The Para Thrilla Take Over
The stage, like a boxing ring, was ready for its entertainers to step in and give one heck of a performance. A day after Valentines, everyone was still painting the town red. This time, it was a different kind of celebration: one that both couples and singles would relish.
Almost three years since their debut concert in Manila, it was about time for the Franklin-based group to come back. It was only months since their first concert in the country when the fanswere hit with sad and shocking news – the Farro brothers had departed the band. Fans were left wondering what was next for Paramore. Fast-forward to 2013, the band made it through, and are more excited than ever to conquer the world (again).
The night began when American musicians mewithoutYou officially kicked off the show. According to Paramore’s lead singer, Hayley Williams, mewithoutYou has been a band she has loved since she was a teenager. To have them open for her own band must have been a surreal experience.
The crowd was brimming with so much energy even from the beginning; as the stage was being prepared for Paramore, fans were already screaming in excitement. At 9’o clock, the lights in the MOA Arena went out. The crowd knew, as Hayley would later in the night put it, “It all begins now.”
With the Arena still pitch black, several blue lights pulsated amidst the yelling of the audience. Throughout the night, the lighting complemented the music very well; it ignited and electrified the already hyped up crowd.
There was an explosion of light on stage: Paramore had arrived. Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York were finally back. “Feels like I’m waken from the dead and everyone’s been waiting on me,” Hayley sang. Paramore opened with their recent single, Now. Though very new, it was a song the audience knew quite well.
The beat of the percussion filled the Arena and signaled the next song. The crowd knew the introduction of That’s What You Get all too well.As the song was a favorite, the crowd’s voices echoed as they sang it back to the band.
One of the things that make a Paramore show what it is, is the interaction that Hayley has with the crowd. “Hello Manila! It’s been a pretty long time, right? It’s good to be back. Just in case you didn’t know..” Hayley grinned and then declared, “We. Are. Paramore.” And yes, cue the audience echoing these three words – a sentence they are all too familiar with. There is never a dull moment during a Paramore show what with Hayley’s witty remarks and talkative spirit, the crazy antics between Taylor and Jeremy; and who can forget Jeremy’s signature back flips?
“Can Taylor and I play a song for you?” Hayley asked the crowd as she sat downnear the edge of the stage. Taylor joined her equipped with an acoustic guitar. Before diving into the song, she explained that this next tune was from a set they released called the Singles Club. The atmosphere mellowed down as they played In the Mourning.
Maintaining the tranquil mood, it only made sense that the next song was another acoustic number. The spotlights that focused on Hayley and Taylor dimmed to a blue violet hue. At the first strum of the guitar, the crowd instantly knew that the next song was The Only Exception. From the stage the area where the crowd was looked like a night sky with twinkling stars. It was a magical moment especially as the whole Arena loudly echoed as the crowd sang every word.
There were times during the show when the drums sounded like they overpowered the string instruments. Overall, the sound quality was good.
An explosive performance of the night was during Let the Flames Begin. The red lighting created a fiery ambience. Moving on to the following number, Hayley requested the audience to have their hands up and snap to the beat of the drums. This went on for a while. “Ready for the snapping to end?” she teased before finally leaping to the next song, Fences.
After performing Monster, Hayley took some time to appreciate and thank the fans for all the support throughout the years. “The last few years, we’ve been through a lot. It was hard and we made it through. We’re here. Honestly, I can say for sure, we’ve never been so grateful. It was you guys that encouraged us online, through letters, and pictures. You made us feel like we were so close to you even when we were back home. Thank you so much. It means the world to be up here.”
She let the audience sing most parts of the next song, which was Brick by Boring Brick. It was also during this time where Taylor encountered a technical glitch, and was unable to play the whole song. He adapted quickly to the situation and improvised. Since he couldn’t play the guitar, he resorted to jumping and going around the stage. During the band’s first show last March 9, 2010, Brick by Boring Brick had been their final number. Some might have anticipated that it might have also been the end of the current show. As soon as the band vanished from the stage, the crowd’s screams only got louder and they chanted for more.
Minutes later, the band came running back on stage. Hayley grabbed the microphone and teased the crowd once more, “Tricked you!” She stated that they had not yet wanted to go. And so, they played two more songs. They jump-started their encore numbers with Hello Cold World.
In between numbers, Hayley gave out flying kisses to the crowd. Before the final performance, she gave the fans words of wisdom and encouragement. “You’re important. Don’t let anyone feel like you’re not important. Don’t forget that.”
Paramore ended their 18-song set with the perfect hit, Misery Business. A definite crowd favorite, every one was singing at the top of their lungs as they had an inkling that it would be the last song of the night. An unexpected moment was during the bridge when Hayley announced that she would chose one lucky fan to go up on stage and sing with her. Everyone wanted to be picked to rock out on stage with Paramore, but only one would be chosen. That lucky fan was Vanessa. She was a natural, head banging with the band and owning the stage.
The energy of the band has kicked up a notch since their last show. As Paramore entered the last chorus of Misery Business, every one in the Arena was in their own little ball of energy, soaking up the last thrill of the night.
Paramore Live in Manila 2013 Set list:
That’s What You Get
Born For This
For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
In the Mourning
The Only Exception
Let the Flames Begin
Brick by Boring Brick
Hello Cold World
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