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Wage War Go Manic for a Sold-Out Show at Marathon Music Works

Wage War has been on a steady climb the past couple of years or so and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. The band formed in 2010 in Ocala Florida and began amassing their following quickly after their first couple of shows. Fans of the band long made claim that the ceiling wasn’t enough for these metal giants and that the world would soon know their name. Fast forward through four studio records, arriving at the cusp of a global pandemic, the band began writing for their biggest record yet with ’Manic’. Released in 2021, Wage War had four singles in “Godspeed”, “High Horse”,” Teeth”, and their biggest single to date with “Circle The Drain”. Everyone knows how it goes when you have lightning in a bottle, the entire record becomes a hit, thus “Death Roll” becoming a worldwide smash and one of the sickest riff-infused tracks the band has put out.

Taking all of the previous experiences in to account and knowing the road ahead would be filled with it’s plethora of shows, the Manic Tour 2023 was just what the guys needed to round out this album cycle. Enlisting the help of friends Spite and Nothing,Nowhere, Wage War set their sights on a familiar setting, their now home, Nashville Tennessee. More specifically, Marathon Music Works. A captivating venue that has seen some of Nashville’s most exciting metal acts! This was a show we could not wait to cover!

On deck first for the night is Spite (pictured above), the SoCal mind-melting group formed right out of the Bay Area! Spite was one of the bands I was looking forward to catching this year. I just didn’t think it would be this soon and this monumental. Spite came out swinging for the fences from the jump as they played with a fire that burned so brightly I had to take a few steps back from the stage. With only three records to their name, Spite set the precedent for the evening that in my opinion, would be very hard to follow.

In between the madness that was Spite and the next band to take the stage, Nothing, Nowhere, I talked to the amazing barricade security team and shook hands with several fans as well as take photos of everyone’s beautiful faces, acknowledging the real reason photojournalists are really in the pit to begin with. As you can see in the image below, these fans were ready to rock the hell out!

Nothing, Nowhere was prepared to take the stage and show everyone who they are. One thing I absolutely love about shows sometimes, is going in blind on the opening acts and leaving overwhelmingly surprised and running straight to iTunes to download their music. This was absolutely the case with Nothing, Nowhere. Created by the talented Joe Mulherin, Nothing, Nowhere became a project in which Mulherin could become anything he wanted to without worrying about labels and making music for anyone but himself. Now that is not to say that he didn’t make this music for everyone. No. Quite the opposite. The music of Nothing, Nowhere is for everyone and anyone. Mixing a brilliant combination of rap-rock-emo and yes, metal, Mulherin has crafted something very specific and yet reminiscent of a few bands you may have heard of before such as Rage Against The Machine and The Beastie Boys, all while remaining true to himself and standing apart from the aforementioned artists. This was definitely a performance I was not expecting but was glad that I got to experience firsthand.

Once Nothing, Nowhere got finished I continued to mingle with the barricade warriors and try to get a pulse on just how excited they were for Wage War to start playing. I was met with some stating that “I’m shaking, I’m so excited” or “this is my 11th time seeing them and I always have fun” or my personal favorite statement, “I myself have seen them several times, but this is my kids first time seeing them”. How kick ass it is to see a new generation experience the Metal community for the first time and watch them watch this show!

The time had arrived. It was Wage War’s moment. We were not prepared for the onslaught, the decibel-pushing/crushing sounds of a band that’s been waiting all night to greet everyone to the Manic Tour 2023! The band opened their set strong with “Relapse” a 2:59 BANGER that got everyone jumping up and down nonstop it seemed. Briton Bond welcomed the Nashville faithfuls to the show and then right into “Teeth” they went. Wage War was not messing around. It was a frenzy of bodies one after another crowd surfing over top of the barricade and being sent back out into the sold out sea of people. I have never received so many high fives from fans while simultaneously taking photos of an artist in my career. What Wage War was able to do was create an atmosphere. One that had its own culture and it’s own rules. The one most noticeable rule being that of courtesy to those around them. As much chaos as this show was (in a good way) there was so much respect for one another and I have to say it was refreshing to see!

Wage War marched on into a massive 19 song set all the way into the late hours of the night on Clinton Street. From smiling faces, surfing bodies on top of bodies, to hands and arm fills of merch from every band’s table, the night was sold out and successful for all on that stage and in the crowd. The band would close their set out with “Manic”. Sending the night at Marathon Music Works into the great beyond and into the history books of an incredible venue in Music City.

Photo Gallery: Wage War - All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks

Photo Gallery: Nothing,Nowhere - All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks

Photo Gallery: Spite - All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks

Photo Gallery: Fans - All photos by Brandon Scott Hanks


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