Smile Politely

The Overture: April 4-10

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, April 4th

Improvisers Exchange

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

Led by Jason Finkelman, Improvisers Exchange is an initiative to bring together U of I students and community members to practice improvised music. It’s always a unique performance and anything could happen.

Urbanna Hootenanny

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

Every Monday at the Rose Bowl, come hang out with some great musicians. A sort of open mic meets song share, you can expect a variety of music and performers.

Image from Anika Emily’s Facebook page. 

Anika Emily & Booth Blues

WEFT Sessions (virtual) // free // 10 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Anika Emily brings her acoustic pop sound to the WEFT studio, backed by Booth Blues. 

TUESDAY, April 5th


Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 6:30 p.m.

SSG is Chip Stephens on piano, Joel Spencer on drums, and Larry Gray on bass, this jazz trio will keep you entertained all night long.

WEDNESDAY, April 6th

Chip McNeill Quartet

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

Grammy winning saxophonist Chip McNeil returns to bang out the tunes with his quartet.

THURSDAY, April 7th

Jeremy Todd

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

It’s Americana Happy Hour with Jeremy Todd, a singer-songwriter whose music touches on loss and redemption, while tackling it with humor as well. 

Image from Pygmalion’s Facebook.

Editor’s pick: LOW, Divide and Dissolve

Channing Murray Foundation // $25 // 8 p.m.

LOW has somehow managed to change their sound entirely over the last few years while still holding true to their original sound. Moving from “slowcore” into more noise territory, their newest album HEY WHAT captures the distorted, chaotic feeling of the last few years, while the band’s crisp vocals peirce through and provide moments of hope in the chaos. 

Ian Shepherd and Friends

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

Drummer Ian Shepherd teams up with other talented local musicians to bring you a great evening of jazz, blues, funk, and rock.

FRIDAY, April 8th

Erik Lund’s Jazz Friends Quintet

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

A tuneful Friday night provided by Jazz Friends, a group made up of Erik Lund on trombone, Jeff Helgesen on trumpet, George Turner on guitar, Emma Taylor on bass, and Ricardo Flores on drums.

Mike Block and Sandeep Das

Spurlock Museum // free // 7 p.m.

Sandeep Das on tabla and Mike Block on cello and vocals, the duo met as part of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble. Their energy is infectious and well worth catching this Friday. 

Chuck’s Papas, Kangaroo Court, Great Value Jesus

Nightshop // $7 adv, $10 door // 7:30 p.m.

3 amazing punk/rock/alternative bands hit the Nightshop stage this Friday. Chuck’s Papas and Great Value Jesus are both Bloomington natives.

Terminus Victor, Vaudevileins, Yap Trap

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 9 p.m.

It’s going to get loud at Rose Bowl tonight, with three kick-butt rock bands from all around Illinois. This is a show you will not want to miss. 

SATURDAY, April 9th


Krannert Art Museum // free // 1 p.m.

Originally scheduled for February, the new date is this Saturday. Kuroshio performs improvised music, creating unique sonic landscapes capable of transporting you to whole new dimensions. 


Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 3 p.m.

2 fiddles, 1 guitar, one great afternoon of music. Meadowhawk is Claire Johnson, Amanda Ramey, and Matt Turino, playing traditional and original songs.

Formerly the Fox

NOLA’s Rock Bar // $7 // 7 p.m.

This four piece indie psychelic rock band is playing Summer Camp, but you can catch them at NOLA’s for an intimate set. 

Image from Virginia Theatre’s Facebook page. 

Lucinda Williams

Virginia Theatre // $29+ // 7:30 p.m.

The legendary Lucinda Williams is stopping by Virginia Theatre with her band. With a few Grammy awards and fourty plus years of writing and performing under her belt, Williams knows how to put on a show.

Rose Bowl Cabaret

Rose Bowl Tavern // $12 adv, $15 door // 8 p.m.

Rose Bowl is hosting a cabaret show this Saturday, bringing the New Orleans-based performer Morry Arty. The description for this show on Rose Bowl’s event page is wild, and promises to be a great show. 

Bristle, The Recombinants

Brass Rail // free // 9 p.m.

Brass Rail teamed up with Weird Meat Boyz to put on a night of power-rock trios. The Recombinants are from Bloomington, and bring their sludge rock alongside of Champaign’s Bristle

SUNDAY, April 10th

Blind Baggage

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 1 p.m.

Featuring “Fat Fingers Jim” Robinson, Brady Bourbonay, and Elliott Ross and Mina Mazeikis (of Longbirds). The group plays jazz, ragtime, and blues from the 20s and 30s, with a mix of originals and covers. 

Rich Dole and Friends

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m.

Trombonist Rich Dole brings his friends Scott Pazera on bass, Sandy Williams on guitar, and Brian Yarde on drums, all experts on their instruments. 

Image from Polyvinyl’s Facebook page.

Oceanator, Nectar

Polyvinyl Record Co. // $15 // 6 p.m.

Oceanator will be performing on the Polyvinyl patio, with local punks Nectar opening the show up. Oceanator has just released their newest record Nothing’s Ever Fine and is touring in support of it. 

Rose Bowl Big Band (University of Illinois Jazz Band 3)

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7 p.m.

More U of I jazz at Rose Bowl, with some big band jazz this week. 

Image from Canopy Club’s Facebook page. 

TWEN, Kangaroo Court

Canopy Club // $7 // 7 p.m.

Lo-fi punk band TWEN comes to Urbana from Boston, with Kangaroo Court opening the show. End your weekend with a bang. 

Bristle, Norobot

Nightshop // $7 adv, $10 door // 8:30 p.m.

C-U punk rockers Bristle join Bloomington’s funk-punks Norobot for a high energy night of music. 

Top image from Pygmalion’s Facebook page. 

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