Smile Politely

The Overture: February 14-20

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, February 14th

Nancy Livingston

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

Jazz vocalist Nancy Livingston is performing some love songs at the Rose Bowl this Valentine’s Day. Joined by Kurt Reeder, Emma Taylor, and Max Osawa.

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 Bently’s Pub’s Facebook page. 

Anti-Valentine’s Day

Bently’s Pub // free // 9 p.m.

It’s okay if you don’t have a Valentine today. Bently’s has you covered. Come hangout and enjoy some DJs playing goth, new wave, metal, and punk. 

Jules Rose

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

WEFT is bringing singer-songwriter Jules Rose to the studio for their Valentine’s Day edition of WEFT Sessions. 

TUESDAY, February 15th

Carrie & Sass

►Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

The talents of Carrie Chandler (of The Bashful Youngens) and Sass Siders come together for an evening of great tunes. 

WEDNESDAY, February 16th

Tito Carrillo Quintet

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

Trumpeter Tito Carrillo returns to Rose Bowl with his quintet to bring a stellar night of jazz.

THURSDAY, February 17th

Chachi and Falbo

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

Bring your weekend to a close with an evening of folk and americana, featuring some original songs as well as classics.

Image of Kuroshio from Immersion Festival’s Facebook page. 


Krannert Art Museum // free // 5:30 p.m.

Kuroshio is the combined talents of Jason Finkelman, Joy Yang, Saori Kataoka, and Kavi Naidu. This improvisational group creates unqiue sonic landscapes that transport you to a whole new world. 

Summer Camp: On The Road

Canopy Club // $7 // 8 p.m.

Essentially a battle of the bands, artists perform and listeners vote as to who the best act is. Winner gets a spot on the Summer Campy Music Festival 2022 lineup. Lots of great acts competing this year. 

FRIDAY, February 18th

Jeff Helgesen Quintet

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

Local trumpet guru Jeff Helgesen performs at the Rose Bowl with his stellar quintet, bringing you hard bop of the 1960s.

The Brad Wheeler Group

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 5 p.m.

Part of NOLA’s Jazz Happy Hour, jazz musician and multi-instrumentalist Brad Wheeler leads his group through a great set of tunes. 

Image from Catching Hickory’s Facebook page. 

Catching Hickory

Pipa’s Pub // free // 7 p.m.

Catching Hickory is back at Pipas, bringing their brand of blues and americana, as well as some fan-favorite covers. 

The K-Tels

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8:30 p.m.

The K-Tels perform rock and soul from the 60s and 70s, as well some original hits. It’s funky, groovy, and an all around good time. 


Castle Theatre // $17 adv, $20 door // 8:30 p.m.

Funky, groovy, jazzy, rock. Created out of a love for jazz and jam bands, Ripe’s tunes will get you up and dancing. 

SATURDAY, February 19th 

Dr. Carla and Company

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

Since 2019, Dr. Carla and Company have been bringing a wide array of genres to CU, from jazz, to soul, to disco, to rock. 

Live Thru Wednesday

Clark Bar // free // 6:30 p.m.

Making their debut at Clark Bar this Saturday, Live Thru Wednesday plays a blend of rock, reggae, and ska, with originals as well as covers. 

Ian Shepherd & Friends present An Evening of Led Zeppelin

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

Ian Shepherd and Friends start the night off at 7 with some rock and funk. At 8:30, we get a stellar lineup of local artists paying tribute to Led Zeppelin. Check out the Facebook event for the list of performers. 

Image from Castle Theatre’s Facebook page. 

Editor’s Pick: Pokey LaFarge

Castle Theatre // $22.50 adv, $25 door // 8 p.m.

A favorite of mine and a Bloomington native, Pokey LaFarge is blues, folk, and americana, all rolled into one. He has played internationally, performed on Letterman, played alongside Jack White, and more. With the Bloomington home-court advantage, plus the power of his full band, this is my pick for show of the week. 

Astrofix, Caps Lock, Retail Smile

Nightshop // $10 adv, $13 door // 8:30 p.m.

Three Central Illinois based rock and roll bands, you’ll get progressive rock, funk, classic rock, alt-rock — basically, all the rocks. 

Sunshine Daydream

NOLA’s Rock Bar // $10 // 10 p.m.

Technically a cover band, but Sunshine Daydream is bringing Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia covers in a unique and fun way. This is part of Summer Camp Saturday, so if you are not able to head to Summer Camp, now is your chance to see this group. 

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.

SUNDAY, February 20th

Almost A

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

Almost A plays jazz, folk, gypsy, gypsy jazz, tango and klezmer music. This unusual combo of sounds comes together to create something really wonderful.

University of Illinois Repertory Jazz Orchestra

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

Another U of I student jazz group at the Rose Bowl, this time featuring the talented Repertory Jazz Orchestra, who specialize in Band Band era jazz. 

Soul In the City

Canopy Club // $5 adv, $8 door // 8 p.m.

A night of hip hop featuring DJ Fatmack, Lukane, Skeuwep, Moe Pesci, and more. If you’re looking for some talent in the world of rap this week, this is your show.

Image from The Data Waves’ Facebook page. 

The Data Waves, Kangaroo Court

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

Hoo boy, this is going to be a great show. Two great CU bands. We’ve got The Data Waves, who were our favorite jazz band of 2021. Joining them is Kangaroo Court, who we named the best new band of 2021. 

Top image from Immersion Festival’s Facebook page. 

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