Show Review: Sum 41, SWMRS, more beat the heat for Band Splash 2019
The second annual Band Splash waterpark concert extravaganza brought an expanded lineup and scores of fans to Big Surf Waterpark on Sunday. Bands and fans dove in (literally) to the park’s wave pool, with the main stage built at the deeper end so everyone could play and swim during the show.
Atlas joined the audience, braving the heat and blinding sunlight to enjoy everyone from Twin XL to the headlining Sum 41. Here’s the best of what we experienced at Band Splash!
The California three-piece treated Arizona like a home show- and for ⅔ of the band, it was. Made up of former The Summer Set members John and Stephen Gomez and singer Cameron Walker, Twin XL is sunny, breezy pop with flair. The band immediately won the early audience, as fans flocked to the pool to stay cool in the heat of the day. Assisted by drummer Dave Briggs, Twin XL’s set was fine-tuned to perfection as they played through all of the material released in their six-month career.
I Don’t Know How But They Found Me
Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman have truly struck gold with IDK How. An Atlas favorite, the duo drew one of the biggest responses of the day with their stellar set. They took fans by surprise, opening with “Modern Day Cain” before launching into the entirety of their debut EP. Weekes put his incredible vocals on display and fans turned the wave pool into a teeming splash pad to show their approval. The band closed with “Choke” as the audience screamed every word.
Super Whatevr was nothing but smiles and good vibes to close out the auxiliary stage. Fans came rushing over from the pool to jump with singer Skylar McKee. McKee, for his part, grinned ear to ear the entire set and brought a brand new energy to the day that carried everyone into the evening. Super Whatevr has really established their presence in Arizona over the last few months and it showed when songs like “Kathrin with a K” and “Benjamin Alphabet” started. As always, the highlight of a Super Whatevr set is hearing a crowd shout “Love, I’m a wreck, holy fuck” with no reservations.
Arguably the most hype set of the day, SWMRS took their name literally by diving into the pool to party with the audience. The band has an energy unmatched by other groups and they went all in as direct support for Sum 41. The crowd showed their approval all day by splashing frantically and the pool seemed to bounce with the band the entire time. The conclusion saw singer Cole Becker strip down to fall backwards into the pool, egged on by a riled up audience.
As the sun set on Big Surf, Sum 41 brought the storm. The veteran punk rockers haven’t lost a single step and they showed all the kids before them how to be a lasting force. Their 22-song setlist took us through every era of the band- from “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)” to “We’re All to Blame” to “Underclass Hero”. Band Splash also saw the live debut of Sum 41’s newest single “Out For Blood” as their new logo flashed behind them. The pool teemed with splashing yet again for “In Too Deep” before the band returned for a four-song encore, including the classic jam “Fat Lip”.
Check out more photos from Band Splash 2019 below!
Story by Olivia Khiel and photos courtesy of TAG Photography