Paramore, Bleachers @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 8/2/2018

Paramore are no strangers to Australian shores, always managing to slot us in on their gigantic world tours. In 2018, they brought New York’s Bleachers along for the ride, on their first ever Australian tour.

Bleachers is the indie rock act of singer/songwriter Jack Antonoff, also of Fun and Steel Train. Along with his band, Antonoff appeared genuinely astounded at the warm reception the people of Melbourne afforded him, as the bars of their first track, Wild Heart, began. Featuring two full drum kits, two guitars, keyboards, bass, and a saxophone, Bleachers have a lot going on at once, and yet their sound remains accessible, fun and all too easy to dance along to. Finishing up on I Wanna Get Better and Don’t Take The Money, here’s hoping Bleachers come back to Australia for their own tour, because the thousands of fans crammed into Rod Laver Arena, were left hungry for more.

Back in town with a new album (the first since 2013’s self titled release), and a brand new look, frontwoman Hayley Williams was channelling her inner Cyndi Lauper as she burst onto stage in a chequered skirt, white boots, and big blonde hair. Back into the fold is original Paramore drummer Zac Farro, who departed in 2010. The band were as tight as they ever were, opening with Hard Times (complete with a slice of Blondie’s Heart Of Glass).

Paramore‘s entire performance is entirely effortless, as one would expect from a band who have been around for so long. Still Into You was an early fan favourite, the song encouraging participation from the few fans up the back who weren’t already singing along. As is tradition, one lucky fan got up on stage to sing Misery Business with the band, before the main set concluded with Ain’t It Fun.

To finish the night off, Farro makes his way out in front of the drums to perform French Class by his side project HalfNoise, giving us a bit of a taste of what he’s been up to while away from the band. Ending on Rose-Coloured Boy, off of Paramore‘s most recent album couldn’t be more fitting. We’ve been on a journey through where they’ve been, and ended on a taste of where they’re going.

Review by Sofie Marsden

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