Live: Waterparks and Chapel in Phoenix

While Arizona residents have to suffer through scorching summers, they certainly get a break in the late fall, when they’re still regularly getting tours through their major cities. One such tour is Monster Energy’s Outbreak tour, consisting of Waterparks, As it Is, Chapel, and Sleep on It.

With such a stacked lineup, the tour had Phoenix dancing when they passed through The Van Buren. A newly-opened venue in the heart of downtown Phoenix, The Van Buren was far from selling out, but still well-packed for the Outbreak tour.

Sleep on It started the night off at the early hour of 6:30, bringing some Midwest pride to the desert. Just a few days hot off their first full-length album, Sleep on It brought the energy of a house show to a theater—and Phoenix was into it.

If any band wasn’t quite congruent with the lineup, it was Chapel in the best of ways. A very newly-formed duo on the brink of the release of their first EP, Chapel combines alt-pop with pop punk and a hundred other genres, in a way that seamlessly breaks down the barriers of genre in general. Shaking up the typical dynamic is a female drummer and male vocalist, who may be one of the most exciting acts on the scene going into next year.

Although they’ve only been signed for the past three years, As It Is has a sound that reads more like a band who has been around for longer. Songs like “Hey Rachel” and “Pretty Little Distance” sound like the pop punk anthems from the early 2000’s we all love to get nostalgic over, but they’ve only been out since January of this year.

Their stage presence also presents like bands who have been around the block. There’s certainly no energy missing in lieu of experience— their enthusiasm made for a fun, compelling show full of jumping from the crowd and band alike.

Waterparks, the headliner of the night, are generally associated with the Warped Tour brand—teenage girls make up most of their audience, they’re branding wizards, and they keep up with social media religiously. As with most things that teenage girls are into, Waterparks has sort of been written off as bubblegum or superficial, but this couldn’t be more inaccurate. To be fair, their recorded material reads as a little more pop than punk, but when these guys bring it to the stage, this goes right out the window. With a command of the stage and audience, the trio performs much more like a classic rock band, rather than a teen sensation.

With a few EPs and one full-length album already released, Waterparks announced that they’ve finished recording their next release, Entertainment at the show. They did not, however, play any of the new material, other than “Blonde,” which was put out last month.

Playing with four bands on the bill, Waterparks was limited to only 10 songs, with a healthy encore. They managed to squeeze in a variety of material from their most recent album, as well as their previous EPs.

A diverse night filled with up-and-coming talent, the Monster Energy Outbreak tour is expertly crafted to give fans a good time, while stretching the definitions of their favorite genres. It features some of the most exciting bands that are breaking into the scene, and offers opportunities for fans to say “I saw them when.” It’s a jam-packed roster that’s not to be missed.

-Kelly Fox

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