Smile Politely

The Overture: April 3-9

WHAT: US Navy Band Concert

WHERE: Foellinger Great Hall (free)

WHEN: Monday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m.

The Concert Band of the United States Navy Band is visiting from D.C. to put on this free show. The Concert Band is the USNB’s premier wind ensemble and features almost 60 performers. They’ll play a mix of patriotic marches, symphonic selections, and popular favorites. Get info on tickets and specifics through Krannert’s website.


WHAT: The Merry Travelers with Maddy Marsan

WHERE: The Iron Post (pay what you can)

WHEN: Tuesday, April 4 at 8 p.m.

Psychedelic folk act The Merry Travelers bring positive vibes to the Post on Tuesday, with the assist by singer-songwriter and oboist Maddy Marsan.


WHAT: Ailie Robertson

WHERE: Piper’s Hut Concerts location – see site for more info ($20)

WHEN: Tuesday, April 4 at 7 p.m.

The Piper’s Hut Concert Series brings another Celtic music-themed show to Champaign with harp virtuoso Ailie Robertson. The Scottish musician began playing the harp at a very early age. Since then, she has won numerous awards and toured around the world. As is often the case for the Piper’s Hut shows, this will also be a potluck, which begins at six.


WHAT: Jack Klatt / A Fightin’ Duo / HorseCorn Cole & His Country 45s

WHERE: Loose Cobra (free)

WHEN: Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

Minnesota’s Jake Klatt is a singer and guitarist who pulls from a wide range of American music, from blues to country to folk to rock, and touches of other genres in between. The Loose Cobra will also host members of The Fights in both duo and DJ forms, and all three sets promise entertainment.


WHAT: Afterglow: Motes and Marathon

WHERE: Krannert Center (free)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 at 10 p.m.

This late show follows a performance of Iago’s Plot and is a part of the Pygmalion Festival Show Series. Both of these ambient, minimalist rock acts supply a healthy dose of guitar with indie and psychedelic influences. It’ll be a contemplative, spaced-out show that will make you dreamy but not put you to sleep.


WHAT: Bones Jugs, Growler, and Chickadee Sermon

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($10)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 at 9 p.m.

This “Acoustic Bonanza,” or perhaps “Bone-anza,” (both phrases stolen from their description,) will feature some of the best local folk and bluegrass tunes the area has to offer. Prepare for a solid banjo and xylophone jam session.


WHAT: Chorus: Art Benefit for WEFT

WHERE: WEFT Community Radio (no cover)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 at 6 p.m.

For this event, WEFT distributed vintage sheet music to local artists to create art in any medium. This is the opening for their artwork, which will be on display and available for purchase. This event will also feature music by local singer-songwriter and WEFT DJ Kevin Elliott. All proceeds will go to benefit the radio station.


WHAT: Earthholder/Krelboyne/Shazu

WHERE: Blips and Chitz ($5 suggested donation)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 at 8 p.m.

A night of crushing guitar work awaits at B&C on Friday, featuring the excellent combination of instrumental act Earthholder with Krelboyne, who just put out a fresh album. Post-metal act Shazu are stepping out for their first show, and it’ll all come together for a heavy evening indeed.   


WHAT: My Darling Clementine

WHERE: Sandwich Life House Concerts – message for address ($20 suggested donation)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 at 6 p.m.

Your second community concert-and-potluck evening will feature renowned British duo My Darling Clementine, a country and Americana act that have honed their skills here and far and promise to be the strong center of an enjoyable evening in a warm, intimate setting.


WHAT: C.L.A.W. – A Benefit Show for R.A.C.E.S.

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($13 in advance / $15 at the door)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 at 9 p.m.

I think we’re overdue for a Champaign Ladies Amateur Wrestling show. You can never get enough of these spunky ladies and their kick-ass spectacles. This RACES benefit show will also include performances by Tara Terra, DJ Meggie MaRu, and Kowabunga! Kid, which makes for a night totally packed with awesome girl power. Come for the excellent cause and stay for the excellent everything else.


WHAT: 2017 Boneyard Arts Festival

WHERE: Community Center for the Arts (free)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 (starting at 7 p.m.) through Saturday, April 8 (starting at 10 a.m.)

The 2017 Boneyard Arts Festival offers up all sorts of different activities meant to be enjoyed by all ages. This year’s Fest features an instrument “petting zoo,” lead by C4A’s musicians, who will also provide basic lessons on how to play. See the site for more events and details.


WHAT: Urbana First Fridays

WHERE: Downtown Urbana (admission is free)

WHEN: Friday, April 7 starting at 5 p.m.

As if DT Urbana couldn’t get more fun this weekend, The Boneyard Arts Fest will collide with First Fridays to make for one awesome evening. This spectacular edition of FF includes live music, workshops, food and drink specials, and — wait for it — a carnival. Most of these events are FREE. Visit the event page to learn more.


WHAT: Boneyard at Exile/Dandelion

WHERE: Exile On Main St. (free)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m.

Boneyard Fest will extend down to Champaign this year with some festivities at Exile. This will be a live painting event, featuring two resident artists who will showcase their talents. Three different DJs will be spinning to help set the mood.



WHAT: Victor Wooten Trio

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($25 in advance / $30 at the door)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Victor Wooten is a bass master. He’s been acclaimed by critics of all sorts and has even been named one of the Top 10 Bassists of All Time by Rolling Stone. Wooten also composes and plays guitar, making for an eclectic style to his music. This show is backed by some of the biggest music collectives and organizations in C-U: KCPA, ELLNORA Guitar Festival, and C-U Folk and Roots Fest. With that kind of support, you know it’s going to be a great time.


WHAT: Undercut Collective Birthday Bash

WHERE: Channing Murray Foundation ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 7 p.m.

The all-ages booking organization Undercut Collective celebrates its third birthday with a night of hip-hop and poetry. Rapper CJ Run and three other acts will light it up.




WHAT: Girls Rock! C-U Benefit

WHERE: Blips and Chitz ($5 – $7 sliding scale donations)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 7 p.m.

The next GR!CU benefit show will feature sets from women-fronted acts: We The Animals, Alex & the XO’s, The Bashful Youngens, and Chloe Rose will provide a mostly indie rock-themed show with streaks of folk and pop in the mix.


WHAT: Underwerewolves, Acme Principle, Lonely Trailer

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 9 p.m.

Weirdo pseudo-novelty garage rockers Underwerewolves are celebrating the release of their latest album Adventures In Time, which, like their last release, comes with its very own comic book. Awesome. Accompanying them will be some tried-and-true C-U punk and rock acts that never let you down.


WHAT: Porch Fire

WHERE: The Iron Post (cover)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 9 p.m.

Carbondale’s “Americana jam fusion band” pull from about ten different genres to come up with their funky yet spacey sound. They’ll return to Urbana to throw down on Saturday night.


WHAT: Rose Bowl Anniversary Party

WHERE: Rose Bowl (no cover)

WHEN: Saturday, April 8 at 9 p.m.

Steve and Diann Campbell are celebrating their twenty-third year of owning the Rose Bowl, and they’ll celebrate their tenure with this party featuring the country stylings of Caleb Cook Band and lots of good folks and cheap drinks. 


WHAT: Bluegrass & Brunch

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

WHEN: Sunday, April 9 at 10 a.m.

After a weekend of such killer shows, chase away your hangover with another session of Bluegrass & Brunch at Watson’s. Each session has a unique menu prepared just for the event, and live bluegrass jams start at 11 a.m. Keep an eye on the event page for more specifics.

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