Smile Politely

The Overture: May 22-28

Black and white photo of the two members of Seal Party. The man on the left is standing in front of a dark background and the man on the right is standing in front of a light background, and he's wearing a checkerboard coat.
Seal Party on Facebook

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, May 22nd

Two men next to each other. One appears to be walking and talking, and he's wearing a fedora, has long hair, a leather jacket, a black t-shirt, black belt and blue jeans. The man on the right is dressed in a suit jacket with a floral pattern shirt underneath. He is also wearing dress pants. He is tall with a reddish-grey beard and hair.
Seal Party

Editor’s Pick: Seal Party

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5:30 p.m.

Seal Party is a Bay Area soul-rock band created by songwriting-production duo Chris McGrew (drums/production) and Kevin Seal (keyboards/vocals). Their debut album, MMXXII, was released in 2022 and features a wide range of influences, including ’70s soul, rock, and R&B.

The Urbana Hootenanny

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 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, May 23rd

This image shows a group of men playing musical instruments under a white tent. There are several people in the picture, including one person playing a guitar, another playing drums and two more standing nearby. The background is an outdoor setting with a car parked on the street. Everyone is wearing red clothing and there appears to be some stage equipment set up as well.
Prairie Sharks on Facebook

Prairie Sharks

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Prairie Sharks, a family band featuring father Tim Horger, sons Frank and Jeff Horger, and bassist Sebastian Kelle, combine blues, country, and R&B with a sci-fi twist. They reimagine old tunes and create new ones in a retro style, always aiming to keep audiences engaged and toes tapping.

Wednesday, May 24th

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 // free // 5 p.m.

The Vine Street Syncopators are a New Orleans-style jazz band that brings the good times regularly to Rose Bowl Tavern and elsewhere around CU. They play a mix of early jazz standards and original compositions, and their tight musicianship and energetic live shows have earned them a loyal following.

Thursday, May 25th

A photo of the crowd facing the stage with an EDM act performing. There are a lot of bright neon colors coming from the lights on the stage, and the sunset fills the sky in the background.
Summer Camp on Facebook

Editor’s Pick: Summer Camp Day One

Three Sisters Park (Chillicothe) // $89.50 to $349.50 // 5 p.m.

Come experience the last year of the iconic Central Illinois music festival, Summer Camp. Get there early to see local acts such as Emily How and The Children of the Rat Temple, which are just two of the 50 acts slated for the “Pre-Party” day of the festival. Thursday tickets are sold separately but require a three-day GA-Pass to attend. 

This image is of a man with a long beard and a black hat playing an acoustic guitar outdoors. He is wearing a cowboy-style hat, and his clothing appears to be mostly black in color.
The Corn Flakes on Facebook

Americana Happy Hour with The Corn Flakes

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

The Corn Flakes, a seasoned Americana band, charm audiences with their down-to-earth performances, singing about timeless themes like family, trucks, trains, and rural life. With a repertoire including covers of Hank, Willie, Homer + Jethro, and an enduring sense of humor about their journey, they’ve managed to create a unique blend of success out of their intended failure.

This image is of a man wearing blue glasses and a black shirt. He has short, dark hair and appears to be in an indoor setting. He is looking directly at the camera with his glasses on, suggesting he may be reading or studying something. In the background there are bookshelves filled with books and other objects.
Laurence Hobgood

Laurence Hobgood Trio

Rose Bowl Tavern // $12 advance, $15 door // 7:30 p.m.

The Laurence Hobgood Trio, established in 2016, is a jazz group led by pianist Laurence Hobgood. Known for their inventive take on jazz standards and original pieces, the trio’s music, featuring Hobgood’s adept improvisation, provides an engaging listening experience.

Photo is taken about 100 feet in front of a stage. Onstage you can see 4 members of the band Giovanni and the Hired guns, and the crowd is packed in those 100 feet.
Giovanni and the Hired Guns

Giovannie & The Hired Guns with Letdown

The Castle Theatre // $20 // 8 p.m.

Giovannie & The Hired Guns, a Texas-based rock and roll country band, blend elements of rock, country, and Latin music in their high-energy performances. Led by singer-songwriter Giovannie Sias, with two albums to their credit and having toured with renowned bands such as The Allman Brothers Band, they grow their audience one incredible show at a time.

Friday, May 26th

Editor’s Pick: Summer Camp Day Two

Three Sisters Park (Chillicothe) // $89.50 to $349.50 // 5 p.m.

Things really get rolling during day two with headliners such as jam band moe. doing two sets on the Moonshine stage, and EDM giant Excision headlining the Sunshine stage until 1 a.m. Also playing will be Bob Marley’s band, The Wailers. A dark horse contender for the most original set of the festival may come from a little-known duo from Arkansas called MK Ultra who played the Canopy Club a while back. Come to the Campfire stage at 7:30 sharp to see the amazing performance yourself. Our pals Vintage Pistol will follow them on the same stage.

This image is of a man playing an electric guitar on stage. He is wearing a black shirt and jeans, and has long dark hair. The background of the image is mostly dark with some blue lighting illuminating the stage. There are other instruments visible in the background, including a steel drum to his left.
Unwed Sailor from Instagram

Unwed Sailor, Terminus Victor, Vincas

Loose Cobra (Tolono) // $15 (in the bucket) // 8 p.m.

Slither into the Cobra Friday night for a line-up featuring local heroes Terminus Victor, indie legends Unwed Sailor, and touring band Vincas. This event will be organized “cobra-style,” a donation-based approach suggesting a $15 cash contribution to an orange bucket, intended to reduce overall costs and better financially support the artists.

This image shows a group of five people performing on stage. There are four men all playing various musical instruments. The man in the center is playing an electric guitar, while the man to his left is holding a drumstick and appears to be playing a drum. To their right, there is another man with an electric guitar. In front of them all is a microphone stand. All of the performers are wearing black clothing, which stands out against the dark background behind them.
Painted Canyon on Facebook

Painted Canyon with Jeremy Todd Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // $15 suggested donation (bucket) // 8:30 p.m.

Local Americana rock band, Painted Canyon joins indie-folk singer-songwriter and his band, Jeremy Todd for a good night of tunes on the patio.

8:30 – 9:15 p.m. – Jeremy Todd Band
9:40 – 11 p.m. – Painted Canyon

Saturday, May 27th

Editor’s Pick: Summer Camp Day Three

Three Sisters Park (Chillicothe) // $89.50 to $349.50 // 5 p.m.

Day 3 of the last Summer Camp Music Festival boasts big names like moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, and EDM act Ganja White Knight. You can check out a local band making some buzz, Kangaroo Court, on the Soulshine stage at 8 p.m. as well. 

This image shows a group of seven people playing musical instruments in an indoor setting. There are four men and three women, all wearing casual clothing. The instruments being played include a guitar, cello, bass fiddle, and banjo. All the musicians appear to be performing together as part of a musical ensemble or band. The dominant colors in the image are grey, black and white.
Hot Iron String Band on Facebook

Hot Iron String Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8 p.m.

Get your fill of local bluegrass with Hot Iron String Band on the patio at Rose Bowl Tavern. Donations for the band can be put in the bucket and are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, May 28th

Editor’s Pick: Summer Camp Day Four

Three Sisters Park (Chillicothe) // $89.50 to $349.50 // 5 p.m.

The last day of the Summer Camp Music Festival still brings the heat with a set by Willie Nelson and Family on the Moonshine stage, sandwiched by sets from moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. The Sunshine stage is packed with talent featuring rock acts Badflower, Vulfpeck, and Mastadon. The Starshine stage kicks off the day with Chicago Farmer and the Fieldnotes and will also host talented acts Andy Frasco and the U.N., as well as respected EDM artists Sunsqabi and Boogie T. If you can, head over to the Soulshine stage to take in the very danceable music from local act Modern Drugs.

A guitarist and bass player onstage, shot from behind, you can see a room full of people in front of the stage.
The Dopamines on Facebook

The Dopamines W/ Space Age Zeros/ Mid Nite Leg and The Cliche

The Space // $15 // 7 p.m. 

If you can’t make it to the last night at Summer Camp, then get your jolt of music that moves you at The Space in downtown Champaign. The Dopamines are an American punk rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio. Their music has been described as “a mix of pop-punk, hardcore, and garage rock,” and they have been praised by critics for their “infectious hooks” and “unbridled enthusiasm.” Harking from the rough streets of Channahon, IL, Space Age Zeroes promise “Punk Rock Power Pop for fans of The Ramones and Screeching Weasel”. Mid Nite Leg is also in support, and seeing they’ve played The Space more than any other band, I’m guessing they have compromising photos of Doug. Ask them after their set: maybe they’ll show you. Starting things off is the pride of Peoria, thrashy punkers The Clichè.

3 separate photos of 3 musicians with upright bass instruments. The two on the left are female and there is one male on the right.
The Taco Belles

Crystal Rebone’s Taco Belles

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m. 

Taco Belles, founded in 2018, is a jazz group created by University of Illinois student Crystal Rebone and her colleagues Emma Taylor and Melinda Rodriguez, inspired by the album Super Bass and a mission to elevate women in jazz. Currently comprised of Rebone, Taylor, and Andrew Binder, the evolving trio infuses vocals over bass rhythms, and every member contributes songs and arrangements to highlight their individual musical styles.

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