Smile Politely

The Overture: February 17-23

The Overture is a rundown of live music and performances happening in Champaign-Urbana (and the outskirts) 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, February 17th

Urbana Hootenanny

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 8 p.m.


► Canopy Club // $35 adv., $35 door (+$3 under 21) // 8 p.m.

Black Esther, Jeff Schaller, Danny Cozzi

► nightshop // $6 // 9 p.m.

Tuesday, February 18th

Church Street Ramblers

► The Iron Post // Cover // 7 p.m.

Josh Quirk and Friends

► Boomerangs // Free // 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 19th

Choirs at University of Illinois presents: “Have mercy,” Chandos Anthems series

► Smith Memorial Hall // Free // 12 p.m.


► Clark Bar // Free // 6 p.m.

USD #116 Band Festival

► Urbana Middle School // Free // 7 p.m.

Martin Sexton with Dan Hubbard

► The Castle Theatre // $25 adv., $30 door // 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 20th

Heartland Marimba Quartet

► Smith Memorial Hall // Free // 4:30 p.m.

Meadowhawk (Krannert Uncorked)

►  Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Free // 5 p.m.

David Howie

► Baxter’s // Free // 6 p.m.

Jay and Janae Thomason, the duo that make up Hot Sauce Universe, sit in a recording studio together. There are various electronics and microphones around the room. A large red, patterned carpet is on the floor. Photo from the Facebook event.

Jay and Janae Thomason. Photo from the Facebook event.

Hot Sauce Universe (Album Release Party)

► nightshop // Cover // 7 p.m.

Hot Sauce Universe is holding their release party for the new album, According to Lore. This live album was recorded at Dunlap’s Rock Solid Studio back in September. What better way to celebrate a live album than with a live show?

Drew Cagle, Neal D. Edwards

► Boomerangs // Free // 7:30 p.m.

Eric Johnson

► The Castle Theatre // $20 // 8 p.m.

Friday, February 21st

Chip McNeill Quintet

► Blackbird // Free // 5 p.m.


► The Castle Theatre // $25 // 6 p.m.


► Clark Bar // Free // 6:30 p.m.

The Visions

► nightshop // $6 // 7 p.m.

Yichen Li, countertenor

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 7:30 p.m.

New Souls

► Neil St. Blues // Free // 8 p.m.

Gloria Roubal

► The Ice House // Free // 8 p.m.

Shed Brothers

► Huber’s West End // Free // 8 p.m.

Pikas, Vetiges, Case Oats, zzo

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $7 // 9 p.m.

Mank & Sass

► Watson’s Shack & Rail // Free // 10 p.m.

Saturday, February 22nd

A drawing of a stage with red curtains running across the top, a dark blue screen with the words

Image by Madelyn Witruck.

All Out A Cappella presented by Unity Music Boosters

Unity High School Auditorium // $10 students, $15 Adults // 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The Unity Music Boosters is hosting their All Out A Cappella concert to help raise funds for Unity’s music programs. The concert will feature performances by No Strings Attached (UIUC), Rip Chords (UIUC), the XTension Chords (UIUC), On the Brink of Normal (ISU), QB (Elmhurst), and Surreal Sound (Unity). The first concert will have a special performance from Unity West Elementary school, while the 7:30 performance will feature singers from Urbana High School. You can purchase tickets here.

Greg Klyma

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 // 8 p.m.

Pokey LaFarge

► The Castle Theatre // $22 adv., $25 dos // 8 p.m.

An anime-style drawing of a girl standing next to a seated red robot along the side of a road. They stand in a desert with purple rocks, a bunker door, and a tall beige castle in the background. The sky is yellow with large pink clouds. The show information and band listing are given in white or blue text on the poster. Image from the Facebook event.

Image from the Facebook event.

Aquila, Norobot, Formidable Foe, The Data Waves

► nightshop // $10 // 9 p.m.

RasOm’s Radio is hosting this show at Bloomington’s nightshop. Two of Champaign’s best fusion bands, Aquila and The Data Waves, will be playing with two bands from BN, Norobot and Formidable Foe, both funk-y trios. This will be a cool show for expanding your pallet and catching some superb musicianship.

Cerbo with Kilborn Alley

► The Iron Post // Cover // 9 p.m.

Todd Pheifer and the Jennings St. Band, SMACKrabbitJACK

► Loose Cobra // $5-$10 suggested donation // 9 p.m.

The Dry Look, Col. James

► The Brass Rail // $5 suggested donation // 10 p.m.

Sunday, February 23rd

New Souls

► Champaign Public Library // Free // 2 p.m.

21st Century Piano Composition Competition Concert

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // Prices vary // 3 p.m.

DPCD, Anika Emily, Karena Tse

► Exile on Main // $5-$10 suggested donation // 3 p.m.

Corduroy (Climate JAM)

► Pour Bros. Craft Taproom // Free // 4 p.m.

Hops and Hymns

► Riggs Beer Company // Free // 6 p.m.

Soul on Sundays

► The Iron Post // Free // 7 p.m.

The Burst and Bloom, Our Landmark, other TBA

► nightshop // $6 // 7:30 p.m.

On a grey background, blue lines intersect to make a weave like pattern with flowers at the corners.

Poster from the Facebook event.

Mush, Fer De Lance, Bottom Bracket

► The Bird House // $5-$7 // 7:30 p.m.

The Bird House folks are hosting a show this sunday with Chicago Indie group, Mush. They will also have local emo rock group, Fer de Lance, and Springfield’s Bottom Bracket. As always, if you’re insterested in this show, shoot The Bird House a message on Facebook for the address.

Top image from the Facebook event for Hot Sauce Universe’s album release party on February 22nd.

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