Paramore – Cardiff Arena – 15th April 2023

Written by Cameron Miller

The former pop-punk powerhouse, Paramore, are back and better than ever.

After a hiatus that lasted four years, the trio took to stage at a sold out Cardiff International Arena last night with a setlist that spanned three separate decades. 

Supported by British Indie Pop royalty, Bloc Party, with Daniel Pugsley of Skindred stepping in to play bass. The band received an overwhelmingly warm reception and put on a great show. Both “Ratchet” and “Banquet” seemed to ignite a highly enthusiastic crowd. What seemed like an odd choice when I first saw the bill certainly made a lot more sense live. Paramore themselves have shown you’re never too big to be a support act – having recently opened for Taylor Swift on numerous dates in the US.

Paramore dived into what felt like a ‘Greatest Hits’ playlist, treating the crowd to what may have been the first ever live performance of “All I Wanted” on British soil. As well as bringing back “The Only Exception”, which went platinum in the UK, but found it’s way out of Paramore’s setlist in their more recent shows before their extended hiatus. 

With a setlist that changes every night, Cardiff were lucky enough to get “The News” and “Running Out Of Time” from Paramore’s latest release. As well as classics like “Still Into You”, “Ain’t It Fun” and “Misery Business”. 

A huge plus point was the medleys in the show, bleeding Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” into “Hard Times” felt slick and original. The same could be said of blending Whitney’s classic “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” into “Rose Coloured Boy”.

Zac Farro took to vocals to display his solo release, “Baby”, as Hayley Williams played guitar and backing vocals. 

It was great to see a band so many years into their careers having so much fun on stage. Hayley Williams seemed to be enjoying herself just as much, if not more, than everybody in attendance. 

Given the recent coverage on lack of diversity in British festival lineups, I have to say it’s somewhat disappointing Paramore weren’t booked for Reading and Leeds. 

Having co-headlined in 2014, the band have since gone from strength to strength – having moved away from their original pop punk sound and more into a pop-rock outfit of late. It would have been a fantastic addition to the lineup, so here’s to hoping we see them get the festival slot they deserve in 2024!