Paramore returned to Melbourne for a 3-night show at the Rod Laver Arena to cap off their This is Why tour.
This tour leg is pretty special to me, considering I traveled almost 4000 miles for my first Paramore show after being a fan since middle school. As cliché as it may sound, it was a night loaded with core memories that I'll be taking home with me -- from meeting new people, screaming-singing to the songs that I grew up with, awkward dancing in the pit, to witnessing Paramore with my own eyes doing what they do best.
Even before the show started, everyone in the queue was already in high spirits, both excited and driven to give the band a better and louder crowd on their second night for the Melbourne leg. And let me tell you, we certainly did not disappoint.
Hailing from California, singer-songwriter Remi Wolf was the night's opening act. I deliberately skipped checking out their songs to fully enjoy my first introductions, and I ended up enjoying the 10-song funky pop set that was set up to warm up the crowd for Paramore.
"Grey Area" cued the start of Paramore's set, and thrilled screams overwhelmingly filled the arena as each member entered the stage and took their places. The show kicked off with "You First" and "The News," immediately setting the mood for what the night would bring.
The next couple of songs performed were from their earlier albums, causing a quick nostalgic trip for me and getting snapped back to the reality that I am finally here watching them in the flesh. The feeling of awe transcended from when I first heard their songs years ago, and my appreciation for them just tripled.
Before moving further into the night, Hayley reminded everyone that the arena was their safe space for that night and to give themselves permission to be present in the moment -- and that there is no such thing as bad dancing at a Paramore concert!
The whole arena's energy was evidently through the roof and incredibly sustained as the band played song after song. At some parts, Hayley got speechless with just how loud the crowd was, and it was great to see her all cheered up after some mishaps occurred at the previous night's show.
Night two was even made more special when someone from the crowd proposed to their significant other during "The Only Exception" and got the congratulatory blessing of Hayley and the whole Parafam.
When "Misery Business" rolled in, it was time for Paramore's long-time tradition. This time, Hayley recognized and complimented fan-artist Hannah from the crowd with their sign saying, "41 shows, 30 artworks, 0 Miz Biz." And that was to be remedied as they invited her to sing with them on stage.
As the show came to a close, we were treated to "Thick Skull" right before the encore, which I was honestly hoping that they'd play.
The crowd was screaming for more, prompting the band's return on stage to perform their last two songs for the night, "Still Into You" and " This Is Why." And I may or may not have teared up a little when the first beat dropped for SIY, as it is one of my personal favorites.
By the end of the night, there was one thing that I was so sure of - it was worth crossing the miles for my first Paramore experience. With that, I'm thrilled that despite all they've been through, they've endured it all, and Paramore is now better than ever.