First of all, let me start by saying that ALL of Paramore tracks sound superb live – make that the highest of superbness.
Since I’m still having massive difficulty overcoming my depression & post-trauma of missing Paramore’s concert that was held at my own backyard-country because I was away at sea (especially after noticing that it looked better & had a longer track list compared to their Singapore gig), I thought it was appropriate to vent out a self-serving pointless (or it may be un-pointless, depending on what & who) Top Ten list of Paramore records that must be heard live. & mind you this list is force-ranked – in case you are clueless, Paramore are phenomenal live, & Hayley – exceptional. But what fun would redundantly listing all their songs be, let me try to squeeze ten out & see how it looks. So here goes.
1. Let The Flames Begin
As if the original song wasn’t already aggressive enough, the live version has the most ridiculously amazing intro & outro. With Josh & Taylor grinding the guitars before Zac hammers his drums for the intro, to Hayley going berserk in the “Father, I am ready” outro, this song could not have been more appropriately titled. This, live, brings you to a whole different dimension. Extraordinary, insane stuff.
2. My Heart
This is the ultimate live acoustic song for true fans that were there from album one – we know it, & we know who we are. When Hayley sings her heart out to us with just acoustic guitars accompanying her, I feel the sincerity & the exclusiveness, something only loyal fans since the early days of their journey (when Hayley still had no make-up but looked ever so sweet, & Josh was still using a Yamaha APX) can relate to. Yup, in other words, harsh as it is, it always sounds like Hayley is not singing to those Post-Twilight fans. Oh, going live means sans the studio screaming is an extra bonus.
3. Brick By Boring Brick
Messy, confusing lyrics & melodies but with power-packed fun layered with some of the most interesting riffs, it’s an extra bonus to see & join Hayley & co to the “bada ba bada ba bada bada ba ba bada ba ba”s, ending with the bang-est of all “ba”!
4. The Only Exception
This song grew on me really really slow, I’d be honest. But in Singapore, this song brought me close to nirvana proportions. The perfect “darken-the-stadium-light-up-your-handphone-and-sneak-a-kiss-on-your-loved-ones” song, this is one live track any fan & non-fan can sing along to. I mean, the chorus lyrics do not get any easier than this. &, it just shows that Hayley does not need to reach for the peak of her vocals all the time to be just as mesmerizing (just like her show-stealing feature in “Airplanes”).
5. Misery Business
I love the lyrics, I love the energy, & I love the adrenaline rush of this, even more live! It’s the track that really got them off anyway, so it would be a sin to not include it here.
This is strangely a little understated rock-wise, & it takes a little time to grow on you, but the bridge is too catchy. Once Hayley starts with the “Let’s see those rock horns!”…euphoria. Goes really well pure acoustic too.
7. When It Rains
This is another track that was just waiting to be done acoustic live. My favourite was one they did at an open park stage, with light-blue-top Hayley on keyboards, Josh on acoustic guitar, with back-up from Jeremy & Taylor halfway. Hayley sang perfectly, & when the video cut to some shots of the couples in the crowd kissing & hugging each other, this became a real classic to me.
This is pure classic mainstream rock from the very beginnings of Paramore. Heavy enough for the masses, yet brilliant when done amateur acoustic (clue: watch back the video where they recorded just by the street of passing cars)
9. For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
Probably the track that offers the most catchy melody & chord progressions, & hearing all those delivered live the way Paramore does it is just sublime.
10. That’s What You Get
The last to go into the Top 10 was a hard choice, it was between “All I Wanted”, “Careful” & this. But “That’s What You Get” remains one of the best tracks ever recorded from Paramore & is my all-time favourite. You’re gonna have a riot (or hard time) jumping to the majority of the syncopated rhythm, but the chorus & bridge just screams for a sing-along don’t they?
Okay, I had hoped doing this would make me feel better.