Alternative rock band Bully is the solo project of 29-year-old Alicia Bognanno, formed in 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. With the release of Bully’s third album, Sugaregg, Bognanno and her band began touring across the country, ending up at the Lodge Room for their 23rd tour stop this past Friday, September 10.
The show began around 8:30 p.m. with an unexpected and unconventional comedy performance from an unknown comedian. At the end of their set, they handed pieces of paper to random members of the audience, then returned to the stage where they stripped naked. They then asked the audience members to draw them as they contorted into different poses. The audience was shocked yet thoroughly amused.
After this surprising beginning, the opening band, Lightning Bug, took the stage. The audience closed in around the stage to listen as the peaceful music filled the room. Lightning Bug’s lead singer, Audrey Kang, sang soft melodies that balanced perfectly with the relaxing chords and drum beats. The band’s set was short and sweet, a terrific introduction for the rest of the night.
After a short break, Bully entered the stage, illuminated by the blue and purple glow of the stage lights. The crowd of around 300 people jumped and cheered, eager to hear their favorite songs live. Bully’s set started with a bang, jumping straight into “Add It On,” the first song off of the Sugaregg album. Strobe lights chaotically flashed along with the music. Bognanno’s powerful vocals echoed throughout the room.
Bully’s performance flowed smoothly from one song to the next. Faster and heavier songs like “Where to Start” were met with an energetic mosh pit from the crowd, while slower songs like “Come Down” created the perfect atmosphere for the audience to softly sway along.
Early on in the performance, the audience shouted with nostalgic excitement as the band played the song “Brainfreeze,” the fourth track off Bully’s debut album, Feels Like. The audience danced wildly along with the rhythmic guitar riffs and lively vocals, so much so that Bognanno yelled, “I love Los Angeles, you guys are so much fun,” as the song concluded.
At certain points during the performance, Bognanno set down her guitar and began moving around the stage as she sang. Particularly during the 14th song of the set, “Trying,” Bognanno moved closer to the front of the stage to allow for an intimate moment with the audience, singing together face to face. Shortly after, the band announced their last song to be “Milkman.” The intense and chilling vocals from Bognanno radiated throughout the venue. Her stage presence clearly depicted the passion Bully puts into their music—the audience felt every emotion along with the band.
Feedback emitted from the speakers as the band walked off-stage. The crowd yelled and cheered for an encore, not wanting the night to be over quite yet. Bully granted their wish and returned to the stage, ready for one more song to conclude the night. The band covered “Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues,” a song by Mclusky, a post-hardcore musical group from the early 2000s. The lyrics “Are you coming?” repeated over and over as Bognanno and her band jumped around the stage. The crowd followed their lead and jumped in unison, shaking the venue floor.
The encore song came to an end, and Bully finally exited the stage for the final time, wrapping up another successful stop on their Sugaregg cross-country tour.