The music industry as we know it has changed drastically, and artists are now desperate to find new ways to connect with their fans. With shows not feasible in most countries currently, live streams have become the new norm. Texas-bred band Waterparks are one of the latest to jump on the bandwagon, offering ticket and merch packages for a live stream on Saturday, March 27.
The hour-long show was a taste of normalcy, not only for the band themselves but also for their dedicated fanbase, who is so used to seeing the three-piece on the road. Following a short greeting by lead singer Awsten Knight (“what’s up, internet!”), Waterparks kicked off with what has been their opener since the release of 2019’s Fandom, ‘Cherry Red’. It then led into ‘Watch What Happens Next’ — this should have come as no surprise to those who are familiar with Waterparks’ live sets, but it was a new experience all the same since the band were effectively performing to an empty room.
Despite Waterparks’ undeniable evolution over the years, watchers got a taste of the band’s more historic material, namely ‘Mad All The Time’, ‘Stupid For You’, and ‘Not Warriors’. These older offerings gave fans a chance to see just how much the band has grown but proved that equally, they haven’t forgotten where they’ve come from.
Midway through the set, guitarist Geoff Wigington and drummer Otto Wood left the “stage” and Knight performed the acoustic tracks ‘Lucky People’ and ’21 Questions’ on his own. This was an excellent way to break up the chaos, as these gentler songs are favorites among fans. The set design particularly complimented this section; soft, multicolored lighting and trees surrounding the area almost had us convinced this was an outdoor show!
While the set was predominantly made up of tracks from Fandom (including a live debut of ‘Telephone’ with the full band), but also included newer singles ‘Lowkey As Hell’ and ‘Snow Globe’, plus ‘Numb’ which has only been released this week. Waterparks have not yet been able to play any of these in front of an actual audience, so their fans went crazy on the web chat when they got to watch the band take them on live. Knight gave back just as much energy, pausing at all the right moments — i.e. where fans would scream back the lyrics — and keeping watchers motivated even though he couldn’t see or hear any of them.
The 16-song set was not followed by wild cheers from a packed-out audience, but the webchat showed that the online audience was more than satisfied with the experience and it will no doubt tide them over until they’re able to watch their favorite band in the flesh once more. They were also pleased to find out that ticket holders can rewatch the stream as many times as they like until Friday, April 16.
Waterparks’ new album Greatest Hits is available on May 21 via 300 Entertainment.