Hordes of fans were in the mood for a little weekend chaos as Waterparks’ sold out Phoenix stop of The Property Tour landed at The Van Buren. With support from Sophie Powers and Hunny, it was an evening of jams, pit parents and vibes that landed squarely in the chaotic evil category.
Power pop punk princess Sophie Powers has been on a whirlwind of tours and new music and her opening set drew a sizable crowd that already knew the words to many of her songs. She told cheeky anecdotes between songs, relating them back to her own experiences and even calling out fans to share their stories before “Life Goes On” and “Breakup on the Weekend”. Her youth and energy invigorated the early crowd and had the room buzzing as she left the stage to meet fans at the merch tables.
Hunny got right to the point during their sprint of a set, saying little between songs and letting the music do the talking. The four piece rock group bathed the venue in blue and purple lights and ripped through “Saturday Night” (fitting), “Halloween” and “Loser” while the crowd did their part to match their energy and sing along. By now, the room was cooking with both the Arizona heat and the fervor of the fans as they prepared for the night’s main event.
An elaborate backdrop came to life before our eyes and the trio of Awsten Knight, Otto Wood and Geoff Wigington emerged from deep red lights into the deafening screams of a sold out room. Awsten was obscured behind the furry white trim of his inexplicably heavy winter coat as the band launched into “ST*RFUCKER” from their latest album.
Layers were quickly shed and the boundaries between band and fans blurred as the room became part of the show’s experience. Knight was charismatic and funny onstage, bringing one ecstatic attendee up when their sign caught the band’s attention- and their goofy sense of humor. “Stupid for You” went appropriately stupid and Knight called out yet another fan whose mother was camped in the back for her birthday. The crowd was encouraged to welcome her into the pit and the friendliest mosh of all time whipped into action right then and there.
With his Bowie-esque eye makeup and bright red hair, Knight pulled plenty of focus, but Wigington and Wood completed the perfect chemistry that the trio has cultivated from years of performing together. They were instigators of anarchy, Pride Month allies and general creators of pandemonium and that room couldn’t get enough of soaking it all in. Waterparks has visited Arizona plenty of times in the past as well but selling out The Van Buren was a highlight that Knight was tickled to acknowledge right before the party continued to rage on.
Not willing to fully incapacitate their fans with a nonstop set, the band took several moments for acoustic songs and closed their main set with “A Night Out on Earth”. They weren’t allowed to leave without a proper encore and things got rowdy once more before the Phoenix heat reclaimed a sweaty and jubilant audience.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel