The crowd prepared to be drenched in a sonic downpour as Waterparks unleashes an electrifying storm of music at the House of Blues Chicago with two back-to-back sold-out shows.
The American rock band from Houston, Texas, released their fifth studio album, Intellectual Property, on April 14 and launched The Property Tour shortly after with support from HUNNY. Fans had been eagerly waiting in the rain as the two-hour-long meet and greet went on, which included a photo opt with the band, poster, Q & A session, and early entry. The venue was quickly packed wall-to-wall on each level when doors opened at 5 pm. Many of the audience had Awsten Knight’s (lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist) signature red star-eye look.
Elliot Lee had kicked off the night with a 20-minute set, a solo act that had pre-recorded music playing from the speakers. Despite being Elliot Lee’s first night on tour, they had the perfect combination of dancing around on stage and interacting with the audience. One audience member even shouted that she knew all their songs while the audience was quiet. The audience contended to radiate positive energy when Elliot performed one of her sentimental unreleased songs, so the audience lit up the room with flashlights.
Despite their technical difficulties during their first song, ‘Natalie,’ the second act HUNNY had gotten the crowd up and jumping during their 40-minute set. Although the band consists of four members, only the lead vocalist and guitarist Jason Yarger and bassist and keyboard player, Kevin Grimmett were on stage. Hunny had most likely had some pre-recorded elements from the other members, but they had played throughout their whole set. The fans had absorbed their music as the crowd sang along; Yarger had even handed the mic off to a fan to sing part of the song!
At 7:50 pm came Otto Wood (drummer and backing vocalist), then Geoff Wigington (backing vocalist and lead guitarist), and then finally Knight in a vibrant red coat, covering his entire face with the white fur on the hood of the coat. Opening up with ‘ST*RFUCKER,’ the audience was enraptured by what was the beginning of a killer show.
What stood out was the interaction with the audience throughout their 90-minute set. Throughout performing, Wigington made a continuous effort to acknowledge the audience on the floor and those up on the balconies. He made sure nobody in the room felt unnoticed. Knight had the perfect combination of storytelling, making jokes, and having one-on-one conversations with the crowd. He recalled when he first came to the House of Blues, and an audience member crowd surfed. He had a sweet moment with a fan when they offered him to take their cowboy hat to wear during a song. Knight even attempted to throw five guitar picks at the audience up on the third-level balcony but kept blaming his Lasik for the fans not being able to retrieve them. It’s the thought that counts!
A highlight of the show would be when Wigington sang a solo part in ‘Crave.’ The crowd was living for it as this is one of Waterparks’ older songs, and the fans don’t often hear him singing solo.
Overall, a fantastic performance put on by the band that had the ground shaking. If you want to experience the wet and wild ride of Waterparks, their UK/EU 2023 dates are now up.