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I was not by any means front row for Waterparks’ show in San Antonio, Texas, but even from the back of the venue, I felt their energy.

The pop-punk trio from Houston truly took full advantage of the sold-out headlining show to pack a punch in a 60-minute set. In the few years that band mates Awsten, Geoff, and Otto have been touring, they’ve transformed from awkward and clumsy guys with guitars to performers who own every inch of the stage and every minute of their set. Every tour they have under their belt has paid off, and for only just releasing their debut album a mere three months ago, these boys already have a ridiculously huge following. This experience showed in every note Awsten belted, every chord Geoff strummed, and every beat Otto drummed.

The band opened the show with the crowd-pleasing bop “Made in America” and the energy of both them and the audience was in full swing. Within seconds, the band had everyone jumping and dancing, even the people who were only there for the co-headliners. It was clear that everyone was there to have a good time, regardless of whether or not they knew every word. The band transitioned smoothly from songs from their new album like “Stupid For You” and “Gloom Boys” to ones that only true 90’s kids would remember like “I’m a Natural Blue”.

There was never a lull in between songs, thanks to frontman Awsten. He was witty without ever trying too hard to be likeable. Every teenage girl from the crowd was drawn to his charm—one even asked him to prom (but he kindly turned her down). Giddy squeals came from everywhere and it was so loud that I felt like I was witnessing boyband-level hysteria…but from a pop-punk band? Does that even happen? Apparently so, and I was impressed to say the least.

I grew even more impressed when the line for Waterparks’ impromptu meet-and-greet wrapped around an entire room, with fan after fan pining to get a picture with the good-looking and kindhearted guys. The band took their time talking to everyone, and it was clear how appreciative the guys were that they came to the show. The hugs were long and sweet and the pictures were even sweeter. When their manager announced it was time for the band to hit the road, the boys insisted on doing a “speed round” of hugs and pictures. Honestly, how refreshing is that???

Overall, Waterparks’ performance was tight, fun, and exciting. The guys play their instruments well and their fun style and charming flair shows through in every song. Basically everything that is good about a pop-punk show was found in this one, from the infectious choruses to the sweet harmonies and the catchy hooks. This was the fourth time I had seen them live and I honestly couldn’t be happier about the band they’re becoming. Be sure to catch one of their shows before they blow up—and trust me, they will—and are catapulted into fame.

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Eisley - I'm Only Dreaming review // AtTheBarricade.net

Eisley

I’m Only Dreaming


Released: February 17, 2017
Label: Equal Vision Records

As far as new music is concerned Eisley’s new album I’m Only Dreaming should be on your radar. This is the bands fifth studio album, it consists of 11 tracks with guest features from Anthony Green of Circa Survive as well as Max Bemis from Say Anything. Unlike past albums from the band this one changed the dynamic because Sherri Dupree-Bemis took on full lead singer responsibilities.

The album begins with the song “Always Wrong”. It’s followed up by lead single “Defeatist” and “A Song For The Birds” which features Max Bemis. The song deals with love with Dupree-Bemis singing “My love for you, don’t ever doubt”. The album takes an unexpected turn with the song “Sparking”. It changes up from Eisley’s classic indie rock sound and brings in electronic elements. While this is probably unexpected, it definitley works and the song sticks out from the rest because of the change up.

The other track that stands out is “Rabbit Hole”. This one is a smooth acoustic track which breaks the music down to the basics. It features only Dupree-Bemis and an acoustic guitar and that’s it. Lyrically, it combines elements from Alice In Wonderland by mentioning falling down a rabbit hole and also the clock that the rabbit has in the movie.

This album may have been a challenge for the band to make because of the lineup changes in the band but they made a killer album. It has all the elements that any Eisley fan would want to hear but also has new elements to it which will also excite any Eisley fans out there.

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