Photos and Review by Camille Germain
After releasing their latest album, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, on April 14th, Waterparks took to the road for a 30-date U.S. tour. The Showbox was their fourth stop on their extensive trek for a sold-out show with a line running along two blocks (at least).
Kicking off the night was power-punk bubble grunge duo Daisy Grenade. They moved around the stage with control and confidence. It was clear that this is where they belong. Backed by a drummer, guitarist, and bassist, Dani Nigro and Keaton Whittaker were able to freely dance and jump around the stage with their never-ending stamina and killer vocals.
Despite having a shorter set, Daisy Grenade exuded electricity with their stage presence and sound. Toward the end of their set, they introduced their final song, “Sick In The City,” by saying, "This is our last song. We’re going to open up a pit. Once we start singing, open it up!" There could not have been a better way to wrap up. After finishing their tour with Waterparks on May 10th, they will be joining Fall Out Boy from June 23rd to July 9th and playing the Sad Summer Festival on July 11th, 12th, and 14th.
As the second opener of the night, the post-punk revival band, HUNNY, added a nice balance to the louder and more erratic performances before and after. While also being loud and energetic, they had a more subtle expression that tied into the new wave aspects of their music. Despite being without a drummer and using a drum machine (vocalist Jason Yarger told the room that their drummer was injured right before the tour), they showed up ready to perform.
Signed to Epitaph Records in 2018, HUNNY continues to make their way up in the music scene. From their early 2014 single release "Honey Blonde" to their 2019 full-length album Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. and their latest 2022 EP Homesick, this is a band that is consistently developing their sound with each release. The audience’s enthusiastic reaction to HUNNY’s is a clear sign that this band is about to fully take off.
The early presence of security guards at the front of the stage, positioned well in advance of Waterparks’ performance, was a clear indication that the show would be chaotic and full of crowd surfing. The room echoed with screams from the audience the second the lights dimmed and smoke began to fill the stage. Awsten Knight appeared on stage in a faux-fur-lined red parka and stomped around the stage with low, changing rainbow lighting, clouds of smoke, and a constructed backdrop flat with hollowed-out frames replaced with video screens changing throughout the set.
After only a few songs in, Knight told the room that out of all the shows on the tour they've played so far, they haven’t had a venue floor shake so hard from all the jumping as The Showbox did. They continued their set with many songs from INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY until Knight introduced songs from previous albums by saying, "This is a show about intellectual property, so we are going to play some older ones!" This included "Rare," "Stupid For You," and "Crave," before going back into their latest release and intertwining older songs like "I miss having sex, but at least I don’t wanna die any more" from their 2019 album, Fandom. The set also included an interactive acoustic interlude where parts of different songs were played along with requests from the audience.
Circle pits. Everywhere. There seemed to be an endless supply of prompted pits, which the younger audience was more than happy to oblige. Knight encouraged larger pits to open in the center of the floor, which took over. During the encore, fan favorite "Turbulent" produced the largest one yet, which led into their final song for the night, "FUNERAL GREY."
From gift giving, quippy banter with the audience, spectacular lighting, and the crowd’s energy that went toe-to-toe with Waterparks’, it was one of the most energetic and tight shows I have ever seen. This was a night where you could not help but smile at the excitement, dancing, and jumping filling the room. Waterparks is a must-see performance worth every minute.