did a fantastic job at setting the atmosphere for the crowd who were full of anticipation for Paramore’s eventual arrival. As soon as they took the stage, everyone got out of their seats. The gig was sold out, I only just managed to get tickets for the three of us up in balcony, but that didn’t affect our enjoyment of the gig at all. It was so intimate that being up in balcony felt like being down in standing. Hayley spoke about this mid-way through the gig; seeing familiar faces in the crowd that had been to multiple shows on the tour and how she and the band enjoy the intimate gigs rather than the arena/stadium ones as they are able to share their music closely with their fans.

Bleached -- image via Nicole Anne Robins

Instead of writing a boring, lengthy paragraph of which songs were the highlights of the show, I’ve put the setlists below with annotations beneath them of my favourite performances (the ones with the asterisks), alongside little notes as to why:


1. Waiting by the Telephone ***
[Demonstration of harmonies. Aesthetic – Reminds me of Deap Vally’s new record and Best Coast. Surf/Lo-Fi/Garage rock]
2. Trying to Lose Myself Again *
[Love the drum beat and guitar riff – punk – and the first instrumental break. Reminds me of the sort of music on that GTA V radio station (with Wavves)]
3. Keep on Keepin’ On *
[Has the same sort of vibe. Underlying QOTSA and Brody Dalle vibes]
4. Can You Deal? *
[Trippy to stone to Alt. Rock. Love the lyric/vocal pattern.]
5. Sleepwalking
6. Wednesday Night Melody
7. Turn to Rage
8. Sour Candy
9. Territorial Pissings (Nirvana cover)
10. Dead in Your Head

TBH – All the songs off ‘Welcome to the Worms’ (2016) are my favourite ones:
- Trying to Lose Myself
- Keep On Keepin’ On
- Sleepwalking
- Wednesday Night Melody (Love the opening and closing)
- Sour Candy 
Can You Deal? Is their latest EP. Love the two tracks played (Can You Deal? and Turn to Rage) – so heavy.

Bleached opening for Paramore -- image via wreckmybrain


1. Told You So *
2. That’s What You Get
3. Brick by Boring Brick *
4. Still Into You
5. Caught in the Middle *
[Love the chorus. Vibe and the crowd singing along. Made it sound even bigger than it is on the record]
6. Turn it Off *
[Again, the crowd]
7. Decode
8. I Caught Myself       

[Both Decode & I Caught Myself; didn’t expect them to play these. Both from the Twilight soundtrack.]

9. Hate to See Your Heart Break
10. Fake Happy *
[Dance song! Love the way this song builds – quiet/loud/quiet]
11. Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac cover) *
[Really fits in with the aesthetic/genre of this record. Made my best friend laugh with my dancing lmao]
12. Rose-Coloured Boy *
[The intro chant. Love hearing everyone chanting back.]
13. Playing God *
[One of my favourite songs]
14. Ain’t It Fun
15. Misery Business *
[Chills. My anthem when I was 11. Singing it with them and fans. Also the two girls that were pulled up to sing and play guitar for the guitar solo and last chorus were immense]


16. Forgiveness *
[Like the chill beat of this one]
17. Scooby’s in the Back (HalfNoise cover) *
[LOVE! One of the best songs of 2017 for sure]
18. Hard Times *
[Apparently this is my favourite song of Paramore according to]

All in all, I am so glad I managed to get tickets for this gig. If you can, I implore you to see Paramore live. Especially whilst they are touring After Laughter. It may be a departure from their original sound, but it shows how much the band can adapt, change and evolve through the rock genre while still retaining their spirit and love for music. If it were the other way around and they were still stuck with the sound of Riot!, people would be complaining that they lacked development. There’s no pleasing some people, it seems. Especially in music. 

Visit and for more information and tour dates for both bands. 


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