Bully, Thalia Hall, Chicago

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The female fronted punk-rock band blew the crowd away on Tuesday.

Big Ups opened the night with a fierce almost too intense set.

Now don’t get me wrong…. Big Ups did a great job.  They entertained the crowd, made a few new fans, and warmed up the room for Bully. Frontman Joe Galarraga did a great job of exploiting his energy on stage.  Jumping from one side to the other and fiercely lighting the mic on fire with a snarl.  The music coating his lyrics reminds me of The Rollins Band.  Very raw and punk sounding, but deeper than your typical punk beats. If you are a New York Native, be sure to support these guys and get out to see them!

Bully came on stage shortly after a brief intermission.  This was my second time seeing them live so I knew somewhat of what to expect.  They opened their sixteen song set with ‘Seeing it.’ It is one of my favorites off the new album Losing.  

Alicia Bognanno, lead vocals and guitarist, really feels like the foundation of the band.  Her raspy voice carries song after song, and is truly enjoyable to listen to.  Her background in Audio Recording shines through with the production of each album.

Their albums sound amazing and I have to assume that is in part due to Alicia’s heavy lifting on the recording process.  Stewart Copeland drops some sweet beats on the drums.  He manages to fill gaps perfectly and continually drives the songs.  Bassist Reece Lazarus also had some time to shine on stage.

He mostly kept the beat driving with the drums and at some parts were hard to hear.  However about midway through the set with ‘Trying’ I was really able to hear him and he made everything look super smooth and easy.  The final band member, Clayton Parker, really rocked the house on his guitar.  He gave us swelling leads to some heavy grunged out riffs.

Overall the night was a pleasant voyage for my ears.  Big Ups was a welcomed surprise with their gritty off the wall rocking.  Then watching Bully play the hell out of their songs.  Pouring every ounce of emotion into every minute of the night was invigorating.

The band has a bright future with this second album and I for one am glad to have seen them before they start selling out arenas.  Bully has a long list of shows stretching until mid May.  You can find out when they are coming close to you by visiting their site HERE.  In addition you can listen to their set list from the Chicago show HERE.


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