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Kayla Moreno (and 1 other) Jun 18, 2023

Waterparks just wrapped their 'Property Tour' in LA this week, but RIP caught the show in San Diego on Sunday, June 11. Old and new fans alike were welcome to spend a night out on earth with the band as their show spanned their entire discography.

The audience felt like lucky people as we gathered at The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA. The weather may have made us gloom boys, as the sun had not shown itself in weeks, but the concert was more than enough to brighten up spirits despite the funeral grey clouds. Thankfully, The Observatory North Park is an indoor venue. Moreover, even the venue staff were terrific; Terry, a knowledgeable and friendly security guard, was happy to talk to everyone at the barricade. He made sure that we all had water, and another staff member passed out earplugs to the front row.

The show began with Sophie Powers' fun, energetic set at about 7 pm. Though she's just getting started, Powers engages audience members and even had fans singing along to her new hit, "Nosebleed." Her band members also got the crowd amped up, never missing a note or a beat. I was most impressed by Powers' cover of "Heart Shaped Box" by Nirvana. She showcased an incredible range, insinuating that we should expect her to branch out in terms of the genre she performs throughout her blossoming career. By the end of the show, Powers made friends with the audience, lovingly calling out some individuals who were excited to bond over a breakup on the weekend.

Next up, Hunny brought indie-rock vibes to the stage, which was a bit of a jump from Powers' set but still made for a seamless transition to the headliner. Their stage presence was charming and endearing, also calling out the audience at certain points. Hunny had some fans in the crowd too, as there were cheers for fan-favorite tunes throughout their shorter set. It's always nice to see crowds engaging with the opening acts.

Finally for the main event, Waterparks did an impressive job at playing an even number of deep cuts and newer hits. Following a "secret songs" format, the San Diego audience was unsure of what they would hear that night aside from a few unchanged songs. It was a rare treat to hear "Crave," a song released in 2016 on the Cluster EP.

Frontman Awsten Knight also could be described as "charming and endearing." His sense of humor resonates with his audience, who are quick to reciprocate his energy. A couple of songs in, Knight realized he forgot to wear his belt on stage, which was problematic for jumping around while singing. Tyler, a fan, did not hesitate to lend Knight the belt he was wearing to continue the show. While doing a quick change, Knight instructed the audience to "cheer until he was done" – which lasted a few minutes.

What was truly impressive was the passion that Waterparks' fans (known as 'Parxies') have for the band's work and personalities. Knight instructed the audience to compliment his bandmates, Geoff Washington and Otto Wood, and the entire room did so with zero hesitation. Waterparks' fans have a deep appreciation for each member of the band and rightfully so, as they are incredibly skilled musicians and performers. Washington did an amazing job at engaging with the whole audience, frequently moving from one side of the stage to the complete opposite.

Similarly, the crowd was able to take over for Knight's vocals, with another fan in the front row grabbing the mic and singing her heart out to a deeper cut "21 Questions." Knight let the crowd sing several verses throughout the whole set, emphasizing the sense of community that Parxies have established.

If you haven't gotten the chance to see Waterparks yet, I highly recommend it. This was my second time seeing them perform, and my first time seeing them headline. I was amazed that I could still see them play in an intimate venue like The Observatory North Park. They will only continue to play bigger and bigger venues over time. As Knight assured the audience during his set, you will be more than welcome at a Waterparks concert whether you became a fan after Cluster (2016) or Intellectual Property (2023), and I suggest that you take the next opportunity you get to see their show.

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Sophie Powers