I first heard about Badbadnotgood a few years ago when a good friend forwarded me a YouTube link of their cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”. The sultry, instrumental epic they turned this song into immediately made a fan out of me. Since then, I’ve enjoyed all the work leading up to their debut album, “IV” (which made my top 25 of 2016, by the way) especially that collaborative album with Ghostface Killa and the track they did with Kaytranada.
I first saw Badbadnotgood live at a small venue called “Subterranean” in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. I was so impressed by how this “jazz” band was able to get the crowd moshing (literally) at the same venue I saw my boss’ band cover “Livin on a Prayer” for a charity event. Though the credit for that could either go to the venue or BBNG, I had to see them again. I caught them at a somewhat rainy performance at the Wicker Park Street Festival in the summer of 2015. Despite it being a free show, these guys threw down harder than I’ve ever seen. What I’m trying to say here is that these guys are no joke, and they get better every time I see them.
I actually ended up obtaining the tickets to this most recent show for free from a friend. Backstory: BBNG walked into his Intelligentsia location, he recognized them, they were cool enough to offer him some tickets to the sold out show. (cheers, guys!) When he offered them to me, I accepted despite having already bought movie tickets to take a girl out on a first date. I called an audible and she was on board. (guessing that’s a good sign..)
After a great opening performance by the Mattson 2, BBNG opened up with a hilariously well executed cover of “Tequila”. The concert continued with jazzy moments, hype moments, and musically refreshing moments as expected. Badbadnotgood brings something to the table that I’ve never seen with any other band. You could have a blast at this show without hearing a single one of their songs beforehand. My date did.
BBNG Live: 8/10
Lincoln Hall venue rating: 8/10
Listen to a playlist I made of some of my favorite BBNG songs here :