Alternative rock fans crowded the floor at The Underground this past Monday evening as American rockers Waterparks made a stop on their “Made In America” tour. As part of the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour Presents series, the band was joined by As It Is, Chapel, and Sleep On It for a night of all out energy packed rock.

Things started out pretty quietly as the opening bands hit the stage. The crowd for the most part was made up of teenage girls some with their parents who huddled in the back trying to read their books while their kids enjoyed the show. Although the audience was appreciative, it was clear early on that the vast majority was there to see the pop punk of Waterparks and could not wait until it was their favorite band’s turn to take the stage. Things got going quickly as Waterparks ran out on the stage kicking off their set with and extended intro version of “Plum Island.” The venue erupted with screams as lead singer and guitarist Awsten Knight worked the crowd like a seasoned pro. His performance was incredible all evening long with a stage presence and charisma that could not be denied. At times he even reminded me of a young Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day.

Drummer Otto Wood was on point behind the kit as his drum break segued into “Crave.” Geoff Wigington bounced from one side of the stage to the other as his guitar riffs led the band through a great selection of songs. The setlist was heavy from the band’s 2016 full length debut “Double Dare” and included their new single “Blonde” from their upcoming “Entertainment” album which is expected out sometime this coming January. Their stage set included a really cool LED screen at the rear of the stage which changed images from song to song with everything from giant curlicues to different colored eyeballs. It was nice to see a young and upcoming band adding the visual element to their show and I thought it was a great touch.

The band sounded great from opening to close and the young fans showed their appreciation with a frenzy of crowd surfing as they crashed the barricade one after the other. After fan favorites “Dizzy” and “Royal” things toned down a bit as Geoff and Otto left the stage. Awsten was alone with an acoustic guitar for a poignant rendition of “21 Questions” which had practically every cell phone in the venue lit up and waving in the air. The band returned for a partial version of “Easter Egg” before winding the night down with a roof raising “I’m a Natural Blue.” With great songs and a solid performance, Waterparks really impressed me. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them being the Sum 41 or Green Day of their generation. If you get a chance to check out their live show, do it. It’s a guaranteed good time.

Set List:

Plum Island

Crave

Stupid For You

Pink

Blonde

It Follows

Mad All The Time

Gloom Boys

Dizzy

Royal

Encore: 

21 Questions (Acoustic)

Easter Egg (Partial)

I’m a Natural Blue

Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Becky Kovach of Big Picture Media for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978. My top five live shows ever are: 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome. 2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours. 3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 - The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked! 4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live. 5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.