Published in The Music (WA) | 22.01.14 | Issue # 22
PARAMORE, YOU ME AT SIX, TWENTY ONE PILOTS
For the last show of their first Australian tour, two-piece key and drum outfit Twenty One Pilots introduced themselves with a confusing mash of sampled drums, rap, ballads and acrobatics. If you allow yourself to forget about the standard conventions of music, Twenty One Pilots may just teach you a thing or two.
Deafening screams from the audience, synchronised jumping, pitch-perfect vocals, a clean yet careless aesthetic, fake mid-song chuckles, You Me At Six were the definition of pop punk – the kind where the lyrical content disagrees with the tone of the music. Uplifting melodies and music supporting lyrics about losing the girl or not quite getting the girl or missing a girl. Deciphering the emotion of the audience was a little easier, though, as no fan was left unpleased.
A curtain onstage fell to reveal a uniquely chaotic light show, before Paramore’s Grow Up kicked in. Backed by drummer Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, The Almost) trying to give himself a concussion and destroy his kit, three guitarists and gritty bass, vocalist Hayley Williams did her best to put the punk in pop punk with a voice and stage presence that didn’t falter once. If anyone can justify a wireless microphone, it’s Williams. Blood hurdling screams of “I love you, Hayley!!” bled into her microphone, as crowd favourite That’s What You Get incited a sea of jumping.
When It Rains saw Williams sit down in front of a keyboard, but her playing wasn’t as impressive as her vocals and seemed a gimmick more than anything – especially considering. The intimate set break wasn’t as impressive as the one on their last Australian headline tour where they had a couch lugged into the middle of the stage, but it broke things up nicely and allowed Williams to express her gratitude to Australian fans for helping their latest self titled record go Gold and its lead single, Still Into You, go double platinum.
With brief ukulele interludes every six or so songs and a church choir joining on stage for Ain’t It Fun, there was little room for the band to take a second to breathe – even guitarist Taylor York who was hopping between his guitar pedals and nearby drum kit with a sprained ankle.
A bra made its way onto the stage and Williams draped it over her head before saying, “How do I looks?” she laughed. “This is way to big for me.” When it looked like they were almost done, a fan that had been following the band around on tour was pulled onto stage to run around and sing.
A disappointing turnout, although perhaps only by contrast to the size of the venue, Paramore weren’t focusing on the empty seats, rather the voices of fans washing over them. An hour and a half from one of pop punks best, rounded out with Still Into You, featuring balloons falling from the sky and confetti being sprayed everywhere, and it was clear Perth was still into Paramore.