Review Summary: The most over the top live release from a rock group ever
Paramore may well be one of the most widely discussed pop-rock bands in recent history. Some consider them to be the finest thing since sliced bread, whilst others consider them to be the most depressing artist in living memory. They have released three studio albums to date, achieved massive success, and, in November 2008, they released their 15-track masterpiece, the live album The Final Riot. In my mind, this is their finest accomplishment to date, and leaves everything else the band has released steamrollered by the sheer power it holds.
To begin with, Hayley Williams is absolutely flawless on this album. There are no audible cracks to her voice at all, and she delivers each song with more energy and conviction than the thousands of imitators she has spawned over the years the band has been active, once again proving why Paramore are one of the fore runners in the current rock scene. Her vocals on this live album are some of the finest live vocals I have heard, and contain so much emotion and power behind them that it truly is nearly impossible to take in upon first listen.
Every song on this release is performed perfectly, with all of the bands biggest songs such as Crushcrushcrush and Misery Business being perfectly realized and could almost have been written exclusively for the live environment, with how well they integrate the music with the crowd. In particular, Crushcrushcrush combines Hayley's beautiful voice and extremely emotional lyrics with the crowd singing the song at the same time, which gives the most incredible sound that could have possibly been achieved. This is how a live album should sound, with both the artist and the audience collaborating throughout, working together to make the most amazing recording possible.
That's What You Get is one of the more obvious choices for this release, being one of the bands most popular songs, and contains equal amounts of crowd interaction as CrushCrushCrush, and the best vocal performance from Hayley throughout the release. She truly does sound utterly divine on this song, with the most melodic performance throughout the album, and handling both the softer sections and the rock parts to the song with the amount of energy that is expected from her. This is something truly monumental, an unprecedented amount of power behind a live album, something even Wolves In The Throne Room never accomplished with their fantastic live effort.
This is undoubtedly my favorite live album ever recorded, for the simple fact that it takes both the music recorded for their albums and the crowd, and integrates them both seamlessly, to create one utterly mind blowing release, that merits a listen from anyone interested in how a live environment should be handled by a rock group. The music itself is by no means flawless, with Paramore never having been quite the most proficient rock group, but the energy behind Hayley's voice more than makes up for this. 4/5