Smile Politely

The Overture: August 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 with the details.

MONDAY, August 23rd

The Autocorrect

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

The Autocorrect bring their unique, post-rock, corporate sound to WEFT for an hour of music. 

Bones Jugs

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Local favorites Bones Jugs plays Rose Bowl’s happy hour! Come get some drinks and hang out!

TUESDAY, August 24th


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, August 25th

Vine Street Syncopators

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

The jazz train continues at The Rose Bowl on Wednesdy with the Vine Street Syncopators, performing dixieland, swing, and early jazz. Bring some food and hang out.


Pipa’s // free // 7 p.m.

Part of their monthly Wednesday blues jams, Sapphire plays at Pipa’s Pub!

THURSDAY, August 26th

Bristle performing on stage.

Image from Bristle’s Facebook page.


Brass Rail // free // 8:30 p.m.

Rock band Bristle is the only band at Brass Rail on Thursday. Get in, get rocked, and get out (or stay for some drinks, too). 

Jeremy McConaughey

Baxter’s American Grille // free // 6 p.m.

Playing his original honkey-tonk, Americana, and folk inspired originals, Jeremy McConaughey sports a distinguished and powerful voice that will immediately pull you in. 

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. 

Ian Shepherd and Friends

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8 p.m.

Bringing jazz, blues, funk, and rock, come jam out at the Rose Bowl parking lot and bring some food; Rose Bowl will provide the drinks. 

FRIDAY, August 27th

Chip Stephens Organ Trio

► Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Not your typical jazz trio! Organ, guitar, and drums mix together to create some great tunes. 

The Cornstalkers Cajun Band

► Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7 p.m.

The father and son team of Tom and Matt Turino lead their string band through Louisiana dance music, as well as some originals. 

James Jones Trio

► Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 10:30 p.m.

Guitarist James Jones brings his tremendously talented trio to Rose Bowl for a great, late night of music. 


Clark Bar // free // 6:30 p.m.

Grab some drinks, some food, and listen to PBS at Clark Bar on a beautiful summer night. 

SATURDAY, August 28th

Improvisers Exchange

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 1 p.m.

Kicking off Saturday for Immersion Festival, expect some great improvised music with some amazing visuals as well. 


Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m.

One musician, a world of sound. Ranging from free jazz, to lo-fi hop hop, Forebeat will keep you mesmerized. 

Mhondoro, Los Guapos

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7 p.m.

Also a part of Immersion Festival, get your taste of music from Colombia and Zimbabwe with these two great acts. 

Immersion at Urbana Dance Company

Urbana Dance Company // free // 7 p.m.

Immersion Fest continues with music by Twoleggedzoo, Luke R Bergkoetter, Jamurai, and visuals by Matt Harsh!

Image from Sipyard’s Facebook page. 


Sipyard // free // 8 p.m.

Closing out this year’s Immersion Festival, come to sipyard for live video projections set to classical, ambient, and electronic music. 

Michael Charles

One-T’s Cornerpocket // free // 9 p.m.

Sporting a large catalogue of original blues music as well as 37 years of experience, this Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee is sure to blow you away this Saturday. Don’t miss out. 

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 August 29th

Image from Emily Blue’s Facebook page.

Editor’s Pick: Emily Blue

NOLA’s Rock Bar // $10 advance, $13 door // 7 p.m.

Chicago-based Emily Blue returns to her hometown for what is sure to be a great night of music. Bringing a unique synth pop sound, Emily Blue will have you dancing your butt off. Check out her newest single “See U In My Dreams” here.

The Tangents

Alto Vineyards // free // 2 p.m.

The Tangents are an acoustic duo from Spingfield. They are hitting Alto Vineyards on Sunday, bringing their eclectic sound and contagious personalities. Sure to be a fun afternoon!

TMB and Doro

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m.

Hang outside at Rose Bowl and listen as these four talents combine their skills to create a wonderful night of music. Thomas Brewer (vocals), Matt Stewart (guitar), Bob Watson (guitar), Dorothy Martirano (violin), Armand Beaudoin (bass)

Urbana Flamenco-Jazz Reunion

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7 p.m.

Bringing a combination of traditional Flamenco style guitar as well as the improvisation of jazz, this will be a special night of beautiful music. Oh yeah, there will be dancing, too! 

 Top image from Emily Blue’s Facebook page.

Music Editor

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