Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Review: Bully at Zanzabar

Nashville's Bully played to a sold out crowd at Zanzabar on Sunday, January 21st, with Louisville's Brenda opening and Cincinnati's Tweens playing second. 

Unlike Bully's Nü Grunge aggression, Tweens embody the lighter side of the tribute to the original grunge movement, with glossy sounds of that of Kim Deal's Breeders, or even the late arrivals The Donnas (or a co-ed version of White Reaper), with squeals and cheerleader type chants by guitarist/vocalist Bridget Battle. 

The inclusion of beloved Louisville band Brenda was a wise choice as their brutal and yet highly upbeat sound proved to be a fine middle ground between the mid-nineties brat-rock sound of Tweens and the early nineties angst ridden clamor of Bully.

Cincinnati's Tweens (Photo by William McAlister)

Bridget Battle (Photo by William McAlister)


Bully hit the stage shortly before 10pm after Tweens fully prepped the crowd in a post-grunge pop feedback explosion. 

Clayton Parker of Bully (Photo by William McAlister)

Moving in and out of their post-nirvana scream rock to their slightly more polished and poppy songs reminiscent of a post-Radiohead America; as found on both their 2015 release 'Feels Like' and their newest, and impressive 2nd album 'Loosing' the crowd lovingly soaked in the howls and ear splitting feedback dished out by front woman and Minnesota native Alicia Bognanno, regardless of her penchant to hide behind her hair while singing. The Bully frontwoman has garnered a reputation for exuding extreme emotion while letting her hair completely cover her face, which didn't seem to bother the at-capacity crowd on Sunday.
 Alicia Bognanno's hair

 In fact Bognanno seems to have gotten a teeny bit more chatty than at previous louisville shows; most notably at Forecastle 2 years ago when the crowd was addressed once and at Guestroom records in store performance on October 21st, 2017, the day after Loosing was released, where the crowd was addressed twice. This could be due to the massive amount of touring in support of the new album, as well as all the positive reviews it garnered.

Shifting in and out of tracks from both albums, such as the angsty 'Blame' from Loosing (I wonder if sometimes you think that you've created a monster, a bitch who can't even blink) to the almost nostalgic  'I Remember' From Feels Like, with the lines 'I remember my old habits, I remember getting too fucked up and I remember throwing up in your car. I remember showing up at your house and I remember hurting you so bad', the crowd enjoyed each offering, all the way through the encore exactly one hour later with a powerful rendition of 'Trying' from Feels Like, and ended the evening by addressing the crowd one last time with the slightly backhanded compliment "This is the most fun we’ve had in Louisville by far” to the applause of a super grateful Sunday crowd.

Bungalo Betty's Blades in front of Zanzabar

Bully Merch Booth

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