Smile Politely

The Overture: July 17 – 23

4 visible members of the band Modern Drugs performing onstage
Derrick Philips

The Overture is a rundown of live music and performances happening in and around Champaign-Urbana each week. All of the information is as accurate as we can publish; however, all shows and performances are subject to change at any time. Thank you for understanding.

Did we miss something this week? Have a show coming up you think we should know about? Email us at [email protected] with the details.

Monday, July 17th

6 Members of Urbana Hootenanny onstage, black and white.
Urbana Hootenanny on Facebook

The Urbana Hootenanny

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 8 p.m.

Every Monday at the Rose Bowl, come hang out with some great musicians. The Urbana Hootenanny is an open mic meets song-share. You can expect a variety of music and performers.

Tuesday, July 18th

ISYM Jazz Faculty Showcase

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m.

 The Ilinois Summer Youth Music program (ISYM) Jazz Faculty Showcase comprises talented music faculty from the program, delivering a riveting blend of jazz and modern rhythms.

4 members of Silverweed performing on a stage with a red wall in the background
Silverweed on Facebook


Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 7:30 p.m. 

The band Silverweed is dedicated to soothing your senses with their music. Their repertoire includes classic rock, Americana, classic country, and their own original compositions. Since 2019, they’ve been infusing the Champaign-Urbana music scene with a unique hippie-cowboy aesthetic. Comprised of seasoned musicians from the C-U community, Silverweed delivers memorable performances at the Rose Bowl Tavern every month. Admission is free, but they’re always grateful for any tips.

Wednesday, July 19th

Two members of Mother Nature posing in front of an orange wall. The female on the left is wearing a white shirt and black vest with her hair worn up. The female on the right has her hair up in two small buns and is wearing an olive green shirt.
Mother Nature

Mother Nature – ISYM Hip-Hop Camp Party

UIUC Quad // free // 7 p.m.

Mother Nature, a Chicago and Houston-based female hip-hop duo and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alumnae, are set to light up the stage at the ISYM Hip-Hop Camp Party on the Quad. Renowned for their work beyond music, they champion the Miseducation of Hip Hop program, conducting workshops that inspire young people to discover their unique voices and identity. For more information on the ISYM Hip-Hop Camp, click here.

The Stark-Kutzko Septet

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m.

Join us in bidding farewell to Brian Stark at his last performance at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, July 19th, from 5 to 7 p.m., as he collaborates with local percussionist Sean Kutzko, forming the Stark-Kutzko Septet. An evening filled with flamenco, jazz, funk and fusion, also accompanied by talented local musicians including David McEathron, Paul Mock, Peter Tijerina, Mitchell Killough, and Max Osawa, with a repertoire spanning Miles, Zappa, and a collection of 70’s funk-jazz legends.

6 members of Kalesa posing in front of a black curtain. All of the band members are looking at the camera, have black shirts and sunglasses on.

Urbana Neighborhood Nights with Kalesa

Blair Park // free // 6:30 p.m. 

Join your Urbana neighbors for Neighborhood Nights in the Park on Wednesday, July 19th, a beloved tradition for almost 35 years where the best local musicians in various Urbana parks are showcased. Prepare a picnic, grab your blankets and chairs, and immerse yourself in a diverse range of music genres – from folk to soul, and rock to bluegrass – all in a beautiful park ambiance while enjoying free popcorn and lemonade, engaging in fun activities, and tapping into community resources. This free concert also gives you an opportunity to meet district officials and discuss your neighborhood, with a rain date set for the next day in case of bad weather (call the Urbana Park District Rainout Line after 5 p.m. for postponement information: 217-367-9575, ext. 21).

Thursday, July 20th

Black and white photo of a man in a cowboy hat looking back behind him while he sings and play guitar

Americana Happy Hour Featuring Chachi

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m. 

The Americana Happy Hour this week features Chachi, a familiar face around Rose Bowl Tavern. Come enjoy some relaxing tunes on the patio and let the awesome staff get your drinks while you fill the buckets with your tips.

Five members of Modern Drugs in their recording studio, all smiling at the camera. In the background you can see a photo of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust hanging above the window to the control room
Modern Drugs on Facebook

Editor’s Pick: Modern Drugs With Mirrors And The Blank Stairs

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10-$15 suggested cover in bucket // 8 p.m. 

Modern Drugs is back at the Rose Bowl bringing their catalog of original music with more hooks than an old tackle box. They are joined onstage by Chicago’s Mirrors and The Blank Stairs from Peoria.


Krannert Center for Music // free // 5 p.m.

Silverweed paints the town, well, silver, as they take the stage in Champaign-Urbana for the second time this week, delighting the audience at Krannert Uncorked.

A man in a bright purple suit standing against a concrete wall painted peach.
Leon Lewis-Nicol on Facebook

Jazz in the Park with Leon Lewis Nicol Trio

Kaufman Lake // free // 6 p.m. 

The Leon Lewis Nicol Trio plays the Champaign Jazz in the Park concert series this week at Kaufman Lake. Enjoy great jazz from 6 to 8 p.m. and some delicious food from Watson’s Shack & Rail. 

Friday, July 21st

Folk and Roots Fridays

Lake House in Crystal Lake Park // free // noon 

Join the Urbana Park District and the C-U Folk & Roots Festival on the first and third Fridays of every month to relish some exceptional live music, completely free of charge. There’s also boating and special discounts on drinks and snacks. All you need to do is bring your lunch and savor a serene midday break on the lake. Don’t forget to participate in the Friday raffles for a chance to win a free Lake House rental. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the concert moves indoors to the air-conditioned room at the Lake House.

A band is set up in the center of a street, looking out to a crowd of people gathered in front of them. There are brick buildings lining either side of the street.
Friday Night Live on Facebook

Friday Night Live

Downtown Champaign // free // 6 p.m.

Enjoy downtown Champaign every Friday from June through August for 40 North’s Friday Night LIVE, a free public performance series. Experience a diverse mix of music genres like bluegrass, jazz, folk, soul, rock, country, and blues, along with unique street performances and weekly kids’ activities, all thanks to the generosity of Pour Bros. Craft Taproom, Busey Bank, the City of Champaign, and the support of Champaign Center Partnership. Check their Facebook page for lineups close to the day of the event.

Jeff Hegelsen Quintet

Jeff Hegelsen playing trumpet
Jeff Hegelsen on Facebook

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 5 p.m. 

More jazz is on tap at The Rose Bowl Tavern with local jazz trumpeter Jeff Helgesen and his Quintet.

Main playing guitar on a dimly lit stage with a drummer behind him
Blues Deacons on Facebook

The Blues Deacons

Huber’s West End // free // 7 p.m. 

The blues outfit from Gibson City are hitting Huber’s West End. The band plays originals as well as blues classics.

3 members of Aaron Kamm and the One Drops performing on a blue lit stage. The guitarist/singer is in the front and he looks super tall.
Aaron Kamm and the One Drops on Facebook

Aaron Kamm and the One Drops

Canopy Club // $10 // 8 p.m. 

Aaron Kam and the One Drops’s music is self-described as “Reggae Jam Blues Rock”. Come dig their vibe at Canopy Club Friday night. 

Saturday, July 22nd

3 members of Fiddle in a Haystack performing onstage.
Fiddle in a Haystack on Facebook

Rose Bowl After Market with Fiddle in a Haystack

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // noon 

Get your feet tapping to some Appalachian-style songs with fiddle and banjo music at the Rose Bowl After Market Series under the tent.

7 members of Church Street Ramblers performing onstage.
Church Street Ramblers on Facebook

Church St Ramblers

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 3 p.m. 

The Church St Ramblers offer a dynamic performance specializing in early 20th-century jazz music. 

3 members of Lorenzo Goetz standing in front of a wall with bright neon graffiti.
Lorenzo Goetz

Editor’s Pick: Lorenzo Goetz Reunion Show with Temple of Low Man and Ryan Groff

Rose Bowl Tavern // $15 suggested donation // 8 p.m. The Lorenzo Goetz Reunion Show features Temple of Low Man and Ryan Groff, promising an exciting night of dynamic music and engaging performances. Proceeds from this show will fund a re-recording of their album Jesus Elephant for its 20th anniversary next year.

A black and white photo of a man with long hair, sitting down and playing guitar while looking down at the ground.
Kurt Vile on Facebook

Kurt Vile and the Violators With Laney Jones and the Spirits

The Castle Theater // $30 – $40 // 8 p.m. Kurt Vile and the Violators, joined by Laney Jones and the Spirits, deliver a powerful performance, fusing rock and folk with a distinctive edge.

Sunday, July 23rd

A woman with blue hair holding a guitar and singing into a microphone.
Derrick Philips

BONUS Editor’s Pick: Pricklefest

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // 2:30 p.m. 

Pricklefest is back for its 3rd year and is a celebration of rock-based, all-original music under the tent at Rose Bowl Tavern. Here is the lineup for this year’s rock music extravaganza:

2:40 p.m. Primitive Lights
3:30 p.m. The Auctions
4:20 p.m. Edna
5:10 p.m. Kilverez (St. Louis)
6:00 p.m. The Falbonauts
6:50 p.m. Iron Linings (St. Louis)
7:40 p.m. Lower Automation (Chicago)
8:30 p.m. Terminus Victor
9:20 p.m. Lung (Cincinnati)
10:10 p.m. Sweetmelk

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