Para-Thrilla in Manila with Paramore LIVE!
By Jhoanne Mariano
Edited by Jamie Ortega
Photos by Kris Rocha
Last February 15, Paramore performed “Para-thrilla in Manila 2” at the Mall of Asia Arena. The arena was overflowing with fans of all ages ready to rock and dance with the band. mewithoutYou, an American rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, kicked off the night for Paramore and they were warmly welcomed by the fans. After mewithoutYou's set, Paramore fans simply couldn’t hide their excitement as they screamed and clapped while thestage was being prepared for the night’s main act The pandemonium hit a heady frenzy by 9 o’clockwhen the MOA Arena went pitch black and the crowd became a sea of lights and screaming fans.
A blast of lightfilled the stage as they performed their latest single and the night’s opening salvo, “Now.” It seemed as if the song was tattooed on every fan’s mind as they rocked along toHayley. “That’s What You Get,” from their Riot! album, made the fans even more pumped increasing the energy of an already frenzied atmosphere. Like Hayley’s energy on stage, the crowd sang all of the band’s song back at them with all their might.
It’s been almost 3 years since the first Para Thrilla in Manila whichoccurred at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds and a lot of things have happened since then. To start with they were still a band of five (Josh and Zac Farro left the band a few months after their first show) and Hayley reminisced about that change onstage.“The last two years were hard. We’ve been through a lot but we made it through…” she shared. Judging by the way they lit up the stage that night with only 3 people left – Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York, the magic of Paramoe lives on.
“Hello Manila! It’s been a pretty long time, right? It’s good to be back. Just in case you didn’t know…”We Are Paramore!" was Hayley's opening greeting for the night as the crowd mimicked the too-familiar signature phrase. From then on the band played song after song:“Born for This” and “For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic” both from their Riot! album, “Decode” from the Twilight OST, “Renegade” which is the first song released off the Singles Club, followed by “Pressure” from All We Know is Falling album, and “Careful” from Brand New Eyes album.
Towards the middle of the concert Hayley took it down a notch by playing slower tunes. “Can Taylor and I play a song for you?” asked the beautiful front-woman as she sat down alongside Taylor with his acoustic guitar. She then explained the song that they will be playing revealing that it was from their latest album the Singles Club. The arena’s atmosphere was bathed in a mellow light as they also played “In the Mourning” followed by “The Only Exception” from their Brand New Eyes album. The mood shift was so magical that the crowd instantly became a sea of stars swaying gently while singing along with Hayley.
After the mellow hits, the stage exploded with bright red lights which made it seem like the stage was on fire, a perfect background to their next song Let the Flames Begin.” Hayley then requested the crowd to raise their hands up high and snap their fingers to the beat of the drums for “Fences.” It was then followed by “Looking Up,” “Ignorance” and “Monster.”
Many things have been said about Hayley but if there is one thing that remains true about the singer it is the solid appreciation she has for her band’s fans at one point that night she shared that appreciation by saying that she could not thank her Filipino fans enough for sticking with them for the past years, “The last few years, we’ve been through a lot. It was hard and we made it through. We’re here. Honestly, I can say for sure, we’ve never been so grateful. It was you guys that encouraged us online, through letters, and pictures. You made us feel like we were so close to you even when we were back home. Thank you so much. It means the world to be up here.” Her words were then followed by “Brick by Boring Brick” their last song before saying goodbye.
But the fans wouldn’t let them go without an encore. After several minutes of chanting, Paramore was back on stage for their encore set-in true Hayley fashion she playfully said, “Tricked you!” letting the fans know that they wanted to play more songs for tonight. They then performed “Hello Cold World” while giving flying kisses to the audience. Before performing their last song, Hayley shared one important lesson, a piece of advice the band’s fans will forever keep in their hearts and her minds. “You’re important. Don’t let anyone feel like you’re not important. Don’t forget that.” Hayley advised, her delivery depicting that she meant every single word.But just when the fans thought they’ve had their fill of their favorite band Paramore had one more thing up their sleeve. While performing “Misery Business” their very last song of the night, Hayley announced during the bridge that she would be picking one lucky fan to rock out on stage with her, and that one lucky fan turned out to be a named Vanessa. “Manila, are you still gonna be here next time we see you?” said Hayley hinting and apparently hoping to have a third Para-thrilla in Manila. It was one rocking concert indeed.
For more concert photos, visit: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151729736808032
Special thanks to Ovation Productions and Music Management International.
Paramore performing The Only Exception from their 2013 Manila Concert: