So July 18th of 2014 was thus far probably one of the best days of my life. I met my longtime heroes: PARAMORE!!! I've waited eight years to meet this band. I'm still getting emotional just thinking about what a beautiful moment this was for me. It has me feeling so incredibly inspired.
So first, they let us all in pretty late. I still almost couldn't believe what was about to happen. Since I was in the middle of the line, they used me ("girl with orange hair") to make a second line. They told us that since Jeremy had just gotten surgery on a hernia that we were absolutely not allowed to touch him and that we had to ask Hayley yes or no questions since she was on vocal rest. Thankfully, everyone still got a good minute with the band. Then shit got real, because Paramore walked out and started waving at all of us. Then, one of the coolest things happened. Hayley looked over at me and pointed to my hair and her hair and gave me a huge thumbs up and was mouthing to me that she liked my hair! Naturally, I was already starting to freak out a little bit.
So since I was at the front of the second line I was able to watch everyone else meet the band. This gave me a little more confidence since I was nervous that I'd be the only person that would be totally star struck (I watched a grown ass man cry yesterday, it was beautiful). After waiting a while and getting more nervous it was finally my turn. I felt like the Barbie from the end of Toy Story 2, it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to stop smiling! I always make eye contact when I talk to people, but when I tried to I just couldn't! I was honestly scared that I would start crying and not be able to stop long enough to say anything!
As I was holding the poster for Taylor to sign I looked down and said, "I'm trying so hard not to cry right now, you guys." And Taylor said, "But if you cry then we all cry and it'll be a huge mess!" So I started laughing. Then I looked up when Hayley began to sign and she looked directly into my eyes and asked me what kind of hair dye I use even though she was on vocal rest! I couldn't believe that Hayley Williams was talking to me, especially about hair dye. Plus, the girl taking pictures totally captured this insane moment.
As Jeremy signed the poster I told Hayley that I used Special Effects and she actually told me that they'd discontinued Napalm Orange, which is the shade I use. I had no idea since I buy a few at a time, but hey, maybe that's why she's making her own! She said it isn't anything she wouldn't use herself, so I'm assuming it'll be great quality. I hope it glows under a black light, though. UV REACTIVE DYE IS SO FUN OKAY. Drunk people at parties think it's ~*amazing*~ haha.
So then we finally took our picture and I gave them the letter I wrote them, which was hilariously awkward. As I turned to leave a picked up my poster I remembered to give it to them. I turned around and said, "Oh wait, this is for you guys!" But then Hayley and Taylor both went for it, so then I didn't know which one to hand it to, and it was really funny haha. It was so cool though. I just hope I am this excited about getting married and stuff. Here's the letter I wrote them:
I don't think I need to go too much into detail about how this band has inspired me and my work (especially throughout high school, which isn't posted here). I'd like to think it shows through haha. Honestly, their ballsy-ness in the development of their self-titled album really inspired my experimentation with color and pattern. A lot of people don't like when artists reinvent themselves and take steps in new directions, but I think that when your life changes then your art will naturally change too. Otherwise, you'd be lying to yourself. It's the same way that Picasso went through his blue period and his cubist period. It just happens. I love it.
Needless to say, the show was INCREDIBLE. My spot wasn't the best, but the lights and their performance was insane. During the last verse in The Only Exception Hayley soloed while the audience sang the verse and it was so beautiful it honestly brought me to tears. I'll post a link to a video I found of it when I'm on a computer again.
I was also so excited about meeting Paramore that I forgot that I was going to see Fall Out Boy! Their performance was also insanely awesome. Their final encore was Saturday, which is one of my favorite songs by them. Pete Wentz crawled out into the crowd during the last verse, it was one of the coolest things ever!
I don't currently have the lanyard, button pack, or screen print to post pictures of, but here's the super sweet Goosebumps inspired shirt I bought from the merch table!
So I'm sorry I haven't been here for a while, but so much has been going on! My heart is so completely filled with joy thinking about what a beautiful summer this has been. I've been making so many great memories with the best people I've ever known, and all I can think about is how crazy it is that destiny has brought me to these people. It's insane to consider my life and how it's all lead up to this moment, and how this moment determines the next. I never thought I'd be so thankful for my existence and all of my experiences, but I am.
This all started about two weeks ago when my brother got married. Even now I'm overcome thinking about it. I think I can honestly say that it changed everything I believe about love. I can barely even describe it, but I saw it in my brother's face when he saw his bride coming down the aisle. That pure, raw expression changed me. I see so much love everywhere I look now; it's almost like his face flipped a switch. My parents divorce affected me more than I was ever willing to acknowledge growing up, and I haven't really trusted myself when it comes to love. Now, however, I feel like I know what it is.
I see it everywhere now and can't believe it's beauty. I understand now that if I trust myself as well as the universe that it will come with time, and I'm totally okay with that. The Supremes were right, I guess haha.
In other news, I haven't finished my manifesto, but I've been painting! I'm currently working on two big ones to debut at my show with Jess at the Dodger in September. I've decided to title it Metanoia, which is the journey of changing one's mind, heart, self, or way of life. Here are some little baby snippets!
My name is Allison Nickens. I graduated from James Madison University with a BFA in Fine Art in 2015. After graduation I began live painting at music and arts festivals and at local shows, and still continue to show and sell my work around Harrisonburg,VA.
Upcoming Shows & Events
Valley Fusion Festival
Solo Show at The Camel
Solo Show at Restless Moons Brewing