One of my favourite things to do is discover new music. Sometimes it’s through the radio (idobi radio, to be precise), but some of my favourite bands were discovered when I saw them open for another band. That’s how I started listening to You Me At Six, and it was also how I stumbled upon the magical entity that is Paradise Fears.
Since that first time I saw them open for The Ready Set in 2011, I’ve seen them twice a year (once in February, then again in August) for three years straight, making it a total of seven shows (some as opening bands, some as headliners). For the first time this year, they didn’t swing by Toronto in either February OR August, and it’s actually making me feel a little stressed out.
Fun fact: the first concert Jane and I attended together was Paradise Fears last August. She agreed to come because William Beckett was the opening band, but she ended up really liking them (you’re welcome, Jane!).
Quite simply, I love these guys. They’re great. They’re all very talented and they always look like they’re having fun on stage. They’re also some of the sweetest dudes you’ll meet, taking the time to meet every fan who stays after every show.
One of the amazing things about Paradise Fears is that they really get the whole “being in your twenties is confusing” thing. It helps that they’re all close to my own age, but their lyrics feel wiser than anything I’ve written. A lot of their songs are about living in the moment, believing in yourself, taking chances, making mistakes, and ultimately knowing that one day you’ll look back on your youth and thing - as they put it - “Oh my God, what a life I’ve had”.
While I love all their songs - both the originals and their many covers - my absolute favourite part of any PF live show is “Sanctuary”. After seven times, I’ve managed to memorize lead singer Sam Miller’s speech, and I proudly chant it along with the rest of the audience. It might seem cheesy or sentimental and maybe you’re judging me for it a little bit, but something special happens in those few minutes: a sense of community, of belonging, of feeling like you’re not alone, even if you don’t know anyone else around you.
So, what are you waiting for? Why aren't you listening to them yet?