Photos from Paramore’s set at Monumentour.

Something special happened this concert. Though I’ve been listening to Paramore for 9 years (half of my life), this is the first chance I’ve had to see them live. Their music has gotten me through everything - terrible break-ups, the death of friends and my stepfather, family drama, and my own struggle with depression.
I decided to take a chance and buy the disposable camera at the merch stand, in the hopes of getting one of the “golden tickets” to take photos from very very up front during the first 3 songs of their set. And I got it. I was within inches of Hayley Williams, my childhood hero, the woman I looked to for strength and hope whenever things got dark. At one point, she looked straight at me. Straight into my eyes. I reached out, in that split second and shouted, thank you, I love you. And I know she has thousands of people saying that they loves her every day, but when she said it back, I felt validated. Like in the 9 years I had been dancing alone in my room to and crying to and screaming along with their music, she had been there, and she understood. And it felt so good to see her, know she was real, and know that - in some small way - she understood what Paramore’s music has gotten me through.

I leave for my freshman year of college in a month. I am 18. I am about to start a new chapter in my life. And I’m going to bring Hayley and all the members of Paramore with me - listening just as fervently as I did when I was an awkward 9 year old. yelyahwilliams