Grace Earley

A Night Out On Earth With Waterparks

Music Scene Media
Mar 10, 2024
5 min read

Waterparks, God's favorite boyband, performed at the 2,000-person capacity Pageant in St. Louis last Tuesday as the final date of their Sneaking Out of Heaven Tour. I've been seeing this band live since the release of their debut album in 2016, and I've been extremely fortunate to see them more than once and meet them on a few occasions. It was surreal to watch the fresh, eager, and passionate new generation of alternative teen fans, who essentially took over the place I was in when I was their age. It would be an understatement to say that I was thrilled to be able to attend and document this event.

The first opener to grace the stage was hyper-punk duo poptropicaslutz!. Formed in March 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the band consists of hometown friends Christian Cicilia and Nick Crawford. Both members were in college at the time, with Christian on his way to Cornell University, but that didn’t stop them from taking advantage of lockdown, dropping out of school, and selling out venues. 

Although I was aware of this band's unique name, I was unaware of the type of music they produced. When they performed "grandma got runover by a reindeer," the first song of their act, I was completely taken aback—but in the greatest way possible. I couldn't stop bopping my head to the upbeat, EDM-inspired music while I was in the pit. As they performed a cover of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness," the audience went completely crazy. I had never seen a group like them perform live before, and poptropicaslutz! seemed like the ideal pair to start with!

Loveless is an American rock band made up of vocalist Julian Comeau and guitarist Dylan Tirapelli-Jamail, who are joined by live touring drummer Stephen Haaker. Having formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2019, the pop-punk duo amassed a significant following on TikTok by posting renditions of popular pop songs, such as "About Damn Time," which caught the attention of the song's original vocalist, Lizzo. The duo released many singles after signing with BMG and Rise Records in 2023. Their most recent release, "Addicted," has amassed over 700k streams since it was released a little over a month ago.

I will say it immediately: I was absolutely obsessed with these guys’ portion of the night. Playing multiple fan favorites, such as “I Hope I’m Not Sick,” “Control,” and “IS IT ME,” the crowd-surfers were consistent and the screams deafening. “Picasso,” the second track off of the duo’s most recent EP release, was my favorite song of the night for sure, and I've listened to it many times since. Loveless gained a fan after this show, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to see them perform again.

It was finally time for the highly awaited headline act, Waterparks, to take the stage and entertain their immensely passionate, devoted, and thrilled fans, including myself. Awsten Knight, the group’s lead singer and guitarist, is the only remaining original member of the band, which was formed in 2011 in Houston, Texas. A year later, shortly after the founding members issued the group's debut EP Airplane Conversations, the sole release featuring all of the founders, drummer Otto Wood and lead guitarist Geoff Wigington joined the band. Following their performances on several Vans Warped Tour dates in 2015, Waterparks signed with Equal Vision Records,  and appointed Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte as their managers. The group attracted a lot more attention in 2019 when their single, "I Miss Having Sex But At Least I Don't Want To Die Anymore," went viral on TikTok and became the band's only song to receive over 100 million plays.

Before starting their performance with the crowd-pleasing hit "Watch What Happens Next," each member made an appearance through a separate door on the wall that stood in the background of the stage. Awsten claimed on social media before the start of the tour that it would be unlike anything they had ever done before; he really outdid himself with a plethora of stage arrangements, outfit changes, and an incredible mashup of songs from the senior album, Greatest Hits. As an older fan, I was thrilled to hear some of the band's earlier releases, such "21 Questions" and "Blonde," in the set. Having witnessed Waterparks live since 2017, I intend to keep going for as long as I can, and I recommend you to do the same. The Sneaking Out Of Heaven Tour still has 16 gigs left, and tickets are available here.

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