Smile Politely

The Overture: December 9-15

The Overture is a rundown of live music and performances happening in Champaign-Urbana (and the outskirts) 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, December 9th

UIUC Jazz Trumpet Recital

► UIUC Music Building Auditorium // Free // 7:30 p.m.

Urbana Hootenanny

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 8 p.m.

Tuesday, December 10th


► Clark Bar // Free // 6 p.m.

Peter Tijerina Nonet ft. Suzy Nichols

► The Iron Post // Free // 7 p.m.

José Gobbo Trio

► Boomerangs // Free // 7 p.m.

UIUC Jazz Band IV (Big Band)

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 11th

UIUC Symphony Orchestra

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 7:30 p.m.

UIUC Jazz Combo II

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 12th


► Boomerangs // Free // 6 p.m.

Rebecca Rega & The Trainmen

► Exile on Main Street // Free // 6 p.m.

Dan Hubbard

► Baxter’s // Free // 6 p.m.

Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra (Joys of the Season Concert)

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 7:30 p.m.

The Motet

► The Castle Theatre // $18 // 8 p.m.

Kayla Brown

► Blackbird // Free // 9 p.m.

Clockwork Owl, The Merry Travelers, Primitive Lights

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $5 // 9 p.m.

Start your weekend a night early with Urbana’s own, Clockwork Owl, taking the stage at 9 to bring you their own brand of Folk-Rock. The night takes a turn for the psychedelic with The Merry Travelers followed by Primitive Lights, staying a bit folksy with TMT and getting a bit bluesy with Primitive Lights. It’ll be a good show to usher you into the weekend.

Photo from The Merry Travelers’ Facebook page. 

Friday, December 13th

Chip McNeil Quintet

► Blackbird // Free // 5 p.m.

Rides of the Golden Maize

► The Brass Rail // Free // 5 p.m.

The Classic Women of Country: a Benefit for Girls Rock! C-U

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 // 7 p.m.

This will be a very fun concert, especially for you out there who love the goddesses of country like Dolly and Loretta Lynn. Join the Rose Bowl as they host this benefit concert for Girls Rock! C-U, helping the group to fundraise for their 2020 camp.

Windham Hill

► Blooming Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 7:30 p.m.

F*ck Finals VI – Revenge of the Finals

► The Canopy Club // Free // 8 p.m.

The Canopy Club is hosting their sixth UIUC Procrastination Jam this Friday the 13th featuring a string of area artist playing from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Artists include Shibby Fre, Jake Fava, $ojo Da Poet, Smoke in Space, and a ton of others. So if finals got you down, or if the mention of finals week gives you flashbacks, skip your studies with this show.

Big Creek Guitar Band

► Huber’s West End // Free // 8 p.m.

DJ Belly

► nightshop // $5 // 9 p.m.


Saturday, December 14th

The Merry Travelers

► Lincoln Square Mall // Free // 10 a.m.

Black Eyes Lillies

► The Iron Post // Free // 6 p.m.

Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles, Relevator, Nathan Kalish

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $12 // 7 p.m.

The Many

► Wesley Student Center // Free // 7 p.m.

Superkick, Pelafina, Bosely JR., Eat My Jorts

► The Bird House  // $5 // 8 p.m.

The punk and punk-adjacent house-show scene seems to be pretty lively nowadays. This show will definitely be one for all you party punks out there, with bands describing their style from N64 pop punk to razor freestyle scooter punk. Definitely a show to check out if you just want to find out what the hell that even means.

New Twang City

► Huber’s West End // Free // 8 p.m.

Bad Medicine Band

►Sidney Saloon // Free // 8 p.m.


► Blackbird // Free // 9 p.m.


Sunday, December 15th

Advent Bach Cantata (“Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”)

► Grace Lutheran (Champaign) // free // 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

To be clear, these are definitely church services. However, if you’ve never had a chance to take in a Bach Cantata, there’s no better time than Christmas time. I know this is coming from the part of my that used to be a choir director, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Carl Johnson and the New Orleans Jazz Machine

► Urbana Free Library // Free // 2 p.m.

Horsecorn Cole & His Country 45’s

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 3 p.m.

Big Bluestem

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 6 p.m.

Bosley Jr., Pelafina, Shinzon, Black Esther

► nightshop // $6 // 8 p.m.

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