Smile Politely

The Overture: November 1-7

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, November 1st

Improvisers Exchange

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

Led by Jason Finkelman, Improvisers Exchange is an initiative to bring together U of I students and community members to practice improvised music. This performance features Tatsuya Nakatani, a percussionist known for his bowed gong orchestras. Check out Smile Politely’s interview with Finkelman to learn more about Improvisers Exchange. 

The Urbana 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. 

Drew Cagle & The Reputation

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

Rockers Drew Cagle & The Reputation have just released their new album Haunted. They’ll be making their return to WEFT Sessions playing songs from the new record. 

TUESDAY, November 2nd

U of I Joel Spencer Combo

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

This student jazz combo is under the direction of faculty percussionist Joel Spencer, who you may know from other groups around town. For a taste of the musical goings-on at U of I, come check this combo out. 


Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 6:30 p.m.

Featuring Chip Stephens on piano, Joel Spencer on drums, and Larry Gray on bass, this jazz trio will keep you entertained all night long.

WEDNESDAY, November 3rd

Chip McNeil Quartet

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

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

THURSDAY, November 4th

Hobnob String Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Every Thursday! 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. 

Sudden Sound with Avreeayl Ra & Improvisers Exchange

Krannert Art Museum // free // 5:30 p.m.

Avreeayl Ra is an increduble drummer from the Chicago area who has performed and recorded with Sun Ra, Fred Anderson, and Lester Bowie, to name a few. He will be joined by Jason Finkelman’s Improvisers Exchange.

Image by Elena Buenrostro and Travis Newgren.

Soft and Dumb, The Joy Machine, Camp Euphoria, Castle Finn, Feed the Monarch

Rose Bowl Tavern // $5 // 7:30 p.m.

A $5 cover for these 5 kick-butt bands? That’s a steal. Come hang out and enjoy this great night of music. 

FRIDAY, November 5th

Jordan Kaye, The Tunewrangler

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Bringing you songs, stories, and witty banter, Jordan Kaye is sure to be a night of fun. With a mix of rock, folk, and requests, come hangout at the Rose Bowl.

Billy Galt

Hubers // free // 7 p.m.

On the patio at Hubers, Billy Galt lays down some great acoustic blues. 

The Team

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

The Team is James Jones on guitar, Mitchell Killough on bass, Adiare Thomas on drums, and Kurt Reeder on keyboards and organ. They’ll be bringing some tasty licks and tight grooves with their funk and jazz. 

SATURDAY, November 6th

Eastern Illinois Food Bank Benefit Concert

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 suggested donation // 1 p.m.

Benefitting the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, this concert will feature performances by Almost “A” Quartet, as well as Robin Kearton and Tom Faux. 

New Twang City

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

Some good ole country honky tonk and rock, this will be a fun Saturday night at Rose Bowl!

Photo from Canopy Club’s Facebook event page. 

Neal Francis

Canopy Club // $12 // 7 p.m.

Neal Francis is based out of Chicago and brings his psychedelic rock to Canopy Club. He is straight out of the 70’s but knows how to keep it current. His music reminds me of Led Zepplin mixed with Tame Impala. This should be a great show. 

Baroque Brilliance 

Faith United Methodist Church // $25 adults, $10 students // 7:30 p.m.

Stephen Alltop leads the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra for a night of Baroque music, including Pachelbel’s Canon, Telemann’s Concert for Three Violins, and Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in A Minor. The concert will feature many soloists on violin, trumpet, timpani, and oboe. 

Renne Elise Goldsberry

Virgina Theater // $39.50+ // 7:30 p.m.

Actress, Broadway star, and singer Renne Elise Goldberry graces the stage at The Virginia Theater. Most popularly known for her role as Angelica Schuyler in the smash hit musical Hamilton, Goldsberry will be bringing jazz, R&B, soul, and of course some Broadway tunes. 

DJ Belly

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 10 p.m.

Looking for some late night Saturday fun? DJ Belly has you covered, spinning beats at NOLA’s through the evening, so come out and bring your best dance moves — it’s going to be a party. 

SUNDAY, November 7th 

Micah Walk

Harvest Market // free // 1 p.m.

Micah Walk is a singer-songwriter hailing from Springfield. He plays in the folk trio The Deep Hollow, but is playing solo at Harvest Market in support of his new album Among The Stars, which was produced by Sadler Vaden of Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. 


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

Silverweed plays originals and covers, ranging from Grateful Dead to Bob Dylan. Their cowboy hippie vibe will get you dancing!

Andy Frasco and The U.N.

Canopy Club // $15 // 9 p.m.

Blues and psych rockers Andy Frasco and The U.N. come to Canopy Club to bring some of their Los Angeles blues to Champaign-Urbana. 

Top image from Canopy Club’s Facebook event page. 

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