Smile Politely

The Overture: Mar. 27-Apr. 2

WHAT: Green Day with Against Me!

WHERE: State Farm Center (cheapest seat currently available is $38)

WHEN: Tuesday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Yup, one of the most important acts of 90s music are playing a show in Champaign. It’s not breaking news that Green Day are a seminal contemporary pop-punk band and a serious force to be reckoned with. It’s also not hard to believe that their shows are huge spectacles and absolutely worth your time. Their opener, Against Me!, dually kick ass. Tickets are still available for tomorrow night, and at forty bucks, they are a damn steal. Do not miss the chance to catch this legend in action.


WHAT: Morgan Orion

WHERE: The Iron Post ($8)

WHEN: Tuesday, March 28th at 8 p.m.

Bluesy Americana act Morgan Orion is back from his native New Orleans to play the Post, accompanied by his band Ticketless Traveller and some local musicians as well.



WHAT: Our Heavenly Bodies with live original score by Coupler

WHERE: The Art Theatre ($10)

WHEN: Wednesday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m.

1925 film Our Heavenly Bodies is a thoughtful piece that takes a look at astronomy and the promise and excitement of space exploration in the early twentieth century. This showing of the movie will feature a live score by ambient experimental outfit Coupler, intensifying the dreaminess of the flick.


WHAT: The Magic Beans

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($7 in advance / $10 at the door)

WHEN: Thursday, March 30 at 9 p.m.

Canopy brings you a jam band evening this Thursday with The Magic Beans, whose folk and funk combine into what’s called “Ameritronica.” They’ll help you usher in spring with sunny grooves.


WHAT: Peter Frampton

WHERE: The Virginia Theatre (tickets start at $47.50)

WHEN: Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The next legend on the bill this week is Peter Frampton. The 60s-70s rock musician holds his place among all the greats, and has played with the likes of David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Entwistle, members of the Beatles, and many more. Frampton Comes Alive! might be one of your mom’s favorite albums, and if not, she probably still liked “Baby I Love Your Way.” This show is part of “Peter Frampton Raw,” an acoustic tour.


WHAT: The Tillers with Hot Iron String Band

WHERE: The Iron Post ($10)

WHEN: Thursday, March 30 at 8 p.m.

The next installment of the Offchute Opry show series will feature Ohio folk act The Tillers playing with local fellow folk folks Hot Iron String Band.





WHAT: Listen to the Kids, Bruh: Spring Benefit Concert

WHERE: Illini Union Courtyard Cafe ($5 donation)

WHEN: Thursday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

All proceeds from this concert will go to benefit Feeding Our Kids. This is a multi-genred campus event featuring some excellent local youth: Stewart Arp, CJ Run, and No Strings Attached A Cappella.


WHAT: Mark Eitzel and Howe Gelb

WHERE: The Accord ($17 in advance / $20 at the door)

WHEN: Friday, March 31 at 8 p.m.

Mark Eitzel’s 80s-90s indie outfit American Music Club helped pioneer the way for dirty grunge bands and dark singer-songwriters alike. You can hear his influence throughout many different facets of rock music. His solo career has also been strong, and he’ll play with rhythm and blues pianist Howe Gelb.


WHAT: Little Texas

WHERE: The City Center (tickets start at $15)

WHEN: Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

Rock country act Little Texas is known for extensive touring and a DIY ethic. They know that practice makes perfect, and they’re prepared to give it their all for the crowd on Friday.





WHAT: Square Donuts, Crofton Coleman, and Kayla & the Moon Lace Band

WHERE: The Iron Post ($3)

WHEN: Friday, March 31 at 8:30 p.m.

The Post traditonally hosts jazz, of course. Friday, they’ll host some of the best young jazz, lounge, and soul musicians in the area. At only $3, you can’t go wrong.



WHAT: Noname with CJ Run

WHERE: Foellinger Auditorium ($18, discount for students)

WHEN: Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

Chicago hip-hop artist Noname will bring her warm, melodic rhymes to this campus show on Friday. This is also a second appearance in the week for breakout C-U transplant CJ Run, who blew us all away with their emergence on the scene last year.


WHAT: Dwells Within / Behold the Catalyst / Eminent Slaughter / Against a Burning Sky / Voidbringer

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Friday, March 31 at 9 p.m.

It’s Metal Night at Cowboy Monkey, and it’s going to get really freaking loud. Five different bands, both local and touring, are coming together to throw down and rip it up. If it’s nice out, the doors might be open, and then the darkness will spread throughout the entire beer garden, infecting us all. How grand.


WHAT: Benefit Concert for the Champaign Parks Foundation

WHERE: The City Center (tickets start at $10)

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m.

Comedian Chris Schlichting and cover band Mike & Joe will provide their stylings to help raise funds for the Champaign Park District, who are gearing up for another full season. Support your parks, trails, and summer programs while laughing and grooving.


WHAT: Jonathan Richman

WHERE: The Accord ($15 in advance / $18 at the door)

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m.

But seriously, there are a lot of important musical acts in town this week. Jonathan Richman is best known as the lead of 70s rock band The Modern Lovers, who have consistently seen lines drawn back to them as one of the original pre-punk bands to have existed. Case in point: “Roadrunner” sound like part of the DNA makeup of a million different musicians and bands. (Check it out.) Alas, Richman parted ways with his group early on, but he’s always kept his keen songwriting and boyish charm. So, this weekend? You know… just another rock legend seeking to entertain you on Saturday night.


WHAT: Under The Streetlamp

WHERE: Virginia Theatre (tickets start at $29.50)

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Comprised of members from Jersey Boys, vocal group Under The Streetlamp perform classic rock and roll hits from the 1950s on. All members are gifted vocalists, and they’ll perform hits from the likes of The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Frankie Valli, and more. Fun choreography adds to the event and makes for a lighthearted evening.


WHAT: The Blackout II Featuring Marty B. and Laquisha Burries

WHERE: Independent Media Center (free)

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m.

Hostyle Gospel continues their Blackout series with this second show, featuring hip-hop stylings from Marty B. and Laquisha Burries.


WHAT: April Fools Bash w/ Silbo Gomero, Jared Roberts, Old Fox Road, Fiona Kimble

WHERE: Tjarks Cafe (donations suggested for touring musicians)

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m.

This mostly acoustic/singer-songwriter set features Hope Arthur in Silbo Gomero, who last played C-U at Library House. The event page emphasizes the seriousness of all the acts, but given the holiday, I’m hoping they’ll find some room for a joke or two.


WHAT: Bristle / The Autocorrect / Eric “Big Hungry” Carter

WHERE: The Iron Post ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, April 1 at 9 p.m.

Jazz standards aside, The Post is killing it this week with a series of shows that run the gamut of genres. Saturday offers up a rock show of all varieties from local stalwarts who know how to bring it.


WHAT: Dark Tower Fest

WHERE: Blips and Chitz and Ghost Planet ($10 per day or $15 for both days)

WHEN: Saturday April 1 and Sunday April 2, starting at 2 p.m. both days

Two of the area’s strongest DIY houses are combining forces this weekend to bring you Dark Tower Fest, two days of the best local and regional acts ripping through sets at breakneck speed. Almost thirty bands will play from over a dozen genres, including emo, metal, punk, hardcore, experimental, and so many more. Much about this event encapsulates the burgeoning scene in the area – if you’ve ever thought about getting to know young local music, but you aren’t sure where to start, it’s here.


WHAT: Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers with Church Booty

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($12 in advance / $15 at the door)

WHEN: Sunday, April 2 at 9 p.m.

Joe Hertler and his band keep humor at the forefront of their music, which spans a handful of genres. Their funk-rock-soul sound is always backed by goofy smiles. They’ll be in the right company when playing with C-U’s own brass band/party band, Church Booty.

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