Paramore @ Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 22 June

Live Review by Harry Harris | 26 Jun 2017

Pop punk is a genre so synoymous with being a teenager. Looking around the packed Usher Hall, 10 years after Paramore made their mark on the scene with their second album RIOT!, it feels as if this audience rely on this band when they need them most. Weird kids, queer kids, groups of girls, groups of guys, old parents, first-timers, Pride flags, Saltires – there's a mood of celebration in the room even before the band, all seven of them, took to the stage. 

Launching with Told You So, from their dizzyingly addictive new record After Laughter, that mood continues. Hayley Williams – who by this point must be considered alongside rock and roll's greatest band leaders, the range, clarity and feeling of her voice matched by her joyous energy – leaps around the stage gleefully, hoisting her microphone stand and whipping the cable like a ringmaster, knowing exactly when to hit the big notes and exactly when to work with the crowd. 

It is an absolute masterclass in performance, with the band dipping into their back catalogue for crowd pleasers like That's What You Get and Hate To See Your Heart Break, as well as clearly having fun with the new material – Forgiveness and Hard Times are particular highlights. A perfectly executed cover of Fleetwood Mac's Everywhere strengthens the link between this new, seasoned Paramore, and that era of lush, classic rock – After Laughter's tracks do not feel even a little bit overshadowed. 

There's been a lot of talk about gigs as safe spaces in the past few years, and that's what tonight's show feels like, a total respite from the rest of the world. Hayley speaks passionately about the connection the band have with their fans, and when she continues the tradition of bringing one up on stage for the still-pretty-perfect Misery Business, along with Lauren Mayberry from CHVRCHES who also happened to be kicking around, it was hard not to be moved. Paramore are a band who mean so much to their fans, and it is plainly obvious that the feeling is mutual.