Despite Waterparks’ Entertainment being released less than a year ago, the band announced that their North American run of the Entertainment tour would be their last of this particular album cycle. The album, which picks at love and the reality of heartbreak, was a candid look into the life of vocalist Awsten Knight. Rolling toward the end of the tour, the band land on the east coast to play the Webster Theatre, set back in amongst the suburbs of Hartford Connecticut for a whirlwind of a show that is sure to keep the neighbours wide awake.
When Super Whatevr take to the stage, they seem like a mishmash group of friends who just happened to stumble there. Though as they start playing, there exudes a passion from each and every one, especially from vocalist and guitarist Skyler McKee. They have little room to move, due to there being a number of them and a drum riser behind, yet McKee still finds a way to thrash around with reckless abandon as he feels every bit of what he’s playing. They’re a perfect fit for a Waterparks show, giving a slightly more indie edge, they harbour so much energy to really get the crowd going.
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, AKA, IDKHOW are up next and this band is made up of two rather familiar faces. On drums is Ryan Seaman (ex-Falling In Reverse) and on vocals is Dallon Weekes (ex-Panic! At The Disco). They come on to no intro track and Weekes springs right into a song about support bands. He discloses that it’s fitting, that being a support band they thought to perform a song about the opening bands. It’s sweet though Weekes’ voice is drowned out by the cheers and screams of those who recognize the members from either just being fans, or because of their previous notoriety. Their music has a little more of a synth-pop edge to it, which caters to the electronic vibes heard in a lot of Waterparks’ music and is more than enough to get fans dancing ready for the main act.
For those who still doubt the talent of Waterparks, seeing them live is all it takes to erase that. They open with Blonde, the lead single from Entertainment that was released months before the rest of the album. Knight’s voice has come leaps and bounds, with each tour pushing his vocals to a new level it really seems as though he’s honing his craft. Guitarist Geoff Wigington is something special, it seems, from watching him and the way he moves across the stage, that he’s hyper-focused and in a whole new element to what he is usually like. He exudes a confidence in his playing and moves in the same way, running and jumping as if it’s been rehearsed a thousand times – when really he’s going through the motions.
The set is a healthy mix of both fan favourites and huge highlights from Entertainment but what’s important to note as each track is played; is that Knight seems to be a people person, on top of being a performer he is also a valued entertainer. In a break between songs, he takes a moment to recount a tale about seeing a fortune teller and how she’d told him that he’s surrounded by witches and spirits. The fans hang on his every word and erupt in a loud chorus of laughter when a technical difficulty comes and he gasps; “It’s those damn witches and spirits.”
Soon the set is back and Knight, donning an acoustic guitar, silences the crowd to play lucky people. In an instant people pull out their phones to shine a light and Awsten pauses the song to ask for the house lights to be dimmed down so that the only lights seen are from the sea of phones. They stay up for the entirety of lucky people and for most of 21 Questions which follows quickly after. It’s here that the set seems to draw to a close, though not without an encore.
Everyone seems to be waiting for one performance, the high octane Tantrum that feels like a release of anger. It’s a last burst that encourages a lashing of energy from fans and they don’t disappoint. It seems that this would be the perfect way to end the set but Waterparks have one more offering after with Stupid For You. Though it’s not a necessary addition, those who love the track are pleased but we can’t help but think that high note from Tantrum is where it should have been left off. In any case, Waterparks are a powerhouse, a three piece with the energy of bands with an extra few members and it’s something unparalleled. It’s safe to say Entertainment is a fitting name for the tour and we can’t wait to see what they have to offer with their next album release.