Waterparks Are Making a Splash

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Waterparks Are Making a Splash

by Deanna Romani
photos by Deanna Romani

We all remember being teenagers going to some of our first concerts, right? Being dropped off by your parents, meeting up with your friends at the venue, avoiding all of the people taller than you in the crowd, and dripping sweat by the time the show was over, feeling like you just ran a marathon. At 21, seeing Waterparks felt like I traveled back in time to my first general admission concert at 16…in the best way possible.

I’m no stranger to the Houston-based pop punk trio. I was captivated by their witty lyrics from early extended plays I found on Spotify back in 2015, and I saw them play a handful of shows back in 2016, before their debut full length, Double Dare, dropped in November.  2017 brought the band on a co-headlining tour (with a handful of sold-out dates) and only the brightest future ahead of them.

The venue, which I’ve always known as a biker bar where I’ve seen a handful of local shows, was packed with fans of all ages, ranging from tweens to parents to 20-somethings. Everywhere I looked, concert-goers were decked out in merch from the band’s online web store or the band’s booth situated in the corner of the open space the crowd occupied.

The time the band spent touring with Sleeping With Sirens in the fall and a full run on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour was time well spent. The first time I saw Waterparks, they opened for Nevershoutnever and only one or two people in the crowd knew who they were. This time around, which is just a little over a year later, they managed to pack a venue who cheered for their touring photographer every time he peeked out from the backstage area, started numerous chants before the band went onstage, and came prepared with gifts such as candy, stuffed animals, and Valentine’s Day cards.

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As soon as the three hit the stage, the energy was kicked up to the max. The crowd was louder than front-man Awsten Knight at most points, especially during opening number “Made In America” and fan favorites “Stupid For You” and “Crave.” Even the tough guy next to me, rocking a huge beard, bro-tank and snapback, totally rocked out to the tunes and knew every single word.

The band took time to chat in between songs, taking those cards, bags of candy, and plushie toys I mentioned earlier. A stuffed toy unicorn that matched Knight’s bright blue hair perfectly was gifted and immediately perched on top of an amp, watching over the crowd throughout the rest of the show. Crowd interaction made for memorable moments, tons of laughs, and banter among the band and some fans in the front row.

One of my favorite parts of the night came before the band played “21 Questions,” a song that’s heavy on the acoustics, from their debut album.

“When we asked y’all on Twitter what you wanted to hear on this tour, all of you said you’d skin me alive if we didn’t play this next song…so here’s 21 Questions,” was Knight’s commentary leading into the song, and despite it being a slower track on the album, it was definitely a peak in their set.

As the night drew to a close, the band said they’d be meeting as many people as they could by their merch table immediately following their last song. The crowd made a mad dash to the table, watching their closing number, their latest single “Royal,” from the corner of the venue.

Seeing the amount of fans come out & support a band so worthy of success made my heart warm by the end of the night. I’ve seen my fair share of bands blow up over a period of time, but none of them have been as quick as Waterparks. 

Check out our interview with Awsten, Geoff and Otto here and grab tickets to the remaining dates of their tour here.

Setlist:

  • Made In America
  • Hawaii (Stay Awake)
  • Crave
  • Stupid For You
  • Gloom Boys
  • Mad All the Time
  • 21 Questions
  • I’m a Natural Blue
  • Dizzy
  • Royal
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