Tuesday, 21 May 2013

My Story as a Paramour of Paramore

As a topic and portion of my personality that I had always wished to discuss, I deemed tonight an appropriate night to write about my saviour. That of course would be music. But this post is not for every song that has ever helped me, no. It is for the one band I could always rely on to produce a song to match my every emotion; to calm the storm of distress that was continuously stirring within me. The band members – Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis, Taylor York. The band – Paramore.

I was introduced to the music of Paramore towards the end of my first year in secondary school. At this point, Paramore had two albums released, ‘All We Know Is Falling’ and ‘Riot’. Not that this meant anything to me back then. They were just another band that the emo girls in my class listened to. That all changed drastically when I was obliged to open my narrow mind to the world of guitar riffs and heavy drums. All preconceived perceptions I had disintegrated on hearing the melodic, circus-like opening of “Misery Business” on the Riot album. I was dumbstruck. The strength and power of the voice of this woman was impermeable and captivating. I found myself needing to hear more. I bought Riot that night.

A few months later came the release of the first single from the album Brand New Eyes. The intro of “Ignorance” is one that gives me goose bumps to this day. Within hours I was a recluse, spending every waking hour with my newfound idols blaring through my being. Earphones became a permanent resident in my earlobes, maximising my ability to process each note that played so beautifully, over and over. There is no other way to describe it – I was hooked. I had to witness these lyrical masterpieces live. And so I bought tickets to their Brand New Eyes tour date in Dublin, on the 6th November 2010. I was ecstatic. That was until I found out the morning of the show that I would not be able to attend. I was at a soccer tournament that weekend and although we were staying a mere hour away from Dublin, my managers refused to allow me to leave. I was inconsolable. How could they be so heartless and ignorant to my childhood dreams of seeing my heroes?

I was in 3rd year of school at the time and had been going through a rather tough period, with bullying and isolation taking centre stage. In a bid to prevent any further anguish, my mom promised she would take me to Manchester a few weeks later to see them. MANCHESTER?! Did she really just say that? I continued to cry hysterically as I was unable to control so many emotions at the one time.

My poster. Why did I photograph one side?  I don't know.

Before I could say “For a Pessimist I’m Pretty Optimistic” I was at the front barrier of the MEN Arena, anticipating the arrival of Paramore. Throughout the show I sang, I screamed, I cried, I gave a poster to Hayley, I cried, I got mushed up against the barrier, and I cried. Did I mention I cried? It was the best night of my life. All the worries of my life at home were non-existent for the duration of the show. It’s truly amazing the impact one band can have on a person’s life and I don’t think they even realise it. But that’s just them – completely grounded and humble, and a great example of how far perseverance, hard work and a “spark” can get you.

Paramore have changed thousands upon thousands of peoples’ lives, including my own. At times when not even hope could prevail, Paramore pulled through and saved me. They are my inspiration, my heroes, and the reason I survived the ordeals I went through. Behind closed doors you are alone. No-one can help you but yourself. But I was never alone because the music of this band never failed to impact me. Whether their lyrics made me smile or cry is irrelevant; they always made me feel something, and that is so crucial in times of complete despair. I owe these people so much, perhaps even my life, and they may never know that. Would I still be here without their music? It’s debatable, but I wouldn’t ever take that chance.

In just over four months I will be attending my second Paramore gig, this time in Dublin. Not only that, I will be attending it with my girlfriend who has also been impacted greatly by the music and presence of Paramore in our lives. I have never anticipated September so much in my life.

If I ever got the opportunity to meet Taylor, Hayley or Jeremy I would use that time (provided I didn’t pass out) to let them know how thankful I am for producing such awe-inspiring songs and for staying strong during their toughest hours as a group.

Paramore is not just a name of a band to me anymore. It represents a group of people who have saved my sanity and changed my life completely. For that, I am ever grateful.

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