Take a perfect Melbourne summer’s evening – blue skies, sun shining and let a crowd of music loving punters into the open field of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Throw in a couple of bands, along the likes of Twenty One Pilots, You Me at Six and a little(!) band called Paramore and you get a brilliant night of entertainment.
The cheery sounds of Twenty One Pilots with all of their self-acknowledged weirdness delighted opened with ‘Migraine’, and the ukulele made its first appearance with ‘House of Gold’. Meeting their required obligations as a support act, the crowd was put through its paces with some cheer rehearsal, giving things a trial in ‘Car Radio’.
In case the energy levels weren’t already raised, instruments and equipment became props for leaps and bounds across the stage before what seemed like just another display of a dual drumming routine quickly took a different turn, becoming more of a drumming duel in ‘Guns for Hands’, highly entertaining stuff!
Although still early in the evening, the crowd continued to grow as You Me at Six appeared to cheers and screams near the stage accompanying ‘Reckless’, the sound travelling all the way back to the lawns. More rock and more volume with ‘Loverboy’ led to a gracious greeting, with no fear of working everyone into a more committed contribution to ‘Liquid Confidence’, passing off the first attempt as a little sub-par.
The interwebs helped in discovering a little music from You Me at Six a while ago, and they don’t disappoint live, enthusiastically getting everyone involved, including an open invitation to get out of seats for a dance to ‘Lived a Lie’.
That shining sun may have prevented holding phones in the air for any great effect, but a little crowd inspiration resulted in a request to remove an item of clothing. At face value, a little provocative for the time of the evening but it was all with good intent – swinging above heads along to ‘Underdog’. Next to seeing bubble wands used in a crowd, this was definitely up there with unique audience participation experiences.
Anticipation continued to build and the roar of the crowd at the front of the stage gushed back over the lawn, drums kicked in and Hayley Williams arrived on stage as a non-stop rocket of energy opening with ‘Grow Up’. The first shout out to the city was met with more raucous cheers.
We were warned earlier about the participation requests earlier, and they were received enthusiastically in time for ‘That’s What You Get’, the crowd rivalling the stage in volume.
The pace may have slowed a little for ‘Decode’, but there was no faltering in impassioned sing-alongs and drums providing a simple invitation for claps along to ‘Daydreaming’. A simple guitar bagged everyone’s attention for ‘When it Rains’, while the significance and sentiment of ‘Last Hope’ as a turning point was conveyed with a stirring delivery, igniting even more fire into an already enthusiastic group of fans for ‘Brick by Boring Brick’.
Rest was unwarranted, with the invitation of willing but not necessarily able dancers to share their moves for a mere three minutes of ‘Crushcrushcrush’, extending even to those in seats (and hopefully it worked).
There were lights, lasers, bounds of energy, and then there was the ukulele. Yes, ukulele – guitar of the smaller variety that brings unsurpassed joy with every strum – making another appearance as the instrument of choice for three Paramore interludes, conducted from stage right, stage left and centre stage basked by a mere spotlight for ‘I’m not Lonely Anymore’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘Moving On’ during the encore.
More poignant moments ensued in pursuit of light during dark times with ‘In the Morning’ with a snippet of ‘Landslide’ (who would have thought you’d hear a bit of Fleetwood Mac at a Paramore gig?) but a wish come true and possibly the coolest birthday present ever for a lucky fan who joined the band on stage for ‘Misery Business’.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without the title track from the tour, and so the show closed with ‘Still Into You’. Not too bad for playing in the ‘tin shed’ as affectionately named by You Me at Six earlier on!