Smile Politely

The Overture: May 2-8

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 2nd

Sam Newsome

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

Put on by Improvisers Exchange, Sam Newsome is a saxophonist who “paints with notes and sounds rather than shapes and colors.”

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 3rd

Chip Stephens and Andrew Danforth

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

Pianist/organist Chip Stephens and trombonist Andrew Danforth come together for a night of jazz at the Rose Bowl. 


Chip McNeill Quartet

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

Saxophonist Chip McNeill returns to bang out the tunes with his quartet. Come hang out for happy hour!

Heartless Bastards

Castle Theatre // $20 adv, $25 door // 8 p.m.

Cincinatti rock band Heartless Bastards stop by Bloomington’s Castle Theatre, with special guest Painted Canyon. 

Kangaroo Court, 4×4 Aninal Style, k.rush

Rose Bowl Tavern // $7 // 10 p.m.

Punk rockers Kangaroo Court perform alongside indie rock duo 4×4 Animal Style, and hip-hop artist k.rush.


Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page. 

Larry Gates Presents 3 Song Monte

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

Power to the listener — Larry Gates of Curb Service invites the audience to choose three songs for him to play at Rose Bowl Tavern. 

FRIDAY, May 6th

Jordan Kaye the Tunewrangler, Kilborn Alley Blues, Inland Calypso

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

I’m grouping these three under one event because it’s finally patio season at Rose Bowl Tavern. Jordan Kaye will perform at 5 p.m., Kilborn Alley Blues at 8 p.m., and Inland Calypso at 10 p.m. inside of Rose Bowl. Come and breathe in the fresh air and listen to some great music.

Chip McNeill

NOLA’s // free // 5 p.m.

In case you missed him at Rose Bowl on Wednesay, here’s another chance. Jazz happy hour at NOLA’s. 

Earth, Wind, & Fire

State Farm Center // $80+ // 8 p.m.

I mean come on, it’s freaking Earth, Wind, & Fire, you know they are going to kill it. The funk/soul legends are still going strong. 


Editor’s Pick: Perimeter Road Music Festival

Parkland College // free // 12 p.m.

Did you know Parkland College has a record label? Did you know they also put on a yearly music festival? Come hang out this Saturday in the B1 parking lot of Parkland, and catch some great local acts like Anika Emily, Modern Drugs, Moe Pesci, Melvin Knight, and more. There will be food trucks and the event is open to all ages.

Carlos Vega

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 12:30 p.m.

Saxophonist and U of I alum, Carlos Vega brings his style of jazz to the Rose Bowl Tavern.

Tito Carillo Trumpet Studio

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

Trumpeter Tito Carillo continues the afternoon of jazz at Rose Bowl Tavern, playing from 3-5 p.m.

Nectar (solo)

The Rec Club // free // 4 p.m.

Nectar will be having a listening party for their new album No Shadow. The party will feature flash tattoos from Carly Benny Tattoo, cake, drinks, and a Nectar solo show from Kamila Glowacki. 

The North 41

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

Blending rock, funk, and jazz, this Chicago band will keep you entertained with their instrumental proficiency and solos. 

Mhondoro Rhythm Success, Los Guapos

Rose Bowl Tavern // $5 suggested cover // 7 p.m.

Cumbia drums and percussion alongside synth and guitar, Los Guapos can get you moving. Mhondoro brings pop music from Zimbabwe. The members of the band are either from Zimbabwe, or have studied music there or lived there.


Canopy Club // $7 // 7 p.m.

Indie rockers WILLIS will be stopping by Canopy Club, joined by opening band Stay Outside. 

Image by JD Scarcliff from Steven Page’s Facebook page. 

Steven Page, 90s Daughter

City Center // $40 // 7 p.m.

Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies hits Champaign to perform. A portion of each ticket will go towards The American Brain Tumor Association and First Gig Rock Camp for Kids. 90s Daughter will open the show with an acoustic set.

The HU

Castle Theatre // $30 // 8 p.m.

Mongolian heavy metal band The HU hits the Castle Theatre for a night of screaming guitars and traditional Mongolian guttural singing.

SUNDAY, May 8th

The Illinois Flamenco-Jazz Collective

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

Jazz-Flamenco fusion, what more could you want? This will have you wanting to get up and dance. 

Unofficial Malort Fest

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

Brass Rail teams up with Weird Meat Boyz and Chas Fur Gold Records to bring a great lineup of bands including Canadian Rifle, Yap Trap, Snack’d Out, and more. 


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

Silverweed plays originals and covers, ranging from Grateful Dead to Bob Dylan. 

Top image from Earth, Wind, & Fire’s Facebook page 

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