Waterparks peforms at The Fillmore Philadelphia – 3/20/24

Written by on April 1, 2024

Once it was time for Waterparks to hit the stage, the energy in the room was incredible.

Review by Amber Bintliff | Photography by Lara Ziccardi

After a nationwide sold-out tour last summer in support of their fifth album INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, Waterparks have returned with their SNEAKING OUT OF HEAVEN tour at The Fillmore Philadelphia on March 20, 2024. Consisting of lead singer Awsten Knight, guitarist Geoff Wigington, and drummer Otto Wood, the Houston trio claimed for months leading up to the tour that it would be their biggest and best one yet, and I can confidently say it was just that.

The tour features support from alt-pop artist Sophie Powers and alt-rock duo Loveless. Unfortunately, Lara and I didn’t get to catch Sophie’s set, but I attended the New York City stop of this tour as well and was able to see her then. She has a super high-energy and fun set, with “Breakup On The Weekend” being my favorite song of the 20-minute slot.

If I were to talk about how much I loved Loveless’ set, I would be sitting here typing a billion words. I had been anticipating seeing them ever since the tour was announced in October 2023, and they did not disappoint. Lead singer Julian Comeau genuinely has some of the best live vocals I have ever heard along with an amazing stage presence.

They also performed their unreleased next single “I Love It When It Rains” after premiering it for the first time ever at the New York City date five days prior. In addition to the new song, the 45-minute set was full of their most popular singles, deep cuts, and even a medley of some of their most popular covers, including Billie Eilish’s “happier than ever” and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God).”

As the crew began to set the stage up for Waterparks’ arrival, every detail of the set design began to come to life. The stage’s background is made to look like the museum set seen in their “LOVE ABOUT IT” music video with the art frames on the walls being video screens. It also has three doors, two of which have giant green crosses painted on them, that the band entered the stage through.

Once it was time for Waterparks to hit the stage, the energy in the room was incredible. They opened with “Watch What Happens Next,” a fan-favorite track from their 2019 record FANDOM, and it became very clear that this would be a show to remember.

They continued on through their set, playing a mixture of both songs from INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and their previous albums. One highlight of the beginning of the night for me was their Greatest Hits medley. Despite what you may think, their Greatest Hits album is actually their fourth studio album which was released in 2021.

Here, the band played small portions of tracks from the album, including “Fuzzy,” “Violet!,” “American Graffiti,” “The Secret Life of Me,” “Just Kidding” and “Lowkey As Hell.”

 After a minute-long intermission video about the struggle with religious trauma and guilt, the set changes again to reveal mannequins in hazmat suits and greenery scattered throughout the museum’s walls and Otto Wood’s drumkit. Awsten Knight then re-emerges on stage to sing a brand new, unreleased track titled “SOULSUCKER,” which directly mirrors INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’s opening track “ST*RF****R” through its lyrics and is considered to be the opposite side of the story. The titles are about two characters he has created as part of the album, one being signified by red and the other bright green. His tour makeup has even changed this tour to signify the crossing over into this new era, with his red star makeup from the Property Tour transitioning into green crosses you see for this one.

Knight spent the months leading up to this tour practicing piano to play the next three songs in the setlist to introduce something different to these shows. This part of the set was performed in the back of the venue on a separate stage that had him surrounded by a tall fence, trees, and a statue. He performed “High Definition,” “Snow Globe” and “Crying Over It All,” and I was lucky enough to be front and center for this portion of the night.

The 27-song setlist ended with an encore consisting of some of the most insane tracks in Waterparks’ discography, “Numb,” “Turbulent” and “REAL SUPER DARK.” Before leaving the stage, Knight sang a different version of “REAL SUPER DARK” (which has now been deemed “REAL SUPER DARK II”) that had different lyrics for the outro, all while the lights began to shift from red to bright green.

I’ve seen Waterparks a handful of times, but this tour has been my absolute favorite. I even found myself in a mosh pit twice during “RITUAL” which was definitely something I’ll remember forever. Awsten, Geoff, and Otto continue to go above and beyond to create an immersive experience for their audience with every tour they embark on. It has truly been a pleasure to see how much Waterparks has grown over the years, and I can’t wait to see them in the future.