For three years, I've been told that the biggest Paramore fans in the world are in Jakarta, Indonesia. My Twitter was constantly flooded with messages and mentions (every day for THREE YEARS) from people there who were begging us to come. It never seemed to fit into our touring schedule, and meanwhile, all our friends had played multiple shows in Indonesia and raved about it. We kept bugging our booking agents to make it happen and I guess they eventually got sick of hearing our whiney voices.
We made it official earlier this year when we announced the show in a video update on our website. You would've thought that it rained gold coins or something the way our fans reacted. Around 6,000 people showed up for the ticket pre-sale. What?! If that weren't enough, the promoter of the show decided to put on this big festival in our honor. He was all, "We shall call it Parafest." The idea was for it to feel like a pre-concert concert.
So at this Paramore Festival -- it almost sounds silly! -- they held a battle of the bands, a graffiti art competition as well as other games where you could win meet and greets for our show; they even had musical fireworks! We should talk about these fireworks...
Earlier this summer, I was sitting up late one night when I came across a video from the festival. I had heard that they were going to be having it but wasn't sure when or what it was going to be like. The video had this still image of fireworks in the air before you pressed play so I immediately became a six-year-old at a 4th of July barbecue. I watched the whole thing twice and I cried like a baby the second time. The fireworks were perfectly timed with our song "Careful." What an interesting choice that they picked one of our heavier, darker songs to do the show to! It really hit me hard. The whole time I was watching all I could think about were the things we'd been through last year; how I wished that all five of us could have been watching that fireworks show together, because when we started the band we never believed anything like this could ever happen. Here were these amazing people all the way across the world we'd never met before, and they knew our songs and who we were and they cared. We're blessed.
Now, the three of us have finally taken the stage in Jakarta and witnessed with our own eyes what our Indonesian fans had been telling us all along. The crowd was more passionate and aggressively into it than just about anywhere we've been. A kid came on stage during "Misery Business" and two-stepped with me! He was smiling so big and had his arm around my neck like we were old friends. The way those people made us feel on that stage was beyond comprehension. There was something amazing in the air and it wasn't the weird smell coming from catering.
I couldn't say or type enough about our experience in Jakarta. What I will say is this: it won't be another six years before we go back.
Hayley Williams' Tour Diary Part 1
Hayley Williams' Tour Diary Part 2
Hayley Williams' Tour Diary Part 3