Hayley’s final tour diary entry for PaperMag

Hayley’s last entry for Paper Magazine’s tour diary has been released. Read the original version here.

The End of the Road

Well, we made it to the end of the shortest tour in Paramore history. What a journey it was. I can’t say or type “journey” without hearing the opening of “Don’t Stop Believin'” in my head. Anyhow, I’m happy to have made all the memories we have in such a short time.

The show in Hawaii was one of the most memorable times I’ve ever had on a stage anywhere. Speaking of the stage, it was really small. Much like the ones we played when we began touring seven or so years ago and not unlike the stages on the Warped Tour. From the moment the feedback rang out, I felt like I was floating up out of my body and watching the whole show happen. It was one of those shows that matters in the way that nothing really matters. All the sweat and the aches and pains from every show before are sort of pinned to you like a blue ribbon. It feels so good to let it all go. I mean, it doesn’t look too good — with my mascara running, I looked like a dang red-headed raccon — but even that part feels good. It’s like I said, nothing matters.

Not only did I have a personal connection with the stage and the atmosphere that night but the people in the crowd made the show so intimate, you couldn’t help but feel like you knew every one there. Two people at the barricade even got engaged right smack in the middle of “The Only Exception!” Try and tell me that’s not a tear jerker. At some point during every show, I get to running my mouth about what our fans mean to us and what it means that they are there to watch us. Then I say, “Welcome to our family.” I tell them that once they are in they can’t ever get out but I don’t mean it in a Godfather, creeper sort of way. What I mean is, once we’ve all been there together and experienced music in that way, we are connected. Something takes place when you experience music with other people. It’s a connection you cannot deny and that’s what I try to acknowledge every night no matter how many people we are playing for. It is a very serious honor to play music for anybody at any time. Those of you reading this who are in a band or writing your own music know exactly what I’m talking about and if you don’t.. well, wake up already.

So besides the show and all my gushing about it, we had an amazing time just being in Hawaii for the first time as a band. Most of our time was spent relaxing so hard that I barely remember much of the first day. It was one of the only vacations I’ve ever been on in my adult life. It was really chill until someone decided it’d be a good idea if we all went skydiving the next morning before the show. Sounds like a great and totally responsible decision to you too, right? Taylor was the only one that had ever been before. He was all smiles all the way to this place while the rest of us laughed nervously in the backseat of our rented Jeep. It didn’t help that once we arrived we had to sign all these contracts that said “SKY DIVING IS DANGEROUS, YOU COULD DIE!” I swear. It looked just like that… all caps and shiz. I couldn’t even decide who to put on the emergency phone number list! Needless to say, we are all still alive or else I couldn’t have possibly written this blog.

What I have to say about our experience in the sky is this: You live and die just one time. I don’t know that skydiving is how I’d wanna go… but holy cow am I so happy that I tried it once in my life. The feeling of falling through clouds and the even more satisfying feeling of looking at the ground from 10,000 feet above it is such a humbling thing. I’ve never felt more vulnerable in my life. I’m strapped into this guy and he’s pretty much spooning me on what could be the very last day of my whole life!! But I made it… and I saw the world from an entirely new perspective. When we all hit the ground, you would’ve thought we hadn’t seen each other in years All I remember is running at Jeremy as if I was going to run straight through him. In conclusion, I’ll never do it again but I’m sure glad that I grew a pair. I never thought, as a kid, that I’d grow up and do exactly what I had always dreamed I’d do, experience things that some people never get to do, and what’s more? I get to do all of this with my best friends.

Thank you guys for reading all my ramblings on. Thank you to Paper magazine for giving me the chance to write for them. See you all next year with an album full of brand new songs.

With all the gratefulness I can fit in my tiny bird body,
Hayley Williams of Paramore


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