Smile Politely

Bully in review: A sold out show

Last night, I went to see Bully perform with locals Spandrels and the Dry Look. You could have told me that the night was sponsored by Fender, and I probably would have believed it — everyone seemed to be endorsing Fender one way or another. The show was sold out and it showed — the room was packed. A lot of people seemed to have bought merch as well, which is always nice to see happen.

Although the show was fun, I feel like it’s become a thing lately for bands to not announce a single song title or talk too much about themselves. While I totally get the whole idea of “We’re just here to play our songs” it’s nice to get a little interaction with the band, especially if it’s a sold-out show to a packed room, especially for opening bands, as the crowd might not know who you are. It’s also nice to get a break in between songs, where it won’t be as loud — especially for those who don’t wear hearing protection (please, do this at shows, it is so worth it for your own health).

Spandrels opened and although they’re a fairly new band, they’re also pretty tight and sounded great — their music reminded me a lot of the Smashing Pumpkins. They got some of the people moving at the front, and musically, the lead singer stood out to me. I’m really looking forward to whatever they’re working on currently. Right before closing out, the lead singer/guitarist said, “These are our last two songs which we’re playing in a row, you should buy one of our shirts over there — and if you can’t, I want a doctor’s note detailing why.”

During the break, someone came up to me to say “good job” while performing, which followed with, “Wait, aren’t you the guy from Spandrels?” So, add that to the people I’ve been confused for in C-U.

I also encountered a particularly rude and aggressive person, who later on during the show yelled some really dumb shit at Bully.

The Dry Look was up next and they sounded really great as well. I struggled to try and define what they sounded like, but it was something between punk and rock n’roll, a sound that is sure to blast your hair back and give you the Dry Look.

During the second song, the snare wire broke, and then according to the bassist they were just going to play a reggae set the entire night. This never happened, but what we did get was excellent.

Bully took to the stage a little before 11 p.m., and announced that it was their first show of 2018 — and that it was cold in our town. However, being from Minnesota, lead singer Alicia Bognanno was used to it. They mentioned that they had played a couple of times in C-U: once at the Iron Post for PYGMALION 2015, and another show before that. Musically what was on the albums was pretty much what you got live, just with a bit more energy live — and seeing the band jump around the stage was entertaining. I was particularly impressed by the vocals which were spot on with the album performances.

The band definitely gave the audience a lot of energy, as the pit got bigger and bigger as the show went on — everyone seemed to be having a great time. Apparently some asshole wasn’t having a great time, because he yelled towards the end of the set “slow it down girl” — Alicia responded afterwards: “To the guy who told me to slow down, don’t ever fucking tell me how to play my own music!” to which the audience clapped and cheered and some pointed over to the asshole and said “Fuck that guy!”.

If you’re going to go to a show why are you going to say some dumb shit? Just don’t.

This didn’t seem to stop the band at all though, since they played with a lot of energy and finished out the set. When done the audience kept clapping and much to the excitement of the audience there was an encore. During the last song of the encore, Alicia put her guitar done and just sang, which was great. Everyone was feeling the intensity of the song as the pit got the biggest it had the whole show.

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