Concert Review: Bailiff, Split Single, November 21, Lincoln Hall


Chicago is a city of unexpected delights – you just never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes the entire city smells of chocolate. Sometimes Lake Michigan fills with zombies. Sometimes you look outside your window and see people playing bubble soccer.

Chicago was at its most magical when it produced local bands Bailiff and Split Single for a show at Lincoln Hall Friday night. I’ve never felt more Chicagoan than right there, at my favorite Chicago venue, holding a green line beer, watching Josh Siegel, Ren Mathew and Owen O’Malley take the stage as Bailiff.

The group is bare-bones in the best of ways – with Siegel on lead vocals and guitar, Ren Mathew on drums and Owen O’Malley tearing it up on bass (I mean, I always understood theoretically that it was an important instrument, but now I actually get it. Good call Ms. Trainor) the threesome has exactly what it needs to produce rich and memorable songs with no unnecessary frills. The group obviously has a good local following, because Lincoln Hall filled out and got moving for them. Working their way through “Love Like Mine” “Helicopter” and “Golden Hour” the threesome not only produced some seriously wiggle worthy tracks but they also told some great stories, including how they finally moved up to a full sized van and said goodbye to their old ride ‘Jean-Claude “Minivan” Damme’. I’d see these guys again in a heartbeat just for the stage chatter.

Split Single took the stage next – that is all of Split Single besides frontman Jason Narducy, who took to the sound booth to sing to the audience from the back. There were several seconds of confusion until everyone got reoriented and enjoyed the sounds of (my personal favorite of theirs) “Waiting for the Sun.” Narducy, who hails from Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, and was a prominent member of the Chicago punk scene back in the 80’s, started the group in 2012 and put out his first record (with spoon’s Britt Daniel providing bass on the album) Fragmented World this past March. He and the band worked their way through a wide range of tracks (and musical genres – everything from indie to punk to shoegaze) with “Searches” “Last Goodbye” and (speaking of pleasant surprises – bringing it round full circle) the group finished up with a surprise cover of “Teenage Wasteland.” A delightful ending to a delightful night.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts