It was long overdue.
For the past year and a half, we noticed Waterparks‘ popularity growing more and more, everywhere we looked. They somehow became the number one trending pop punk band that can’t be overlooked anymore. On the paper, they present a pretty good profile : Part of the MDDN roster (Joel and Benji Madden’s artist management company), their debut album was co produced by Benji Madden, while Mikey Way (My Chemical Romance) played the bass on the whole record. They’ve also earned multiple support slots for the likes of Aaron Carter early in their career, as well as making Warped Tour appearances, which is both an achievement and a reference for rising bands in this landscape.
The texans have now released their sophomore album “Entertainment” (out in January 2018 via Equal Vision Records), which finally took them to the European roads. We definitely marked our agenda, because it was high time we checked out what’s all the fuss about.
Supporting this tour were the britons in Dead!, whom we had already crossed paths with on a few occasions such as their first ever mainland performance – mind us – an acoustic house show in the northern boroughs of Paris, as well as a couple festival appearances. Dead! aren’t afraid to push the boundaries and tackle rock music, in a very grungy manner (also visible in their looks). It’s almost as if they had released these tracks in the nineties, and we’re all for this. On stage, Dead! definitely prove to be real artists and performers. They know their craft, mastering both their music and the way they present it to the audience. Despite a half empty venue and not many people knowing them, Dead! managed to set the mood and heat the room. Through tracks such as Enough, Enough, Enough, Jessica or older ones such as the closing (and fan favorite) You’re So Cheap connected pretty well with the crowd and showed everyone what they’re about. It’s hard to believe that Dead! have only released their debut album ‘The Golden Age of of Not Even Trying’ early this year and we’re itching to see them again in the near future.
Waterparks and their bright, colorful and entertaining universe were firmly awaited by an otherwise small crowd of fans, whose enthusiasm was visible. It’s worth underlining that through their frontman Awsten Knight and his colorful character, Waterparks have a strong connexion with their fans. Citing influences as diverse as Ke$ha, Say Anything, My Chemical Romance and Sum 41, it is starting to translate in their music and visual experience around it (see Royal, then NOT WARRIORS/CRYBABY music videos) as time passes by. The vocalist’s strong online presence on social networks, makes it feel for everyone as if they were long time friends meeting up. People knew what to expect, shouted some jokes only this community of fans would understand and responded to Knight’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. In this context, the twelve tracks played that night flew by, not because we were having the time of our lives, but because the trio expeditiously unfolded their set.
In fact, if Waterparks‘s songs are overall enjoyable (it’s difficult not to sing along to Stupid for You or dance to Blonde), tonight’s performance felt like the band was actually hiding behind the aforementioned staging to provide quite a linear performance of the music, which is a shame because the way they built their set was an interesting blend between different atmospheres, from electro pop sounds (CRYBABY) to heavier ones (TANTRUM), without forgetting the classic acoustic breather (Lucky People). However, passion and connection were missing and it was quite clear to us that the band members were quite disconnected from the present. With that said, let’s give Waterparks the benefit of the doubt, because this was also the last show of their tour and winters are tough in Europe (especially when you’re from Texas). Luckily, most of the people forming the audience responded pretty well to the show, giving it a friendly and overall fun vibe. After all, Waterparks were firmly awaited and the fans responded in kind.