This was only the Waterparks’ second time headlining a Nottingham venue – the previous time was in 2017 at Rescue Rooms, following the release of their debut album Double Dare. Fast forward five years later, and four albums down the line, the band returned to Nottingham to headline Rock City as part of their See You In The Future tour. Gemma Cockrell reviews.
Despite the fact that this tour was mostly focused on showcasing the highlights of Waterparks’ latest album, Greatest Hits, the band played at least one song from every album of theirs, resulting in a wide-ranging and varied setlist. Opening with Stupid For You, their breakout hit from Double Dare, was a good choice, as it is a high-energy track that every Waterparks fan is familiar with.
The band also opted to include the track Telephone, from their third album FANDOM, on the setlist. This was a decision that was made after the song immediately skyrocketed in popularity following its appearance in the hit Netflix show Heartstopper. Prior to this, the track was often overlooked in Waterparks’ discography, but it is an upbeat and catchy tune that fully deserved its moment to shine.
Vocalist Awsten Knight decided to take a spontaneous and unexpected interlude from the setlist when he was alone on stage with only an acoustic guitar, and interacted with the crowd to ask what songs we’d like him to play. Someone in the front row requested 21 Questions, much to my delight as it is my favourite Waterparks song, and one that I never expected to hear live. Even though Awsten himself didn’t sing the lyrics, he played the guitar chords of the first verse and chorus whilst the crowd sang along to prove that they knew the words.
With the exception of this acoustic section of the set, the crowd was quite rowdy, which is surprising given that Waterparks’ music falls more into the pop side of pop punk, for the most part. Awsten is an excellent frontman who knows how to get everyone in the crowd involved in the action, from getting as many people on each other’s shoulders as possible, to actively encouraging crowd surfing and mosh pits. The Rock City security responded to this by ensuring they were handing out water to the crowd throughout the set, which Awsten noticed and thanked them for.
"Awsten is an excellent frontman who knows how to get everyone in the crowd involved in the action, from getting as many people on each other’s shoulders as possible, to actively encouraging crowd surfing and mosh pits."
Following a run of three tracks from Greatest Hits, Lowkey as Hell, Violet! and Numb, the band returned for an encore of FANDOM’s lead single Turbulent. One song is a relatively short encore, but since the band had been on stage for almost an hour and a half at this point, and it was getting close to the venue’s 11pm curfew, I couldn’t exactly complain. Waterparks put on a great show, and I would definitely go and see them again.
Edited by: Jodie Averis
Cover image courtesy of The Mic's own Gemma Cockrell.