PARAMORE founders Hayley Williams and Zac Farro were joined by Taylor York on stage at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on January 11 to kick start their latest tour named Tour Three.

Arenas are nothing new for Paramore, yet their set remained fairly no frills, focused on artsy projections and Williams’s sparky moves – when she demanded, “Hit me with lightning” on latest single 'Hard Times', she jittered as if a current was coursing through her tattooed legs.

With the emphasis on musicianship, Paramore have retained Nashville’s integrity and professionalism, and switched easily between the cathartic aggression of 2008’s I Caught Myself (from the soundtrack of Twilight) and the lilting pop reggae of After Laughter’s Caught in the Middle.

Singing songs that she wrote during her teenage years, Williams, you suspect, may find this transition harder.

When she introduced their flagship song, 2007’s Misery Business, she acknowledged that it was “probably the reason that we met most of you in this room”. 

Whether she’s roaring old songs or bouncing through newer material, Williams is as much of a star as the likes of Ariana Grande and Katy Perry, and commands an enormous influence over a fanbase that After Laughter’s sophisticated sound only expanded.

But unlike her relentlessly cheery pop peers, she never offers between-song salvos about empowerment or optimism, understanding that the sentiment would jar against lyrics such as I Told You So’s “For all I know, the best is over and the worst is yet to come”.

Far from emo’s wallowing, Williams’s honesty about life’s setbacks is refreshing, and kind to an audience trying to figure out their place in unpredictable times. Things may not get better, Williams suggests, but giving each other room to grow, as Paramore have done so admirably, is a start.