Warped Tour | The Fairgrounds | Nashville, TN

Written by Kayla Albee | Photos by Nick Zimmer

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Warped Tour

Venue: The Fairgrounds

City: Nashville, TN

Date: July 10, 2018

"Are you ready for your last Vans Warped Tour?"

This question was asked directly before Issues took the Journey's Left Foot stage almost first thing in the morning. This year's setup was scaled down from previous years due to the Nashville Fairgrounds currently being under construction which only made each crowd feel more compact and full. Issues set was full of jump-inducing songs and when vocalist Tyler Carter called for a massive circle pit during "Never Lose Your Flame" the crowd happily obliged.

Sharptooth have a wild, fiery energy that's nearly tangible. In between songs, vocalist Lauren Kashan shared her personal story of sexual assault and abuse and explained that talking about past experiences allows others to feel safe to share their own story. This melodic hardcore band closed their set with "Clever Girl" with Kashan getting down into the crowd while performing, making the set up close and personal for audience members.

Hardcore five piece Harms Way went so hard that they broke a snare shortly after their set started. James Pligge hardly stopped moving for the duration of their performance which included jumps, kicks, and swinging around the stage. For this tour, Harms Way are out in support of their latest release, Posthuman. 

Pop punk veterans Mayday Parade kicked off their set with their popular track "Jamie All Over" (fun fact: this song turns eleven this year) and followed it up with a mix of old and new material. For a band that's been around for over a decade, the band members looked like they were still having the time of their lives even though Derek's vocals were a bit lackluster at times. 

Deez Nuts drew a small crowd with rowdy fans who were ready to get down and dirty. With a circle pit in motion for most of their set, this Australia based hardcore band started off with "What's Good?" Their set also included "Stay True" which dedicated fans got into. 

With a beautiful backdrop and inflatable flower prop on stage in support of their latest album Petaluma, acoustic duo This Wild Life blessed the crowd with a relaxed and stripped down performance. Due to the heat, minimal movement and crowd participation was greatly appreciated. Notable singalong worthy numbers including "Westside" and "History."

Bert McCracken has always been an animated performer, and he turned it up a notch with snippets of Shakespeare recitations sprinkled throughout The Used's set. Seeing a circle pit to a Shakespeare reading was certainly different! Due to Bert no longer performing rough vocals, Travis from We The Kings joined the stage to perform "A Box Of Sharp Objects" with the band which was an impressive shift from his usual vocal style. 

Knocked Loose took to the stage for their first show of the tour and it took no time for the crowd to lose their mind. Less than five minutes into the set a fan in the pit got whacked good enough for the set to be temporarily stopped (everyone was fine). The band tore through tracks off of last years Laugh Tracks as well as throwing in “All My Friends” off of their Pop Culture EP. If you’re lucky enough to catch one of the handful of dates they’re playing on this year's tour, do yourself a favor and check out their set as the intensity of their performance is unparalleled. 

Notable acts include Bowling For Soup and 3OH!3. Bowling For Soup's show was like a comedy special mashup with the band posing for photos on stage and providing hearty banter. They brought two members of the group Not Ur Girlfrienz (seriously, check them out-- they're living your teenage dream) on stage to lend a hand on "Ohio (Come Back To Texas)" and called out someone who was crowd surfing in between songs asking them what they were doing. They closed their set with "1985" while Reel Big Fish joined the stage to drink beers with the band. 

3OH!3 brought the party to Nashville with a pumped up performance of all of their early 2000's hits. They pulled most of their material off of WANT causing the crowd to erupt into a massive dance party. Having caught them on Warped over ten years ago, it was fun to see them again and to relive the excitement that their live performance brings.

With this being the very last full cross country Vans Warped Tour, it was bittersweet to see it off as it holds a special place in all of our angsty teenage hearts.