The Used and Pierce The Veil at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, TN

The Used @ Municipal Auditorium Nashville | Photo by Zach Birdsong

Emo fans received a treat when The Used and Pierce The Veil brought their co-headlining Creative Control Tour to Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. 

Before either one of the headliners took the stage, newcomer DeathbyRomy opened the evening with a short 30-minute performance. Early into her set, the singer told the Music City crowd that she was in the middle of her first tour, visiting Nashville for the first time. Had she not made that announcement, it would have been impossible to tell as she looked like a veteran on stage, commanding the audience and having them wanting more by the time her time was through. 

With the crowd already in good spirits, Don Broco harnessed that energy and by the end of their performance, had Nashville revved up for the first headliner on the evening. While a fun time, it felt like the English rockers performed two sets. Due to a crowd incident near the midway point of their performance, there was a five-minute stoppage. However, once resuming, the band picked up right where they left off, having the Music City audience screaming back the lyrics to the band.

Heading into Wednesday’s show, there was this seeming contraction regarding the headliners, despite both being bands for well over a decade. On the one hand, you have a group in The Used that has been established since the early 2000s, making their mark with elder emos. 

Then, you have Pierce The Veil, who connects more with the younger generation, and that was evident early on during their performance. Pierce The Veil opened and closed their setlist with tracks from their The Jaws of Life album, which was released earlier this year. The group opened their performance by heading straight into the opening track from that album, “Death of an Executioner.” The heavy bassline and catchy chorus, mixed with the other instrumentals, made it the perfect opening track to engage the audience. 

Pierce The Veil went on to perform two additional tunes from its latest record, “Emergency Contact” and “Pass The Nirvana.” The group did delve into their discography a bit, playing some fan favorites that included “Bulls in the Bronx” and “Caraphernelia.” However, it was the finale that really stuck the landing with fans.

In the summer of 2022, the band’s earlier work got a bit of a resurrection, largely thanks to social media. A decade after initially releasing the song “King For a Day,” which features guest vocals from Sleeping With Siren’s lead singer Kellin Quinn, it became a popular sound on TikTok. The trend became so huge that Pierce The Veil and Quinn performed the track last October during the inaugural When We Were Young Fest in Las Vegas. 

Pierce The Veil saved the track for last, and while Quinn wasn’t on hand during Wednesday’s performance, the crowd did a solid job filling in his part, screaming the words back at the group. Throughout the set, the Nashville audience made their presence felt and were deafening as they sang back each lyric to the band. The smiles from the band members said it all throughout the evening as they were soaking in the energy. It was also clear that fans thoroughly enjoyed getting to see the band, and it’s clear many are already waiting for their return to Music City.

While Pierce The Veil geared its tracks toward the younger audience, The Used went the opposite way, incorporating a 13-song career-spanning setlist into the performance. In some ways, it was a shocking move as the band released its ninth studio album, Toxic Positivity, earlier this month. However, the group only played one track from that record, “Giving Up,” which didn’t come until later in the set. 

That’s not to say that The Used didn’t perform newer tracks. In 2020, the group released its eighth record, Heartwork, before its latest album dropped on May 19. Between those three years, The Used put out new songs, making them available on all streaming platforms. Two of those singles, “F*** You” and “People Are Vomit,” were included in this performance – each garnering a strong crowd reaction. During “F*** You,” the group challenged fans, telling them to flip off lead singer Bert McCracken, and the Nashville fans didn’t let that opportunity go by the wayside. The latter track received quite the singalong from the audience, and it carried over to the final song of the evening when the group performed fan-favorite “Pretty Handsome Awkward.”  

While those songs elicited reactions from fans, they were far from the only tracks to receive such a response. In fact, the rest of The Used’s setlist was filled with nothing but fan favorites and had the audience singing along to every word. The performance was tailored to longtime fans of the band, as eight tracks came off the band’s first two albums. 

If anybody thought this might be one last hurrah for the band, those notions were quickly dismissed. McCraken and the rest of the group members had so much energy, engaging with fans often, that it’s evident they still have plenty more to offer. After 23 years, the band has no plans on stopping, but McCraken stated on Wednesday, “I’m trying to make memories that will last me my whole life.” 

Judging from the crowd’s reaction, the band delivered on making memories for those in attendance. As some patrons left the auditorium, there was nothing but glee in their voices, and here’s hoping The Used will still be creating memories for those fans with several return trips to Nashville. 

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About Zach Birdsong 39 Articles
A current communications specialist with a background in journalism, where he served as a multiple award-winning newspaper editor, photographer and designer. In eight years, he received 18 awards from the Tennessee Press Association, the majority of which stems from his photography. He's also been fortunate enough to have had photos used by publications around the world including Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Today Show, Vanity Fair, Vogue Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and more.