Smile Politely

The Overture: August 9-15

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, August 9th

Fiddle Sax Fusion 

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

The Fiddle Sax Fusion Band was formed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the trio performs Old Time Irish and fiddle tunes and folk hymns with a blues twist. 


Promotional poster for Castle Finn live on WEFT radio.

Image from WEFT’s Facebook event page.

Castle Finn

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

A new pyschedelic rock group led by Patrick Murphy, the group will be making their live debut! 

TUESDAY, August 10th

Los Guapos

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

Los Guapos are a Champaign-Urbana staple, bringing Chicha and Cumbia music to central Illinois for over a decade. This group is sure to get you moving.

The Bashful Youngens

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

Local folk favorites The Bashful Youngens hit the Rose Bowl for Tunesday Tuesday!

WEDNESDAY, August 11th

Larry Gray Guitar Trio

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

Guitarist Larry Gray, bassist Emma Taylor, and dummer Frank Kurtz play some great jazz at the Rose Bowl. 


Clark Bar // free // 6:30 p.m.

Alternative and indie rock band Mid-October hits the Clark Bar with some orginal tunes as well as some covers. 

THURSDAY, August 12th

Hobnob String Band

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

Every Thursday! Outside on the patio of Rose Bowl, Hobnob brings you some great acoustic music, from blues to bluegrass and other styles. Catch some great harmonies, and of course some wonderful fingerpicking. 

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. 

Shawn Dawson

Baxter’s American Grille // free // 6 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Shawn Dawson brings his many influences together to create his “old school” American sound. While he has a background in punk music, this show should be a lighter, easy-going type of evening. So sit back, grab some food, and enjoy. 

Billy Galt

Clark Bar // free // 6:30 p.m.

On the patio at Clark Bar, Billy Galt lays down some great acoustic blues. 

FRIDAY, August 13th

Portrait of Eric Hagen in sunglasses leaning against a car.

Image of Eric Hagen from SIpyard’s Facebook event page

Editor’s Pick: Eric Hagen and Red River Revival

Sipyard // free // 7 p.m.

It’s unlucky that it’s Friday the 13th, but you’re lucky that you can hear Eric Hagen perform at Sipyard with his band Red River Revival. Bringing Americana with some roots, blues, rock, and country, this is a great way to spend your evening. 

Jazz Friends

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

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

The Impalas

Huber’s // free // 6 p.m.

The Impalas play at Huber’s, bringing their brand of Texas roadhouse blues. Expect some tasty tunes. 

Kavi Naidu Quartet

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 5 p.m.

Friday jazz at NOLA’s continues with Kavi Naidu Quartet. Pair that with some drink specials, and you’ve got yourself a fine night.

The K-Tels Rock Music

Pipa’s // free // 7 p.m.

Three sets at Pipa’s tonight, with Kenny Reiss, Jack Brighton, and Mitch Marlow!

SATURDAY, August 14th

Belle Isle, Kayla Brown

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 7 p.m.

Part of NOLA’s Live Music Saturdays, Belle Isle and Kayla Brown are going to keep Urbana rocking. Come get some drink specials and enjoy!

DJ Belly

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 10 p.m.

Looking for some late night Saturday fun? DJ Belly has you covered, spinning beats at NOLA’s through the evening, so come out and bring your best dance moves — it’s going to be a party. 

John, Suzanne & The Limping Cowboy Band

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

Bringing original tunes as well as covers of popular country, folk, and cowboy songs, Sure to be a spur-stomping good time. 

Katie Flynn

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

Singer and CU favorite Katie Flynn brings her talents to Rose Bowl Tavern. 

Inland Calypso

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

A night of Caribbean music with a midwest spin. With steel drums, electric guitar, keys, and more, it is sure to be a night of fun and dancing. 

Promotional poster for Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest, with festival dates and time.

Image provided by Bob Palenzcy

Prairie Crossroads Blues Fest

Champaign County Fairgrounds // $15 advance, $20 door // 1:30 p.m.

Returning for its third year, this blues festival has a stacked lineup with 2 stages for non-stop blues music. There will even be a pre-fest party at Bunny’s Tavern on Friday, August 13. To buy tickets or for more information, check out the festival’s website here.

New Twang City

Huber’s // free // 6 p.m.

Some good ole country honky tonk, this will be a fun Saturday night at Huber’s! 

SUNDAY, August 15th

Church Street Ramblers

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

Playing jazz from the early 20th century, Church Street Ramblers will get the toes tapping, with songs by legends such as Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, and other greats. 

Terminus Victor, Vaudevileins, Sisser

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

Local rock band Terminus Victor plays with Chicago based Vaudevileins and St. Louis based Sisser for part of their 4 day weekend tour. Check out their other tour dates here if you can’t get enough of these great groups.

Top image of Eric Hagen from SIpyard’s Facebook event page.

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