Smile Politely

The Overture: May 1-7

WHAT: GR!CU Women’s Hootenanny

WHERE: Rose Bowl (donations)

WHEN: Monday, May 1 at 8:30 p.m.

This evening, the Rose Bowl’s Monday Night Hootenanny is going to be taken over by the ladies. This all-women all-acoustic open mic intends to raise funds for Girls Rock! C-U, so donate hard! All sorts of female C-U musicians will be making an appearance, and girls, you should be, too. Grab your strings and get honky-tonkin’. 


WHAT: Duo Yumeno: Concert of Koto, Shamisen and Cello

WHERE: Japan House (suggested donations: $10 for students/seniors, $20 for the general public)

WHEN: Tuesday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m.

Duo Yumeno, comprised of koto/shamisen player and singer Yoko Reikano Kimura and cellist Hikaru Tamaki, craft an intertwining mix of classical Japanese and contemporary western music. They return to C-U this Tuesday for another enchanting evening of music that is not the standard fare.


WHAT: Tara Terra / Jarring

WHERE: Chez BonBon ($3)

WHEN: Wednesday, May 3 at 9 p.m.

C-U natives Tara Terra are gearing up to release their much anticipated sophomore effort at the end of May, and here, they’ll be playing the whole thing front to back, just for you. Local emo group Jarring will provide the assist. This will be the last Pizza FM show before the summer break, and to top it off, there will be falafels and $1 beers. Sold.


WHAT: MER’s Music Showcase

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, May 4 at 8:30 p.m.

Rock musician MER and his band are on a regional tour, and each show is a round-robin style showcase, with acts curated by the band. Three Chicago bands and two local ones (Euriah and The Bashful Youngens) will make up this mostly rock music show. See the event page for the full lineup.


WHAT: Bottom Bracket, Kayak Jones, Caving, Parking Garage

WHERE: Blips and Chitz ($5)

WHEN: Thursday, May 4 at 8 p.m.

Indie emo band Kayak Jones are returning to C-U on tour. They’ll be joined by Bottom Bracket from Springfield, Caving from Indiana, and the newly established band Parking Garage. All four bands will be throwing it down hard for Star Wars Day.


WHAT: Noctambule House Concert & Potluck

WHERE: (House show, message Piper’s Hut Concerts for address) ($20)

WHEN: Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m.

Marla Fibish and Bruce Victor make up Noctambule. The duo play both traditional and original Irish music in a variety of forms. Their name translates in French to “night-owl,” and their music thus lends itself to that theme, exploring the adventure of the “night journey” through song.


WHAT: Urbana First Fridays

WHERE: Downtown Urbana (no cover)

WHEN: Friday, May 5 starting at 4 p.m.

The first May edition of FF is chock-full of fun, including a piano bar at The Iron Post, a bike rally, live painting, another Main Street carnival, tons of art and music, and so, so much more. Click to check out the loooong list of goings-on for a festive Cinco De Mayo spent in the heart of Urbana.


WHAT: Expressions 5

WHERE: Independent Media Center ($10 suggested donation)

WHEN: Friday, May 5 at 6:30 p.m.

It’s been a long time since the last Expressions event was held (way back in July), but the end of shows at Institute 4 Creativity didn’t keep Austin Duncan and friends down. Duncan hosts the return of Expressions as his experimental sound project Snayl, which is one of eight acts playing this “recurring event showcasing multi-media art created by local underground talent with a shared theme of experimental and psychedelic expression.” This is a multi-sensory art experience that has been missed. Enjoy the good vibes as you welcome it back.


WHAT: Sambolo at Sunset

WHERE: Sipyard (free)

WHEN: Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m.

Sambolo’s groovy Brazilian music is sure to get you swaying. They’ll play at Sipyard as part of the First Friday festivities.


WHAT: Jimmy Eat World

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($30 in advance / $35 at the door)

WHEN: Saturday, May 6 at 9 p.m.

Remember the earworm “The Middle?” Even if you weren’t old enough at the time to remember it proper, you’re certainly still aware of it. That song is only one of the infectious up-tempo alterna-pop anthems crafted by Jimmy Eat World, who ruled the radio during the late 90s and early 2000s. Ah, it was a simpler time. Come relive some of that fun or find a new favorite in this band. Either is assured. 


WHAT: John Lucas & Euriah at The Front Porch

WHERE: 1798 County Road 700 N, Sidney, IL (free)

WHEN: Saturday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Make your way out to Sidney for a worthy cause. This is the first gig of the year brought to you by The Front Porch, and it’ll feature acoustic folk musician John Lucas and C-U emo faves Euriah. Get ready for the first of some family-friendly, no-fuss, outdoor concerts that are sure to please everyone.


WHAT: Sounds at Sunset Concert Series

WHERE: Hessel Park (free)

WHEN: Saturday, May 6 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Yet another first-of-the-year occurring this week is the 2017 premiere of the Champaign Park District’s Sounds at Sunset Concert Series. These free, family-friendly shows take place at different local parks in the area. This first show will feature the Edison Middle School Band.


WHAT: Del Rey

WHERE: The Iron Post ($15 in advance / $20 at the door)

WHEN: Saturday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.

The always spot-on C-U Folk and Roots Festival collective bring you blues musician Del Rey, a multi-instrumentalist whose work is influenced by genres such as jazz, country, bluegrass, and more. Her adept skills as both the guitar and the ukulele have merited some local workshops, which will be held on May 6th and 7th. See the event page for more info.


WHAT: Outdoor Acoustic Show

WHERE: Sipyard (no cover)

WHEN: Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m.

Enjoy some more premium outdoor drinking at Sipyard as they host a slew of excellent local acts who will play either inside or next to some super cool shipping containers.


WHAT: Zeppelin Night fundraiser

WHERE: Boomerangs Bar and Grill (donations suggested)

WHEN: Sunday, May 7 at 5 p.m.

While this is indeed an entire evening of covers, it’s all for a great cause. Your donations at the door go to support the First Gig Rock N’ Roll Camp for Kids of Danville, and supporting children in music is always important. Seven total acts will perform, three of which will feature current and former participants in the Camp.


WHAT: Bluegrass & Burgers

WHERE: Watson’s Shack and Rail (no cover)

WHEN: Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The folks at Watson’s know how to combine good food with good music, and on Sunday, they’ll be doing it on their patio for the first time this year. Enjoy a brunch/lunch of smashburgers accompanied by the bluegrass stylings of Sam Payne. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, no biggie – they’ll just move everything inside the rustic confines of the restaurant, which is always an enjoyable space.

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