Smile Politely

The Overture: July 31-August 6

WHAT: Open Mic Night with free Moscow Mules

WHERE: The Canopy Club (free for 21+, $2 for under)

WHEN: Monday, July 31st at 8 p.m.

Every Monday The Canopy Club has an open mic night, hosted by Mike Ingram. Occasionally, the open mic nights include free Moscow Mules, sponsored by Smirnoff, and this is one of those nights. 

As far as playing at their open mic, if you can plug it in, then feel free to use it on stage. Restrictions apply to full bands, DJ sets, and no backing vocals, only instrumentals. For more details check out the event here


WHAT: Spandrels, Gash, Heavy Pockets, and Nectar

WHERE: Espresso Royale, 602 E. Daniel Street ($7)

WHEN: Monday, July 31st at 8 p.m.

Espresso Royale continues to be a new host for local shows in the C-U area. This Monday night they support locals Spandrels and Nectar while welcoming touring bands Heavy Pockets and Gash, both from New Hampshire. Come for the coffee and enjoy a nice bill of punk bands, what better plans could you have for a Monday night?



WHAT: Open Decks

WHERE: Radio Maria (free)

WHEN: Tuesday, August 1st at 10 p.m.

Every Tuesday night Radio Maria holds an open decks session inviting all DJs to come spin, hosted by the ultimate veteran DJ Belly. This is a great opportunity for any DJ wanting to break out of their shell or spin at a hot downtown spot. Grab your gear and confidence and head on down, there will be some sick drink specials as well.


WHAT: FINAL LIBRARY HOUSE SHOW with Eli Amariah, Isaac Arms, and more TBA

WHERE: Library House,123 Askapunk Dr, Urbana 

WHEN: Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

The Library House joins many great past music venues in C-U after this Wednesday, as they host their final show. Locals musicians Eli Amariah from Sleeping Okami and Isaac Arms from Winder have been announced to perform at this point, but will most likely be joined by others. If you’ve never been to a show at the Library House, it’s a very unique, relaxing experience that every true C-U music fan should experience, and this is your last chance. DO IT.


WHAT: BLIND PILOT with Anna Tivel

WHERE: 51 Main ($18)

WHEN: Wednesday, August 2nd at 8 p.m.

51 Main brings Blind Pilot into town accompanied by Anna Tivel. Blind Pilot has performed on Ellen as well as The Late Show with David Letterman, sporting an indie/acoustic sound pleasing to anyone’s ears. Anna Tivel, from the same area as Blind Pilot (Portland, Oregon), also brings an acoustic/indie sound, complementing very well. This is one show you don’t want to miss, giving you a great chance to check out 51 Main, if you haven’t already.


WHAT: Paper Planes with Puzzle Quest, Grand Ambassador, and Bad Columbus

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($5, 18+)

WHEN: Wednesday, August 2nd at 8:30 p.m.

Paper Planes comes to The Canopy Club from the Bloomington-Normal area to play with three local bands, Puzzle Quest, Grand Ambassador, and Bad Columbus. All the bands on the bill have a very indie/alternative type of sound and make for one hell of a party on stage when thrown into the same bill. This show is stacked and not one to miss, especially for only $5.


WHAT: Michael Meadows Farewell and CUFRF Benefit Show

WHERE: The Iron Post ($5 to benefit CUFRF)

WHEN: Thursday, August 3rd at 7 p.m.

Michael Meadows, a unique singer/songwriter based out of C-U is leaving town and offering up his music one last time in benefit of the Champaign-Urbana Folks and Roots Festival. He’s also offering free CDs to the first 217 attendants, you can’t beat this deal. Come to the Iron Post and enjoy a farewell show to Meadows, while he completely gives his music away to C-U for one last time.


WHAT: Dalton Halls Band

WHERE: Blackbird Urbana (free)

WHEN: Thursday, August 3rd at 9:30 p.m.

Blackbird continues hosting live music every Thursday night. This Thursday the live performance will come from the Dalton Halls Band, a very funky soul band. Venture to downtown Urbana’s newest bar/music venue and see what it’s all about.




WHAT: First Friday: Family Bands and Triptych Tasting

WHERE: Spark Museum + Play Cafe (free)

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 5 p.m.

Come check out one of Urbana’s First Friday events, especially if it’ll be your first. First Fridays are a great way to engage and learn about Urbana businesses and performers. This Friday be sure to check out performers Kurt Bielema and special guests Angie Heaton and Kittens Incorporated at Spark Museum + Play Cafe, beers from Triptych Brewery will also be available for tasting.


WHAT: Friday Night Live

WHERE: Downtown Champaign (free)

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 6 p.m.

August brings the final month of Friday Night Live in downtown Champaign. If you haven’t been to a Friday Night Live this summer, this is one of the last chances to do so. At this point, Moondogs and Killer Bee Honey will be two of the many acts performing on one of the many corners in downtown Champaign. Check back with 40 North closer to Friday to see who else they’ve put in the lineup.


WHAT: Irish Fest

WHERE: Allerton Park and Retreat Center ($5/person or $10/family)

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 6 p.m.

Allerton Park creates an Irish Festival like no other. Celtic bands will be performing, a Celtic inspired playground will be available for kids to play on, which includes a castle themed bouncy house, and Irish stew along with soda bread will be available for purchase, along with several other food vendors. Bring the whole family along with enough lawn chairs and get a family ticket discount. This is a festival you won’t soon forget.


WHAT: Everyone Leaves, Kept On Hold, Jarring, Pretty Pleased, and Forfeit

WHERE: Blips and Chitz ($5, all ages)

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 7 p.m.

You counted that right, there are FIVE great bands on this bill. Don’t say Blips and Chitz never gave your money’s worth. Alt/punk bands Everyone Leaves and Kept On Hold come from Columbus, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan, respectively. They’ll be supported by Illinois bands Jarring, Pretty Pleased, and Forfeit. Get down to the basement and enjoy the shit out of this show.


WHAT: Nastics

WHERE: Goldy’s Bar and Grill

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 8 p.m.

Nastics makes their debut at Goldy’s this Friday night. The band covers a variety of music for all to enjoy, coming straight from a garage in Monticello. Their music includes covers ranging from classics in the genres of rock to country. No matter who you are, you’ll enjoy this show.




WHAT: Surreal Deal

WHERE: Pipa’s Pub

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 8 p.m.

Do you like 70’s jam band music? If you do, you’re going to want to get yourself down to Pipa’s Pub this Friday, as the Surreal Deal specializes in it. They play hits from bands such as the Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Clapton. 


WHAT: George Faber

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 8 p.m.

Born in Champaign, George Faber is one of the greats to come out of this city. Faber is a blues/country legend having released music videos through MTV and playing alongside Muddy Waters. He’ll be joined by Matt Stewart, Gary Gardner, Roger Prillaman, and Jamie Ryan.


WHAT: Memphis on Main II

WHERE: Memphis on Main

WHEN: Friday, August 4th at 9 p.m.

Fun DMC takes over Memphis on Main, sharing a unique experience of mashups and medleys. Ever wanted to hear Metallic and Journey blended together? Well, this is your chance, among many other medleys. Come out for the music and enjoy many of Memphis on Main’s drink specials.


WHAT: Live! Music for Kids: Prince K’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventure

WHERE: Champaign Public Library (free)

WHEN: Saturday, August 5th at 3 p.m.

This one is for the kiddos and it’s in a library, how can any parent pass that up? Kevin Farris is an adventure in a song, he’ll take your kids on the adventure of a lifetime with just a guitar and a voice. People of all ages can find an infinite amount of entertainment in his performance, bring the whole family!


WHAT: SvenStock

WHERE: D’StillHer Farm, 280 North County Road 300 East, Sadorus, IL 61872 ($10 suggested donation)

WHEN: Saturday, August 5th at 3 p.m.

Come out to Sadorus to a family farm for a good time that directly benefits Imerman Angels. There will be something for the kids and the adults, music, games, camping, and plenty of food from local vendors. Music starts at 3:30 p.m. and the last band plays at 11:30 p.m., so this is an all day event, giving you plenty of time to donate to the Imerman Angels. Read an interview on the event here


WHAT: Parker Millsap with The Bashful Youngens

WHERE: 51 Main ($15)

WHEN: Saturday, August 5th at 7 p.m.

Oklahoma native, Parker Millsap has set out to make his name known in the folk scene on a global scale. He’s already been on Conan and invited to play alongside Elton John, how more successful could one be? That’s right, he’s coming to Champaign to play at 51 Main this Saturday. Locals folk band, The Bashful Youngens, couldn’t fit alongside Millsap anymore perfectly. This is not a show to miss and could be a great way to experience 51 Main since it’s opening.


WHAT: Karaoke Night

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey (free)

WHEN: Saturday, August 5th at 10 p.m.

Love Karaoke? Well here’s your chance to do it on one of the best stages in downtown Champaign. The karaoke will be provided by Sound Choice Entertainment. Pick a song and belt it out like you do in the shower or on the car ride home from work.


WHAT: WEFT Jazz Benefit Concert

WHERE: The Iron Post ($10 minimum donation)

WHEN: Sunday, August 6th at 6 p.m.

This Sunday venture over to The Iron Post to enjoy some of the finest jazz C-U has to offer. This show will directly benefit WEFT Community Radio. Performers include Jose Gobbo, Kavi Naidu & the Poblano Project and The Jazz Friends Quintet. Feel good about supporting a local radio station all while taking in some of the areas best jazz.


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