Bully hit the stage at High Noon Saloon on Nov. 7, filling the venue with sounds from their debut album Feels Like as well as their sophomore album Losing.
The show began with an opening set from Big Ups, a Brooklyn based band that blends an instrumental punk feel with hardcore scream vocals.
The crowd bobbed their heads and sipped beers as the band took the stage a few minutes after 8 p.m., performing songs such as “Wool” and “Contain Myself.” The crowd was clearly not familiar with the band’s music, but listened as the vocalist transitioned from a calm storytelling voice to an all-out scream. The dynamic contrast was backed up by the trio of guitar, bass and drums. They strummed along smoothly until suddenly unleashing their full power, leaving eardrums rattled.
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After a short intermission, Bully came to the stage and opened their set with “Seeing It,” a song from their new album.
The audience got to hear a new scream, this time from Bully’s lead singer, Alicia Bognanno. Throughout the set, she also sang, displaying the full versatility of her vocals.
The band fused 90s grunge with a newer, Indie-style throughout their set. Each musician passionately moved around the stage, in sync with one another musically but not physically.
Bognanno dangled her messy blond her in front of her face and allowed it to stay there for minutes at a time as she played throughout the set.
The band usually did not stop between songs, changing tempos on the drop of a dime and flowing one song into the next so quickly that they were hard to tell apart without the new feeling in Bognanno’s voice.
The venue was about half full, with plenty of standing room, and the crowd was receptive, but not overly so. The genre of music was certainly more conducive to mosh pits than a still crowd, but people were still clearly enjoying themselves — many perhaps hearing Bully for the first time.
Bully left the stage and promptly returned to perform their last two songs, “Running” and “I Remember.”
The High Noon Saloon was a modest and casual venue for the show. There were little lighting effects but the speaker system made up for it. This was the most important factor considering the hardcore nature of the music being performed.
The audience left the venue having heard a blend of many styles of rock into a unique combination that could not be replicated by any other duo of bands.