Smile Politely

The Overture: July 17-23

WHAT: Old Fox Road, Gadget, Dead Words, and Airplane Radio

WHERE: Blips and Chitz (suggested donation for touring band)

WHEN: Monday, July 17th at 7:30 p.m.

C-U’s busiest house venue brings you more touring bands. Dead Words come into town from Fort Worth, Texas on their summer tour blending well with the other punk bands supporting, which include Illinois homies Airplane Radio, Gadget, and Old Fox Road.


WHAT: Theory of a Deadman

WHERE: The City Center ($25)

WHEN: Tuesday, July 18th at 7 p.m.

The City Center brings Canadian rockers to town, no not fucking Nickleback… but they were on Kroeger’s label, Theory of a Deadman. Everyone remembers their hit “Hate My Life” back in the 2000’s, well they’re still around and cranking out the tunes now having 8 top 10 hits under their belt and working on their 6th studio album. Get to the show and have a good time! 


WHAT: David Dondero with Kenna Mae

WHERE: Library House (suggested donation of $3-7)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19th at 6:30 p.m.

The Library House announces its first show in quite some time, hosting an absolute legendary singer/songwriter, David Dondero. Dondero will be complemented by our very own, Kenna Mae. This is a show promising to please the ears and make your worries fly away.


WHAT: Krannert Uncorked with Crofton Coleman and The Amber Sky

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (free)

WHEN: Thursday, July 20th at 5 p.m.

At this edition of Krannert’s Uncorked, take in the smooth soul and R&B music provided by Crofton Coleman and The Amber Sky. As you take in their tunes, sample a variety of wine at stage 5 and take relaxation to another level this Thursday.




WHAT: Live Music Thursdays with Brainchild

WHERE: Blackbird (free)

WHEN: Thursday, July 20th at 9 p.m.

Every Thursday you can enjoy live music at Blackbird in Urbana, but this Thursday you specifically get to enjoy Brainchild, a jazz band from Peoria that really knows how to shred. The band has a long list of originals as well as covers in their arsenal and ready to go at any moment. They’ve played 11 years straight at Summer Camp Music Festival, guaranteeing one crazy Thursday night at the Blackbird.


WHAT: Friday Night Live

WHERE: Downtown Champaign

WHEN: Friday, July 21st at 6 p.m.

Friday Night Live continues on the street corners of downtown Champaign. Every Friday during the summer, 40 North provides downtown street-goers performances from local musicians on multiple corners conveniently located nearby restaurant patios and beer gardens. Grab a bite to eat and take in the music, check here for musician details later in the week.


WHAT: Outside at the Research Park with Elvin Bishop Big Fun Trio

WHERE: Corner of First Street and St Mary’s Rd in Champaign (free)

WHEN: Friday, July 21st at 6:30 p.m.

Many partners come together with the University Extension program to put on another concert as part of the OUTSIDE series. This OUTSIDE series has now become an official Sesquicentennial event, including music, children activities, and a green fair. Performances by Mank N Sass and the Elvin Bishop Big Fun Trio.




WHAT: Joe Asselin, Doug Schroer, and Matt Stewart

WHERE: The Iron Post

WHEN: Friday, July 21st at 8 p.m.

If you like all things acoustic, then venture over to The Iron Post in Urbana Friday night. Performers include Joe Asselin, Doug Schroer, and Matt Stewart. 




WHAT: The ACME Principle, Jesse W. Johnson, and Wolf Tree

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey (21+ and $7 at the door)

WHEN: Friday, July 21st at 9 p.m.

This Friday come enjoy many veteran rockers in their respective bands along with Chicagoans Jesse Johnson W. Johnson & Coyote Scream. This is a great way to continue your Friday festivities in downtown Champaign as the night continues.






WHAT: Dan Durley with Sleeping Okami, Crofton Coleman, and Maddy Marsan

WHERE: The Canopy Club (18+ and $8 at the door)

WHEN: Friday, July 21st at 9 p.m.

UIUC alumni Dan Durley from The 92s comes back to town to perform solo at The Canopy Club along with locals Sleeping Okami, Crofton Coleman, and Maddy Marsan. 





WHAT: Tractor Kings, Caleb Cook Band, and Dewclaw

WHERE: The Iron Post

WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd at 6 p.m.

The Iron Post brings you another outdoor show to give you the ability to fully enjoy the summer weather. This show brings you fully into the folk swing with performances from Dewclaw, Caleb Cook Band, and Tractor Kings.



WHAT: Urbana Saturday Night Sampler

WHERE: Sipyard (free)

WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

Sipyard and Goldstein partner to bring a variety of talented artists to the downtown Urbana area. Performances range from visual to musical and are accompanied by some of Urbana’s best adult beverages. The event is free and open to the entire public currently boasting a lineup of 11 different artists. Bring the family and enjoy a nice summer night surrounded by art.


WHAT: MC Rota’s “Neurotica” Release Party

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($8)

WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd at 9 p.m.

Another album release party at The Canopy Club. Local MC Rota has been in the seen for quite some time making his mark at local open mics as well as in the group Rogue Tendency. Many other performers will be performing along with Rota to completely fill out the rest of your night. This is not a show you want to miss.


WHAT: ZXO + Adjy + Clint Niosi + Euriah

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Saturday, July 22nd at 9:30 p.m.

Locals ZXO and Euriah support touring acts Adjy from Black Mountain, North Carolina and Clint Niosi from Fort Worth, Texas. These are some of the best acts in their area and it should definitely be a priority on your list of things to do in the C-U area this weekend.


WHAT: Sounds at Sunset: West of Staley

WHERE: Mullikin Park (free)

WHEN: Sunday, July 23rd at 6 p.m.

Another Sounds at Sunset takes place this Sunday, this time at Mullikin Park. This edition brings you local jazz group, West of Staley. The band is composed of student jazz players from several different universities but call Champaign their home. Bring the whole family and a stack of lawn chairs and be prepared to have a nice Sunday.


WHAT: Jeffery Lewis with Ticketless Traveler

WHERE: The Iron Post

WHEN: Sunday, July 23rd at 7 p.m.

Locals Ticketless Traveler support Jeffrey Lewis as he brings his band to The Iron Post all the way from New York City. Tunes will range from folk to anti-folk to indie rock. Lewis has been involved with many big name acts and made his name known in the songwriting world. Come see a show you soon won’t forget.

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