Waterparks // Stand Atlantic // Live Review // Octagon // Sheffield
With clouds that are grey and the chance of rain looking likely, the bright red hair of our lead singer tonight had me thinking I was back in 2010 watching My Chemical Romance- that’s right, tonight we’re seeing Waterparks. Waterparks are promoting their new album, “INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY” and are supported by one other band on this leg of the tour.
Stand Atlantic are an Australian 4-piece pop-punk band formed in 2012. The band came on the stage with a bang, setting the tone perfectly for the rest of the night. So many people singing along to their songs, that it seems mad they even need to introduce themselves. Stand Atlantic has quite the fan base already within the UK. I don’t think I’ve ever seen support so confidently pass the lyrics to the crowd.
The band have the energy of a headliner, the confidence unshakeable. The band actively encouraged the crowd to participate and the crowd was more than willing to match the energy. Each member of the band was moving around, moshing and even spinning in circles in the case of one guitarist. The band asked how many people had heard of their band and seen them before, which was met with a loud “WOO”. Then they followed up with, “Who hadn’t heard of us and doesn’t give a fuck?”, which was met with a meek “Woo” from about two people. The band is not afraid to laugh on stage.
With the enthusiasm of the crowd, it makes me feel like I’m missing out on this band so I will be binging their entire discography. Off the bat, just hearing them live, they make me think of the 2010s emo punk-rock sound heard with bands like early You Me at Six, Young Guns and Tonight Alive (the latter of which I’m sure they’ve never been compared to before..I’m being sarcastic by the way they probably heard that as soon as they formed).
The vocalist has such strong and stable vocals I’m going to assume she is quite experienced. I loved when she would emphasise the emotion in some songs with harsh vocals. It just made them hit all that much more. The entire vibe the band bring remind me of being a teenager and going to see a concert with my mates. They have that nostalgia and spirit of a 2010 band.
The band played their newest single, “Sex on the Beach”, prompting the crowd to shout “hell yeah” back at them. Though the single was met with some mixed opinions on the genre blend on Twitter, the song honestly goes so hard live. Especially that breakdown that is like EDM if it was composed by Slipknot.
After the crowd had finished singing along to Taylor Swift, Paramore and Bring Me the Horizon during the intermission, the lights went low and on came the main event.
Waterparks is a Houston trio who, in their bio, describe their success as having come in 2020 after signing with a new record company that primarily hosted Hip-hop artists. The band are also known for their playful nature and colourful looks. The American 3-piece has seen a boom in popularity in the past year. Something only further propelled by their Internet presence. It isn’t surprising they have a mix of fans of all ages with their lyrical content and look. As soon as the band came on, the room was feral with screams and cheers. The singer sporting a neon fluffy patterned jacket, ran out on stage getting straight into their opener “St*rfucker”.
With the enthusiasm of the crowd, the singer would hold his entire mic standing asking the crowd to sing into it. The crowd was no joke during this band. The cheers, the shouting and screaming- then began the iconic “Yorkshire” chant. The band kept the chant going, getting into it themselves and asking to say the chant together. Eventually, they added a drum beat and guitar riff, which was then used to introduce their next song.
The singer and guitarist were moving all around the stage, the size being adequately used. I don’t think there were any solid 30 seconds where both were in the same place. It helps get the crowd going when the band are giving so much energy that it didn’t take long for the first crowd surfer of the night to appear. The mosh pit had formed in the middle of the crowd, and someone even did a cartwheel (earning praise from the vocalist and a request for another and a “wow” when they manoeuvred once more).
The singer has such casual stage banter with the crowd it helps close that gap between the barriers. Between every song, he would ask the crowd questions and get the answers shouted back to him, questions like “Can you sing all the words to [the next song]?” And just having a casual conversation. The guitarist, though he didn’t talk into the mic or interact much verbally, would constantly be going to each corner and putting on a show for that area of the crowd by thrashing his guitar and feeling the music.
Tonight was giving flashbacks to the bands from my teen years. It was heartwarming seeing all the young fans and hearing all the people chant the lyrics back to the band, almost drowning them out. It’s so exciting to me, to see these bands break boundaries and genres and be part of a movement to reinvent modern rock and punk.
Waterparks will have finished their leg of the UK tour in Birmingham and will next be in the UK performing at Slam Dunk in May 2024.