Smile Politely

The Overture: May 16-22

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, May 16th

C4A Country Music Ensemble

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

Where better to start your week than at The Rose Bowl? You can expect some bluegrass, western swing, and some country rock.

Image from Valerie June’s Facebook page. 

Valerie June

Castle Theatre // $35 adv, $40 door // 8 p.m.

Grammy-nominated Memphis-based singer Valerie June is stopping by Bloomington’s Castle Theatre on her The Moon and The Stars tour. Blending Americana, roots, soul, and pop, June is one to catch.

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.

TUESDAY, May 17th

Jose Agusti with Tuna Salad

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

Jose Agusti and Charlie Weeks perform retro and modern Americana at the Rose Bowl.


Gobbo/Stark Quartet

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

Gobbo/Stark Quartet is Brian Stark on sax, Jose Gobbo on guitar, Drew Cox on drums, and Andrew Binder on bass. The group recently released their debut album, Ride of Springfieldand will no doubt be playing tracks from said album. 

THURSDAY, May 19th

Chachi and Falbo

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

An evening of folk and americana, featuring some original songs as well as classics, come hangout with Chachi and Falbo.

Image from Juan Wauters’ Facebook page. 

Juan Wauters

Rose Bowl Tavern // $15 adv, $20 door // 8 p.m.

Juan Wauters has collaborated with the likes of Mac Demarco, Homeshake, Nick Hakim, and more, but his own music is sincere, welcoming, and has a life of its own. He’ll be sharing the stage with Superior State, and Paul Kotheimer on Thursday night. 

FRIDAY, May 20th

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.

Image by Brian Munoz, from Sixth Street Brass Band’s Facebook page.

Sixth Street Brass Band

NOLAs // free // 5 p.m.

It’s Friday jazz happy hour once again. This week, Sixth Street Brass Band performs at NOLA’s. 

New Twang City

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7:30 p.m.

Some good ole country honky tonk, you’re in for a night of fun at Rose Bowl with New Twang City. 

Nectar, Soft and Dumb

Exile on Main Street // $5 // 8 p.m.

Nectar just released their fantastic new album No Shadow last Friday. This Friday, they’ll be celebrating its release with a show at Exile. Joining them is DIY punk/rock duo Soft and Dumb

SATURDAY, May 21st

Black Eyed Lillies

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 12 p.m.

Bringing together a mix of Americana, blues, and folk, Black Eyed Lillies are sure to keep you entertained with some great guitar playing and wonderful vocals.

The Young and The Fretless

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 3 p.m.

Local folk/bluegrass/fiddle band The Young and The Fretless will be performing at Rose Bowl, bringing old-time Appalachian and Midwestern fiddle tunes.

Resilience: An Amasong concert (1st show)

McKinley Memorial Presbyterian Church // $20 suggested donation // 4 p.m.

Amasong will be hosting two concerts, with a theme of women’s strength in the face of adversity and danger. This is the first concert of the two. Masks are required to attend. 

Blues…Elixir for the Soul

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 6:30 p.m.

To celebrate the closing of Spurlock Museum’s exhibit Blues Dancing and Its African American Roots, Rose Bowl will be hosting performances from DJ KamauMau, as well as The Painkillers Blues Band featuring Dawn Clark.

90’s Daughter

Bunny’s Tavern // free // 7 p.m.

90’s Daughter will be rocking the parking lot next to Bunny’s Tavern, so come on down if you’re looking to party. 

Steven Ball

Virginia Theatre // $10 // 7 p.m.

This may fall under the “arts” category more so than music, but it’s too cool of an event not to include here as well. Maestro Steven Ball will be performing on the Virginia Theatre’s Hope Jones Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. He’ll be providing the accompanying music to 1923 rom-com Safety Last! 

Image from Kuh Nives’ Facebook page. 

Kuh Nives

NOLA’s // $7 // 7 p.m.

Prog-rock band Kuh Nives plays at NOLA’s ahead of their performance at Summer Camp Music Fest. This group is the perfect soundtrack to a breezy, summer day.

Dalton Halls Band

Pour Bros Craft Taproom // free // 8:30 p.m.

Soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop is what Dalton Halls Band has to offer this Saturday at Pour Bros. Come dance and hangout.

SUNDAY, May 22nd

Resilience: An Amasong concert (2nd show)

McKinley Memorial Presbyterian Church // $20 suggested donation // 4 p.m.

Amasong will be hosting two concerts, with a theme of women’s strength in the face of adversity and danger. This is the second concert of the two. Masks are required to attend.

Almost A

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

Almost A plays jazz, folk, gypsy, gypsy jazz, tango and klezmer music, creating a truly wonderful and unique sound. 

Nervous System, Power of Dusk, Edna, J.U.G., Death Call

Brass Rail // $10 // 6 p.m.

A night of punk, hardcore, and metal at Brass Rail on Sunday night. If you’re looking to close your weekend out with some headbanging, this just might be the show for you. 

DrOpsy Trio

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

James Mauck on drums, Mitchell Killough on bass, Mark White on guitar. These guys bring blues, funk, jazz, soul, rock, and more with covers and originals.

Smile Empty Soul

Castle Theatre // $15 adv, $18 door // 8 p.m.

Grunge and hard rock band Smile Empty Soul performs at the Castle Theatre alongside Autumn Academy and The Stone Eye.

The Blues Deacons

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 9 p.m.

The blues outfit from Gibson City are hitting Rose Bowl. Playing originals as well as blues classics, come by and “let the blues ease on into your soul.”

Top image from Juan Wauter’s Facebook page. 

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