A Love Letter To Live Music


Paramore // Colston Hall [now Bristol Beacon], Bristol, 2017 – Naomi Curston

It is a rainbow kaleidoscope of melancholy and triumph and sweat. Outside, 30-degree heat roasts the city, but crammed up against the stage, jumping up and down as one monstrous creature, it is hotter. Make-up streams and t-shirts stick as hundreds of feet slam into the floor, over and over. Plastic cups crunch underfoot; long-loved lyrics are ripped from sore, screaming throats. When we come up for air, people pass plastic cups backwards into the crowd, taking a gulp then passing to friends and strangers alike. Girls at the front are messing around with security, and get icy water emptied over them. 

Hayley and Zac light up during ‘Scooby’s in the Back’; ingrained forever is the feeling of yelling the words to ‘Fake Happy’ at the top of our lungs—a cathartic, frenzied ode to every lie, every “I’m fine” that, just in that moment, is the cure for everything. 

The lights swing from neon pink and blue, to stripped-back grey. The world isn’t real. The people you adored from the backs of your CDs are feet away; within hours they will be just a memory. But for now, this night is all-encompassing—sweeping you away until the very last note.


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