Smile Politely

The Overture: February 24 – March 1

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 24th

Jasmine Field Orchestra

► Asian American Cultural Center // Free, RSVP Required // 5:30 p.m.

The Cat’s Pajamas

► Urbana High School // Prices vary // 7 p.m.

Urbana Hootenanny

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 8 p.m.

Tuesday, February 25th

Dixieland Jazz Band (Fat Tuesday Celebration)

► Esquire Lounge // Free // 5:30 p.m.

The Casuals

► Clark Bar // Free // 6:30 p.m.

Michael Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble

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

New Orleans Jazz Machine

► Boomerangs // Free // 7:30 p.m.

Dennis Stroughmatt & Friends

► The Iron Post // $7 // 8 p.m.

Wednesday, February 26th

Choirs at University of Illinois present: “In the Lord put I my trust” (Chandos Anthem Series)

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

Melanie A. Davis (Album release show)

► The Iron Post // $5 // 7 p.m.

Illinois Wind Symphony

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

Late night with Riles

► nightshop // Free // 10 p.m. 

Thursday, February 27th

Chip Stephens Organ Trio (Krannert Uncorked)

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

Big Mo Abdullah

► Clark Bar // Free // 6 p.m.

David Howie

► The Icehouse // Free // 8 p.m.

A graphic announcing the SMACKrabbitJACK show at the Rose Bowl Tavern. The line-up for the show is given along with the location and time. The graphic has a black background with two red roses in the bottom corners. At the top of the image, three photos depicting someone being smacked, a rabbit, and Jack Nicholson from Kubrick's The Shining.

Image from the Facebook event.

SMACKrabbitJack, WeedWckin’ Johnson, Roots n’ Wings

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $5 // 8 p.m.

What more could you ask for on a Thursday night than three bands playing country and country-inspired tunes at Urbana’s home of country, honky tonk, and twang. This is my pick to start off your weekend strong. 

Dada Veda, Two-Legged Zoo, Circumstances, others TBA

► 25 O’clock Brewing Company // Free // 8 p.m.

Friday, February 28th

New Orleans Jazz Machine

► Blackbird // Free // 5 p.m.

Koko and Stoker

► Neil St. Blues // Free // 7 p.m.

Illinois Wind Orchestra and Hindsley Symphonic Band

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

Sludge Rock Punk and Roll Extravaganza

► nightshop // $6 // 7:30 p.m.

Billy Galt & The Blues Deacons

► Huber’s West End // Free // 8 p.m.

Album art for Lara Driscoll's new album, Woven Dreams. Two images, bordered by wooden beams. In the first, Driscoll wears a green dress and is surrounded by larger-than-life green leaves. In the Second, she sits in a chair while sheet music swirls about her person.

Image from the Facebook event.

Lara Driscoll Trio (Album release show)

► The Iron Post // Free // 8 p.m.

French-American pianist and composer, Lara Driscoll, returns to C-U with her trio to release their new album, Woven Dreams. Driscoll, a UIUC grad, brings her Montreal-based trio to town to showcase their diverse influences and skillful playing. This is my choice for a semi-swanky Friday.

Garrett and the Geezers

► Pipa’s Pub // Free // 8:30 p.m.

Union Street Players

► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 9 p.m.

DJ Belly (Mardi Gras Party)

► Blackbird // Free // 9 p.m.

Filibusta (Album release show)

► The Canopy Club // $7 adv., $10 door // 9 p.m.

Kayla Brown

► Goldy’s // Free // 9 p.m.

Saturday, February 29th

The Mary Jo Curry Band (Album release show)

► Pipa’s Pub // Free // 6 p.m.

A photo of the Jeremiahas. Four men stand against a wooden fence holding their instruments and smiling at each other. From the left: a man wears a black bowler hat and a tee shirt and looks on at the group smiling. The next man wears a red shirt and looks into the camera while holding a long, black flute. A third man in a white, patterned button-up shirt has his arm around the man wearing red. he holds a fiddle and bow in his left hand. The final man wears a white shirt and a black vest and holds his guitar. One hand rests on top of it while the other rests on the strings. He looks back on his bandmates smiling like the first man.

Image from the Facebook event.

The Jeremiahas

► Pipers Hut // $20 // 7 p.m.

Piper’s Hut hosts traditional Celtic music here in Champaign. This week, the Jeremiahas will be playing. Their style meshes the traditional with the modern to create a style that has been described as “Urban Folk.” This globe-trotting quartet is playing a house show, so to get the address, you’ll need to contact the host on the ticket page.

Los Guapos

► 25 O’clock Brewing // Free // 7 p.m.

Black and white photograph taken with a fish-eye lens. Four men sit and stand on worn down concrete stairs against a brick wall. Three men stand in the back, with one man crossing his arms, the one in the middle holding his arms above his head, fingers out stretched like claws, and a third stands with one hand on his front leg. In the foreground, a man sit on the stairs looking into the camera.

Image from the Facebook event.

Black Japan, Bury Thy Wicked, Holiday Disaster, other TBA

► nightshop // $7 // 7:30 p.m.

If Urban Folk isn’t you scene, then this rock-heavy lineup is right for you. nightshop is hosting three hard rock bands — and possibly a fourth (TBA?) — from around the state: Back Japan, a heavy rock outfit from Chicago; Bury thy Wicked, a hard rock group out of Bloomington; Holiday Disaster, a punk rock/ rock and roll group from Peoria. If the week has left you with a little bit of rage you need to exercise, this is my pick for cathartic rock. 

Ryan Groff, Kayla Brown, Paul Kotheimer

► Seven Saints // Free // 7:30 p.m.

Sierra Hull

► The Castle Theatre // $27 // 8 p.m.

Drew Baldridge

► The City Center // Prices vary // 8 p.m.

William Marsala

► Neil St. Blues // Free // 8 p.m.

Groove Avenue

► Huber’s West End // Free // 8 p.m.

Dan Hubbard

► Pour Bros. // Free // 8 p.m.

Painted Canyon, Bashful Youngens, South City Revival

► Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 // 8 p.m.

Cypher Saturdays (Champaign Cipher Series)

► Blackbird // $10 // 9 p.m. 

Sunday, March 1st

Mank & Sass

► Alto Vineyards // Free // 2 p.m.


► Rose Bowl Tavern // Free // 5 p.m.

Afro D & Global Soundwaves

► The Iron Post // $5 // 6 p.m.

Still No Love Lost (Rap Battles)

► The Canopy Club // $15 // 6 p.m.

Young Baroque Artists Competition presents Haydn, Little Organ Mass

► McKinley Presbyterian Church // Pries vary // 7:30 p.m.

Top Image: The Jeremiahas. Image from the Facebook event.

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