The Academic stun fans on their first visit to Nashville at The Hight Watt

Photo and story by Carlee Reilly / Contributing Writer

A crowd from all over the world, from Alabama to Ireland, came together at The High Watt in Nashville Saturday night to see a breathtaking show put on by LOYALS and The Academic.

LOYALS, a Nashville band, played from one song to the next with minimal talking for the majority of their set. With over a decade of experience, including a show at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, the group’s energy mesmerized the audience with ease.

Although LOYALS’ performance was incredible itself, the crowd was anxious for The Academic to take the stage.

Being that this was the band’s first US headlining tour, they were met with an eager fanbase ready to sing along to every song.

The Academic remarked that their influences included groups such as U2, The Beatles, The Killers and more. These renowned names may seem difficult to compare, but The Academic have succeeded in putting out remarkable content to suit such icons.

The band was full of energy, frequently hopping around the stage with great chemistry. This likely comes from the members having known each other for up to 12 years and playing as a band for the past five. In that time, they have toured across Europe, their largest show at 3Arena in Dublin.

Being their first-ever show in Nashville, the group couldn’t have been more thrilled. The band’s lead singer, Craig Fitzgerald, recalled that Nashville is every songwriter’s dream destination, and this show would always be close to their hearts.

The band also kept mentioning how hot Tennessee was, explaining that they had packed for winter and weren’t prepared. However, when asked what their favorite part of Nashville had been, they still said how beautiful the weather was — which became ironic when it started to rain mid-show.

The band was not afraid of a good laugh, whether joking around with fans or remembering embarrassing stories from the past. To explain the story behind one of the band’s popular songs, “Fake I.D.,” Fitzgerald recalled how he had always had a baby face. While on tour in Chicago, he had decided to relax in their hotel’s jacuzzi. He, a 24-year-old man, was asked by hotel staff to show his I.D. in order to relax by himself in the 18+ jacuzzi. The crowd was hysterical.

At the end of the night, both bands were very gracious to the fans that had come out. Even 45 minutes after the show, both bands were still busy talking with their fans. By the end of the night, it appeared as if each audience member left with a smile and witty joke to hold onto in their memories.

To contact Music Editor Hayden Goodridge, email

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