One of 2017’s highlight breakthrough bands Waterparks released their third studio album in January, and all attention has been on them since. They played the recently refurbished Y Plas on March 8th, and we checked them out to see if they were worth the hype.
Currently taking the rock world by storm are London-based punks, Dead! [8.5/10] it’s common knowledge that their live shows are filled with energy and passion – they’ve had plenty of positive feedback from fans and critics alike, and they stormed onto stage in Cardiff with gusto. By way of introduction, Dead! slammed straight into their high-octane track, ‘The Boys † The Boys’. Despite their best efforts, the start of their set fell on deaf ears – perhaps due to their style being different to that of the other bands on the bill.
With only thirty minutes allocated for their set, the band rushed through their singles and most popular tracks on their debut album, The Golden Age of Not Even Trying. Pockets of fans in the audience knew every word, and as their set progressed, more and more of the crowd appeared to be enjoying the show. Audience favourites included the 2015 single ‘Skin’, and the final song played, ‘You’re So Cheap’. Despite a less than enthusiastic crowd, the boys in Dead! played an energetic and passionate set and were the highlight of the night.
With childish humour and energetic stage antics that could be likened to those of Blink-182, Patent Pending [7/10] had the audience dancing from the first bar of their opening number, with a set that spanned their popular back catalogue, and was filled with fan favourites from ten years of releases. Anchored by a classic pop-punk sound that could easily be compared to Bowling for Soup, Patent Pending kept the crowd entertained with floor swimming competitions, jazz hands, and brilliant on-stage banter. ‘Hey Mario’ and ‘The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief’ saw the whole room singing, dancing, and jumping, whereas ‘Another Day’ caused the room to fall quiet to listen to the heartfelt lyrics. After their entertaining and animated set, Patent Pending captured the attention of everyone present, and made sure that they won’t be forgotten any time soon!
Excitement levels in the room rose as the time for the main event neared. Lights dimmed and it felt like the Entertainment Tour had officially reached Cardiff. As the first notes of ‘11:11’ floated through the speakers and Waterparks [6.5] walked on stage, the room erupted into screams and shouts – much more enthusiasm than the previous bands had seen.
Waterparks’ 2018 album Entertainment has seen the trio receive outstanding reviews, but their live show failed to convey the emotion, energy and musicianship that their studio tracks hold. Issues with sound meant that a little bit of the music got lost in translation, but Waterparks put on a good show, and their fans clearly had a blast. Frontman Awsten Knight told amusing anecdotes about Starbucks and how the UK differs to America, and clearly had a lot of fun joking around with his band mates. ‘Peach (Lobotomy)’ saw the room bouncing around and dancing, while ‘Lucky People’ was played acoustically, and sounded beautiful.
The room sang every single song along with the band, and the enjoyment on Waterparks’ faces was a picture. While they kept their set light-hearted and enjoyable, their sound and style are clearly tailored towards a younger audience, meaning that those who didn’t know their music didn’t quite comprehend the events that unfolded. Despite this, their set in Cardiff proved they deserve being where they are today: they’ve a following of devoted fans, and a real passion for what they do. It’s likely that Waterparks won’t be playing venues this small for much longer.