Article By: Zack Cohen
With two albums and a record label change behind them, Bully has been stirring up lots of publicity in the alternative rock scene. Often compared sonically to Nirvana, frontwoman Alicia Bognanno has crafted a unique sound with lyrics that resonate deeply along with an eerie scream that draws unmistakable ties to Cobain.
On Monday, March 5th, fans began to slowly file into the Larimer Lounge as the Chicago based noise rock group, Melkbelly, played their set with their guitars and amplifiers volume cranked to the max. At the end of Melkbelly’s set, members of Bully were seen setting up their instruments in preparation for the rest of the night. The audience filled in the rest of the vacant space and waited eagerly for the headliner to begin.
The beauty of Bully is their DIY mentality. While this is partially reflected in having full control of setting up their own gear, the biggest aspect to note is that they record and mix all of their songs on their own. Before pursuing her music career, Bognanno worked as a sound engineer at multiple different studios in Nashville and Chicago. In-between songs, fans made sure to bring up their production process while talking to those who weren’t familiar with Bully’s music.
Bully began their set with a track from their most recent album, Losing. Their intensity began to build up as the show went on, creating a nice buffer for the hits that would come later on in the evening. Upon first impression, Bully is intense. Alicia’s lyrics are very emotionally charged and reflect touchy themes such as sexuality, insecurities, and being anxious. She talks about these topics in a way that makes you feel as if you are eavesdropping on her intimate conversations or reading her mind at different points of her life. Nonetheless, it works. Bognanno is able to find a happy medium that shifts between comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time.
By the middle of the show, the intensity of Bully’s overdriven rock was in full effect. Fans and the band thrashed together in unison. The group then segwayed into their more popular tracks allowing fans to sing along to hits such as “Trying” and “I Remember”.
Immediately after finishing their main set, the band abruptly placed all of their instruments on the ground and left the stage together, leaving their overdriven amplifiers humming and harmonizing with each other in the background. The group then came back to play a two song encore, bringing the night to a close with high energy as Bognanno jumped into the crowd, yelling the lyrics to “Milkman”, a track from their 2014 self-titled EP.
Bully is set to continue touring until mid-July, bringing their ten-month tour to a close at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party.