Bad Religion return to Nashville
Article + photos by Nick Zimmer
After releasing their 17th studio album Age of Unreason earlier this year, Bad Religion announced a whole slew of dates across the world in support of the record. Somehow in my 10+ years of documenting shows, Bad Religion had always escaped me. This all changed when the band rolled through Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, TN last week with Emily Davis and the Murder Police along with Dave Hause & the Mermaid.
The show started off with Emily Davis and the Murder Police taking the stage in front of an at capacity crowd at Cannery. The band, fronted by guitarist / vocalist Emily Davis amped up the crowd with their take no prisoners brand of rock and roll as they cruised through a ton of tracks from their debut record, last years Same Old World. If their performance, as well as Same Old World, are any indication of the future to come for Emily Davis and the Murder Police, it’s going to be a fun ride.
We were able to catch Dave Hause & The Mermaid the last time they rolled through Nashville so we knew exactly what we were in for: Dave Hause giving a passionate performance while The Mermaid hold it down and play as flawlessly live as they do on record. Having released Kick earlier this year, Dave Hause & The Mermaid focused on material from that album as well as tracks from Bury Me in Philly and Devour. While we were not treated to any The Loved Ones tracks (have you seen the setlist from the 21st!?), there are zero complaints from us, and we will take any chance we get to catch Dave Hause perform.
Usually I feel like the old guy at shows. I’m now in my early 30’s and it seems like the demographic of showgoers keeps getting younger and younger (which is awesome), but in this case I was on the younger end. Bad Religion have been a band for longer than I have been alive and it is absolutely amazing that after 40 years, they are still performing at such a high level and honestly, it was the best sounding performance by a punk band that I can remember.
Greg Graffin is the consummate frontman, with a youthful energy and untouchable wit. The band joked how it has been such a long time since they properly played Nashville, the last time may have been 1979. While this tour is in support of Age of Unreason, the bands astounding 17th studio album, Bad Religion played nearly 30 tracks spanning their entire discography, busting out all of the favorites including “You”, “21st Century (Digital Boy)”, “Los Angeles is Burning” and “American Jesus”. Getting to see how Bad Religion has progressed while staying so true to their roots is an incredible thing and is a testament to the impact that Bad Religion has had on punk rock for the last 40 years. Here’s to many more years of Bad Religion releasing killer tunes and outperforming everyone!