Tonight was the perfect immersion into the world of pop-punk, with three bands at the top of their game all operating at different ends of that vast spectrum. Headliners Waterparks are enjoying something of a victory lap for their second album Entertainment, a primary-coloured romp through the mind of their much-idolised frontman and lyricist Awsten Knight. Tonight, on the day where prolific tweeter Knight got himself embroiled in a spat with Twitter themselves, the band found themselves back in Brighton for the second time in a year – this time in the larger Concorde 2. However, despite selling out shows all around the country, the half-full room would indicate that Entertainment hasn’t quite clicked with Brighton audiences yet.
Awsten Knight is not a man to be missed or ignored. Never mind his predilection for brightly coloured hair, he is a prolific tweeter, engaging his large international fanbase with emotional honesty in his role as lead singer, lyricist and frontman of the Texas band Waterparks. Behind the bright and breezy facade however, there is a serious musician responsible for some of the catchiest anthems to emerge from the pop-punk scene in recent years. Entertainment, their second album, arrives shortly after Knight admitted in a brutally honest manner that he thought of it as “ruined” due to an undisclosed event in his personal life. Given that much of Entertainment describes being madly in love, it’s safe to guess what happened. However, with themes of obsession and hints at depression, it is more than just a sappy tribute to young love. Beneath the vibrant surface colours, there is a darker centre lying at its core.