LIVE REVIEW: Bully & Sub*T – Denton, TX 10/26/2023

Nashville singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer Alicia Bognanno’s solo rock project, Bully, reached a small local bar in Denton, TX last night. Since its formation, Bognanno has been praised for her coarse vocals, 90s alt rock essence, and raw growls. Her fourth studio record Lucky For You reinvents Bully’s image from Bognanno’s usual heavy-hitting snarls to a nearly poppier downbeat project simply due to production changes. However, the bold scrappiness of Bully remains within Bognanno’s introspective and emotional lyrics.

Photo: Ryn Taylor

Bognanno and her touring band kicked off the night with Lucky For You‘s noisy, angst-filled opening track “All I Do.” As the first chords were stuck, the crowd immediately began jumping and dancing around. With no breaks in between songs, the band moved at a hard-hitting pace through Bully’s ten-year discography. During the energetic hit “A Wonderful Life,” Bognanno and her bassist Nick Byrd thrashing around on stage, with the crowd jumping along.

As the setlist progressed, Bognanno made her way through Lucky For You and several songs from her third studio record, SUGAREGG (2020). Slowing down the night with SUGAREGG‘s “Prism”, the crowd swayed along to the dialed down rock ballad. Passionate shouts and cheers from the audience erupted for fan favorites, 90s rock anthem “Where to Start” and the heartbreaking jam “You”. The setlist concluded with the album’s last and angstiest tracks “Days Move Slow” and “All This Noise.” Shortly after, Bognanno alone returned to the stage for an apt cover of Jane’s Addiction’s ageless “Jane Says.” The band returned for “Milkman”, the singer’s first song back in 2014, with love from a truly welcoming crowd.

Photo: Ryn Taylor

Opener alternative rock duo Sub*T, made up of Jade Alcantara and Grace Bennett, elevated the audience’s anticipation with their standout riffs. Unfortunately due to sound problems at the venue, the riffs were the only distinguishable sound for the first half of the set. Thankfully, the  duo sprang back to full force on their hit single, ‘Boxing Day’, which excited long-time fans in the crowd.