Smile Politely

The Overture: June 20-25

5 members of Lyle Lovett and his big band performing onstage.
Lyle Lovett and His Big Band

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.

Tuesday, June 20th

Music artist Stephen Philip Harvey sitting on cement stairs outside a brick building. He has glasses on, a light blue shirt with a white t-shirt under it.
Stephen Philip Harvey on Facebook

Stephen Philip Harvey Octet

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

Experience the raw energy of the Stephen Philip Harvey Octet as they embark on their tour celebrating the release of their debut album, Elemental, a collection of music inspired by the natural and spiritual elements of water, air, earth, and fire. SPH8’s performance of Elemental brings the forces of nature to life through six original compositions that fuse modern harmonies with a driving texture. Stephen and the other 7 will be under the tent, so come out and enjoy the set under the elements.

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. 

Come experience the authentic jam band music of Silverweed at their monthly shows in C-U. Influenced by Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and classic country artists, the band delivers tight performances with jamming and improvisation, showcasing their love for classic rock, Americana, and original material.

Wednesday, June 21st

4 members of Kilborn Alley Blues Band performing onstage with a purple backdrop.
Kilborn Alley Blues Band on Facebook

Urbana Neighborhood Nights: Kilborn Alley at Crestview Park

Crestview Park // free // 6:30 p.m. 

Join your Urbana neighbors at Crestview Park for Neighborhood Nights, where the Urbana Park District continues its 35-year tradition of showcasing top local musicians, this time featuring the band Kilborn Alley. Pack a picnic, get cozy with your chairs and blankets, and enjoy an evening of free blues music, complimentary popcorn and lemonade, engaging activities, community resources, and a chance to discuss your neighborhood with district officials.

The five members of Vine Street Syncopaters lined up against a tan wall, each holding their instruments.
Vine Street Syncopaters

Vine Street Syncopators

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

Get ready to dance and swing to the old-timey, Dixieland, New Orleans-style, and early jazz music at The Rose Bowl Tavern. Don’t miss out on this lively event that promises a night of vibrant, toe-tapping tunes.

Thursday, June 22nd

3 members of Stillhouse Junkies looking down at the camera. The member of the left is male and wearing a hat. The female is in the middle holding a violin and in a blue dress. The male on the right has a hat, sunglasses and is holding an upright bass.
Stillhouse Junkies on Facebook

Stillhouse Junkies

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 advance, $15 door // 8 p.m. 

Don’t miss the extraordinary musical fusion of Stillhouse Junkies as they bring their unique sound to the Rose Bowl stage. With diverse influences ranging from classical to West African, blues, bluegrass, and swing, this nationally-recognized touring act captivates audiences with their multi-set catalogue of original songs, soaring improvisations, and heartfelt ballads. Winners of the 2021 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year award, Stillhouse Junkies promise an unforgettable performance that transcends genre boundaries at their upcoming show.

Jazz in the Park with the Chip McNeill Quartet

Porter Park // free // 6 p.m. 

Head out to Porter Park for some Jazz in the Park, featuring the Chip McNeill Quartet. This free event is part of the Champaign Park District’s Sounds at Sunset series. Bring your family and friends, pack a picnic dinner, and enjoy the summer with live jazz music. Remember to bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

The four members of High Cotton Bluegrass Band onstage performing. 3 are male and one is female. They are all wearing black tops and blue jeans and are either playing guitar, banjo or mandolin.
High Cotton Bluegrass Band on Facebook

High Cotton Bluegrass Band

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // free // 5 p.m. 

Get ready for an evening of bluegrass melodies as High Cotton Bluegrass Band takes the stage at Krannert Uncorked. With over 20 years of entertaining audiences, their high-lonesome sound, captivating harmonies, and skilled instrumentals will transport you to the foggy bottoms and smoky mountain tops of Bluegrass Country. Experience the music and connections at Stage 5 during this remarkable event in the Krannert Uncorked concert series.

Illinois Summer Band – Barry L. Houser, conductor

UIUC Quad // free // 7 p.m. 

The Illinois Summer Band, conducted by Barry L. Houser, invites you to the UIUC Main Quad for some fresh air and great music.

A rapper named MC Davo dancing on a street where he and his band are playing
MC Davo on Facebook

MC Davo

The Canopy Club // $20-$75 advance, $30 door // 8 p.m. 

Coming to the Castle Theatre in Bloomington, MC Davo, the Monterrey-born rapper and social media sensation will be delivering another electrifying performance. From recording lightning-fast raps in his bedroom to captivating crowds at local bars and festivals, MC Davo’s journey from underground rap battles to major label success has solidified his street credibility and propelled him to stardom. MC Davo boasts a unique blend of laid-back hip-hop and reggaeton influences that have garnered him a devoted fan base and gold-certified albums.

The 4 members of Chickadee Sermon outside with a bright sun in the background.
Chickadee Sermon

Americana Happy Hour ft. The Chickadee Sermon

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

The Chickadee Sermon offers a delightful blend of vocal harmony and delicate instrumentation, showcasing acoustic guitars, banjo, string bass, and melodica. Their repertoire includes heartfelt original songs reflecting their small-town country upbringings, as well as covers of revered artists such as Jerry Garcia, John Harftord, Emmylou Harris, John Prine, and Bob Dylan.

Friday, June 23rd

All 14 members of Lyle Lovett and his big band posing in an empty auditorium on stage.
Lyle Lovett and His Big Band

EDITOR’S PICK: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

The Virginia Theatre // $95 to $216 // 7:30 p.m. 

Immerse yourself in an enchanting evening of captivating music as Lyle Lovett and His Large Band grace the stage on Friday at the renowned Virginia Theatre. Prepare to be captivated by their musical genius, as they deliver harmonious melodies that will leave a lasting impression. Don’t miss this memorable concert experience in a truly special setting.

Friday Night Jam Sessions – Douglass Branch

Champaign Public Library – Douglass Branch // free // 6 p.m. 

Calling all performing artists! Join us for a vibrant evening of creativity and connection at our monthly JAM session, held every fourth Friday at the Douglass Branch Library. Bring your talent, instruments, and materials to showcase your skills, connect with fellow artists, and explore new artistic endeavors. Whether you’re an instrumentalist, singer, producer, DJ, or spoken word artist, this welcoming event is open to all. Reservations are recommended for performers but feel free to drop by and enjoy the incredible performances as an audience member.

Three women music artists posing in different stances or sitting positions. They are all wearing black tops and either skirts or jeans.
Three Times a Lady on Facebook

Listening Room experience with Three Times a Lady

Yellow and Company // $25 – $40 // 7:30 p.m. 

Experience an unforgettable evening of timeless country music as singer/songwriters Lauren Mascitti, Kennedy Scott, and Hannah Blaylock come together as “Three Times A Lady”. Delight in their breathtaking harmonies and captivating storytelling as they pay tribute to the beloved “Trio” albums by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris. These talented artists, who have toured with renowned acts and appeared on shows like American Idol and The Voice, will treat you to a one-of-a-kind evening filled with the finest country music.

Fourth Friday Party with Poisoned Rationality

Boomerang’s // free // 8 p.m. 

Join us for an electrifying summer celebration as your favorite pop-punk crew ignites the stage. Get ready to party and embrace the infectious energy at our regularly scheduled Fourth Friday Party at Boomerangs. It’s the perfect way to kick off the summer season with a night filled with music and memorable moments.

5 band members of Nick Shoulders and the OK Crawdad outside of what looks like the backdoor to a seafood restaurant. Nick is standing up and the OK Crawdads are all sitting down.
Nick Shoulders and the OK Crawdad on Facebook

Nick Shoulders and the Okay Crawdad

Rose Bowl Tavern // $15 advance, $20 door // 8:30 p.m. 

Experience the captivating sounds of Nick Shoulders and the Okay Crawdad as they take you on a journey through raucously clever country music. With an ethereal croon and masterful whistle, Nick Shoulders combines traditional singing rooted in his Ozark upbringing with a modern twist, challenging the conventions of the genre. Embrace this thought-provoking musical adventure that pays homage to rural Arkansas while defying the limitations of traditional country music.

Jim Pryor Quartet

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

Enjoy a beautiful Friday Happy Hour on the Rose Bowl patio with the Jim Pryor Quartet.

Saturday, June 24th

6 members of Urbana Hot Club looking like they just played a gig under a large tent. They are all sweaty and posing for the camera.
Hot Club of Urbana on Facebook

Hot Club of Urbana

Rose Bowl Tavern // tips in bucket // noon 

Experience the vibrant melodies of the Sweedler Bros., Will Andresen, and Louie Pappas, together known as Hot Club of Urbana, as they play a dynamic mix of hot-club jazz, standards, and original compositions on an early summer afternoon. Don’t miss out on this lively event as part of the Rose Bowl After Market series, featuring live music, arts, and more every Saturday at the Aftermarket Series at Rose Bowl Tavern in downtown Urbana.

3 guys sitting on chairs playing guitars outdoors.
Big Creek Guitar Band on Facebook

Big Creek Guitar Band

Huber’s // free // 7 p.m. 

Experience the captivating performances of The Big Creek Guitar Band, a seasoned trio of live performance and studio musicians. With their stimulating and fun-filled shows, they have consistently been the top audience draw and revenue-producing act for the Kickapoo Landing Outdoor series at Kickapoo State Park. Prepare for an eclectic mix of genres, including classic blues, rock, country, and originals, delivered at comfortable volume levels tailored to each venue.

A rap artist onstage performing. He has long dreadlocks that are tied up in a bun and he's dressed in all-black.
Zen The Rapper on Facebook

The Summer Solstice show with ZEN the Rapper and more

The Space // $10 // 8 p.m.

Embrace the spirit of the Summer Solstice at The Space CU in Downtown Champaign on June 24th, as rising hip-hop stars ZENtheRapper, Sunny Ture, $olo Da Poet, and Mousepad take the stage from 9-11 p.m. Experience conscious and thought-provoking lyricism that will leave you inspired and connected. Celebrate the longest day of the year with an unforgettable night of music, mindfulness, and new beginnings.

8 members of Half House looking down at the camera. They are standing in a circle.
Half House on Instagram

Live Music at Give a Little – A benefit for Imerman Angels

Exile on Main Street // free // 1 p.m.

Head over to Exile on Main Street for another Give a Little event! This time, they’re raising funds for the benefit of Imerman Angels, presented by Half House Studios, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with music starting at 1:30 p.m. A $5 suggested donation at the door will support this worthy cause, and Exile on Main Street will contribute 10% of sales between noon and 5 p.m. Enjoy live performances by Jake Kaufman, Jamere XO, Half House, BreAmore, and Red’s Head. Let’s come together to support Imerman Angels, a non-profit dedicated to providing personalized connections for cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers. Learn more at

5 hip hop artists on stage performing. You can see a few rows of people in the crowd and the backdrop for the stage is windows.
Cypher Saturdays

Cypher Saturdays

The Canopy Club // $10 door // 8 p.m.

Discover the vibrant underground hip-hop scene of Champaign-Urbana at Cypher Saturdays, a thrilling event showcasing local talents alongside regional artists. Immerse yourself in the diverse elements of hip-hop culture, including rap, live art, DJs, producers, battlers, and cyphers, all under the Canopy. Doors open at 8 p.m., performances kick off at 9 p.m., and the night culminates with a DJ spinning bangers until 2 a.m. Hosted by the Champaign Cypher Series, don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the premiere hip-hop platform in Champaign-Urbana.

A soft-focused photo of a young woman with short blonde hair holding what looks to be a pile of feathers with what looks like a lake at sunset in the background

EDITOR’S PICK: OTNES with Larry Anthony and Fiona Kimble

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 advance, $15 door // 8 p.m.

Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing sound of OTNES as they take the stage, combining vintage electronic pop textures with live instruments and passionate vocals. With their unique blend of dreamy melodies and dynamic production, OTNES will transport you to a world of musical enchantment. Joining them is Larry Anthony, a rising star in RnB-infused pop-rock, whose reflective lyrics, catchy hooks, and soulful voice create an unforgettable experience. Get ready for an evening of captivating performances and musical reinvention.

Sunday, June 25th

A man holding a guitar with a microphone to his face looking up at the camera. He has a turquoise sleeveless shirt, curly red hair and brown eyes.
Morgan Orion

Morgan Orion & The Afterburner’s with The Whip Appeal, Lily Unless and The If Only’s

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 suggested cover in bucket // 7 p.m.

Morgan Orion and the Afterburners are a New Orleans-based rock and roll band with a sound that is both classic and modern. They have toured the world and released several albums, and their music is known for its catchy melodies, clever lyrics, and energetic live performances.

5 members of the Mary Jo Curry Blues Band in what looks like an alley outside a bar, complete with graffiti on the walls and doors behind them.
Mary Jo Curry Band on Facebook

The Mary Jo Curry Band

Pipa’s Pub // free // 7 p.m. 

Immerse yourself in the heartfelt and authentic music of Mary Jo Curry Band as they take the stage at Pipa’s. With a sincerity that resonates through her soulful vocals, Mary Jo Curry delivers blues that evoke emotions and tell stories of truth, joy, and pain. Experience a captivating blend of old-school blues, R&B, rock and roll, and funk.

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