Smile Politely

The Overture: May 23-29

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 23rd

Larry Gray Guitar Trio

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

This jazz trio is made up of Larry Gray on guitar, Andrew Binder on bass, and Mateo Sanchez on drums. 

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.


WEFT Sessions (virtual) // free // 10 p.m.

Punk quartet Nectar performs an hour of songs on WEFT, most likely playing all the tracks from their new album No Shadow.

TUESDAY, May 24th


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

Jazz, blues, and pop group Jaybirds hit The Rose Bowl. The band is Josh Houchin on bass, Young Kim on guitar, Steve Meadows on drums, and Amy Hassinger on vocals. 

Image by Imani Givertz from Idle Threat’s Facebook page. 

Idle Threat, Make Sure, Distend, Nic Gundy, TBA

Nightshop // $7 adv, $10 door // 5:30 p.m.

A mixed bag of genres, but all within the rock/indie category, everything from melodic hardcore and punk, to indie and folk. 

C-U Irish Session

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

A jam session of local musicians playing traditional Irish tunes, with fiddle, accordion, banjo, flute, and more in the Rose Bowl parking lot. 


Image from Simply This’ Facebook event page. 

Simply This Quintet

First Presbyterian Church // free // 5 p.m.

This jazz group comprised of U of I grad students will be performing their last C-U concert. Come hear some original tunes. 

Vine Street Syncopators

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

More jazz at Rose Bowl on Wednesdy with the Vine Street Syncopators. Known for playing New Orleans style jazz and swing, this band will get you dancing. 

Son Rompe Pera, Los Despeinados, Afro D & Global Soundwaves

Nightshop // $10 adv, $15 door // 7:30 p.m.

All the way from Mexico City, Son Rompe Pera brings punk, cumbia, marimba, and psychedelic music to Nightshop. Bloomington’s Los Despeinados joins them, along with C-U’s own Afro D & Global Soundwaves. 

THURSDAY, May 26th

Cody and Charlie

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

Two of C-U’s most beloved, Cody Jensen and Charlie Harris will be playing americana, bluegrass, folk, country, and more this Thursday, part of Rose Bowl’s Americana Happy Hour.

Caleb Cook Band

Loose Cobra // $5 suggested donation // 5 p.m.

Happy hour at Tolono’s Loose Cobra, the Caleb Cook Band will be providing some outlaw country. 

Image from Illini Hillel’s Facebook page. 

Jake Shulman-Ment

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 suggested donation // 7:30 p.m.

Touring artist Jake Shulman-Ment plays Klezmer fiddle, as well as shares stories about life, music, being on the road, and more. He’ll also be hosting a workshop on Wednesday night

Saving Able

Castle Theatre // $20 adv, $23 day of // 7:30 p.m.

RIAA certified multi-platinum southern rock band Saving Able will be performing at The Castle Theatre in Bloomington, alongside The Forty Twos, and Emperors & Angels. 

Bat Factory (Goth Night)

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

Goths and fans of spooky music unite for an evening of synthpop, darkwave, noise, and more at Rose Bowl Tavern. You don’t have to wear all black, but it wouldn’t hurt. With a largre lineup of DJs and musicians, the party goes until 2 in the morning.

FRIDAY, May 27th

Kayla Brown

Brass Rail // free // 7 p.m.

Kayla Brown brings some orginal tunes to The Brass Rail, so come hangout and enjoy some drinks and great music.

Inland Calypso

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

A night of Caribbean music with a midwest spin. With steel drums, electric guitar, keys, and more, it is sure to be a night of fun and dancing.

SATURDAY, May 28th

Hobnob String Band

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

Outside on the patio of Rose Bowl, Hobnob brings you some great acoustic music, from blues to bluegrass and other styles. Catch some great harmonies, and of course some wonderful fingerpicking.

Summer Soul Festival

Pour Bros Craft Taproom // free // 3 p.m.

Put together by Pour Bros and Tablefunk Muzik Group, this event will feature a large lineup of DJs playing from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

New Music Mosaic

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

New Music Mosaic is made up of C-U’s emerging composers and their recent works. This lineup includes Matthew Reeder on flute, Suzanne Segredo on oboe, Jack Thorpe on sax, Briar Schlenker on cello, and Drew Farrar on guitar.

New Souls

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

A C-U favorite, New Souls knows how to bring the party with their blend of funk, soul, R&B, and more. 

Dexter O’Neal and the Funk Yard

Castle Theatre // $25 adv, $30 day of // 7 p.m.

R&B and funk group Dexter O’Neal and The Funk Yard bring an exciting show to the Castle, alongside special guest Essance Project Band.

DJ Grapes

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 10 p.m.

Spinning funk, soul, and dancehall regae, come and party until 2 a.m. and dance your butt off. 

SUNDAY, May 29th

Mean Lids

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

Playing original, traditional, and modern flute and fiddle music from North America, Ireland, Scottland, and Scandinavia, Mean Lids is going to keep you entertained.

Rory Book and The Volumes

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

Gritty americana, roots, and rockabilly from Rory Book and The Volumes to close out the weekend at Rose Bowl. 

Top image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

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