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Waterparks: Sneaking Out Of Richmond: Geoff’s Version

For the first time in years, Waterparks returned to Richmond, VA at The National for the Sneaking Out Of Heaven Tour, bringing along Sophie Powers and Loveless for support. 

Sophie opened the show, stunning in an original, fashion-forward outfit from the combination artist/designer’s mind. But, the singer’s creativity extends beyond fashion with her unique hyper-pop style. The bubbly singer took the stage with confidence and put on an incredible performance with her band that kicked off the night to come.

Next up was the powerhouse band Loveless. The band exploded in popularity on TikTok, posting covers of popular songs, including “happier than ever” by Billie Eilish, “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush, and “MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT” by Elley Duhé, which they performed during their set. But, recently the band has seen great success with their own original music. The crowd even got a surprise scream during the chorus of “I Hope I’m Not Sick” and a sneak peek of an unreleased Loveless song.

Then, it was time for Waterparks to take the stage. The moment the stage design was revealed there was an excitable energy shift in the room. Insane visuals were shown on screens incorporated into the set design across the stage. Waterparks kicked off the show with fan favorites “Watch What Happens Next,” “Blonde,” and “Violet!” The high energy inspired crowdsurfers for the entire night.

Richmond was a unique show in that it was the only show on the tour marketed by lead guitarist, Geoff Wigington. The day before the show, the guitarist tweeted, “Richmond. It’s all lead to this moment, my show. The Richmond show. The Geoff show. Tomorrow is about you and me. Awsten? No. Otto? No. Anyone reading this outside of Richmond? No. See you soon.” And, with the energy Geoff brought to the show by jumping off of risers and spinning in circles while shredding, he certainly wasn’t wrong.

Something that sets Waterparks apart from other bands is their relationship with their fans. Lead singer Awsten Knight certainly knew how to engage the crowd by introducing his bandmates by shouting, “When I say Otto, you say Wood,” and, “When I say Geoff, you say Geoff!” Awsten also spent a portion of the night reading fan’s signs and typed messages on their phone screens, including a message asking for him to tell crowdsurfers to stop. But, any fan of Waterparks knows that the band lives for the energy that comes with surfers, pits, and general rowdiness at a show. So, the singer explained to the crowd that he loves when fans demonstrate excitement for the show in this way, while still encouraging a safe environment for anyone that may not want to participate in holding up surfers by recommending other areas for them to stand than in the line of fire.

Part way through the set, an ominous vibe took over the room as a sheet was raised up in front of the stage blocking the crowd’s view. Stage lights went dark aside from a single spotlight, showing Awsten’s silhouette. Then, a computerized voice began to describe religious trauma as silhouettes of people in hazmat suits walked across the screen. As the voice continued on, a cloud of gas circled the head of Awsten’s silhouette, then disappeared with the words, “Find peace. Find yourself. Everybody is a god once you make it out of the property.” At this point, the screen went black and dropped to reveal the new set covered in overgrowth and decorated with bodies of people in hazmat suits. The band re-entered at this point to play their most recent song that inspired this tour, “Sneaking Out Of Heaven.”

With this mood shift, the excitement never dwindled and the crowd interaction didn’t stop. One portion of the show even included Awsten and Geoff having a competition to see who could throw a guitar pick all the way up into the balcony. Awsten also continued to encourage crowd interaction by saying, “I’ve heard a lot of things about Richmond…but I’ve heard they’ve got the best fuckin’ circle pits on the east coast, man.”

The band closed out the show with their hits, “Numb,” “Turbulent,” and “Real Super Dark,” saying, “When real people come through and show up, it means so much more than any fuckin’ metric online.” This was certainly a historic tour that fans will never forget, and that can all be attributed to the atmosphere the band has been cultivating since their conception.


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