Smile Politely

The Overture: July 11-17

WHAT: Wood Chickens/Jon Lecouris/Nick Rainey

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($5)

WHEN: Monday, July 11th at 8:30 p.m.

Wisconsin’s Wood Chickens are a rock band with country roots and a punk-like attitude that come together into something that sounds a bit like Uncle Tupelo, but with its own edge. Add local C-U favorites Jon Lecouris and Nick Rainey and you’ve got a really solid Monday set.


WHAT: Gadget/Puddle Splasher/The Sun Will Rise/Eric Stanley

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($5)

WHEN: Tuesday, July 12th at 9 p.m.

Eric Stanley is of C-U’s own rock/emo band Euriah, who are gearing up for an album release next month. On Tuesday he will be playing a solo show at the Institute, accompanied by bands local and otherwise.





WHAT: Neighborhood Nights Concert

WHERE: AMBUCS Park (free)

WHEN: Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 p.m.

This session of C-U’s Neighborhood Nights will feature 70’s and 80’s music from Pet Roxx. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner for a family-friendly evening of tunes.


WHAT: Lara Driscoll Trio

WHERE: The Iron Post (cover unknown, typically $5)

WHEN: Thursday, July 14th at 8 p.m.

Jazz pianist and vocalist Lara Driscoll will return to C-U on Thursday to play a set as a part of her Chicago trio. Driscoll is an accomplished musician locally and elsewhere, with accolades. The Iron Post has a lofty standard when it comes to jazz, so you can know that this show won’t disappoint.


WHAT: Withershins

WHERE: The Accord ($7 advance/$10 door)

WHEN: Friday, June 15th at 9 p.m.

Withershins are some favorite frequenters around the local rock music scene, and they have been since 2007. With the coming relocation of their lead guitarist, the guys have decided to go on an indefinite hiatus. That means that this Friday will be their LAST show. If you aren’t there, you won’t have another chance to see them. With the addition of bands Vaudevileins, Cantalouper, and Windmills, this gig might well be a part of local music history.


WHAT: Chris Janson

WHERE: The City Center (Tickets start at $25)

WHEN: Friday, July 15th at 7 p.m.

The title track off of Chris Janson’s 2015 album Buy Me a Boat climbed all the way to number one on the country music charts. He’s bringing his down-home tunes to The City Center this Friday for a big show that would be a shame for a county music fan to miss.  


WHAT: Friday Night Live

WHERE: Downtown Champaign (free)

WHEN: Friday, July 15th starting at 6 p.m.

Friday Night Live is a showcase of local musicians from all sorts of genres each Friday evening over the summer. Bands play live on downtown street corners for passersby. Here is this week’s lineup:

Walnut & Chester:

6pm: Paige McQuigg & Chip Stephens – jazz, folk & beyond

7pm: Emily Blue – alternative/singer-songwriter

Neil & Park:

6pm: Penny Horses – alternative country

7pm: Nickel & Dimes – rock/pop/country

Neil & Church (One Main Plaza):

6pm: Rick Kubetz & Terry Bush – folk/rock/jazz/pop

7pm: Love Sign – country/pop/rock

– Also featuring hula-hooping with Satina!


WHAT: Bishop/Bighand//big Knife/Gothlight/GUS

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($5)

WHEN: Friday, July 15th at 9 p.m.

It’s time to get down in the mud at I4C on Friday with a veritable mire of doom rock, metal, and sludge sounds. Chicago band Gothlight (formerly known as Mothlight) will be playing their final show, so don’t miss the chance to let them kill you one last time.




WHAT: Folk and Roots Friday

WHERE: Crystal Lake Park (free)

WHEN: Friday, July 15th at 12 p.m.

One of the best of C-U’s midday music events is the Folk and Roots Friday concerts at Crystal Lake. This Friday’s lunch session will feature Americana music from Billy Galt.


WHAT: Snayl, Sports? Sports!, I Am God., Signal to Noise

WHERE: Institute 4 Creativity ($5)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 9 p.m.

I4C brings you another eclectic set to liven up your weekend, featuring the dreamy Snayl and other wonderfully noisy pop and punk bands with very punctuated names, which can only be good.



WHAT: StreetFest

WHERE: Downtown Champaign (free)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 7 p.m.

The second session of this summer’s StreetFest is taking place this weekend. It’s more live local music in the streets, which makes this weekend in DT Champaign a regular walking festival. Here’s the lineup:

July 16 @ Walnut St./University St.

7:00 – 8:15p Kilborn Alley

8:45 – 10:00p Candy Foster and Shades of Blue

10:30 – Midnight Tons O’ Fun Band


WHAT: Midwest Beer Fest

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey/PNC parking lot (free admission/beer prices vary)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 3 p.m.

This awesome boozy fest will have beer tastings from all sorts of local and regional vendors, such as Triptych, Destihl, Revolution, and lots more. Musical acts include local jazz trio Los Guapos from 5-7, and acoustic artist Brandon T. Washington from 7-9. Cowboy Monkey will be serving tacos, so even if you’re not the biggest beer snob, a PBR and a taco is still a winning combination.


WHAT: Decadents: Bunny’s Parking Lot Party

WHERE: Bunny’s Tavern (free)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 7 p.m.

The often overlooked Bunny’s Tavern will be throwing one of their parking lot parties this Saturday, featuring local rockers Decadents. This staple Urbana bar is full of friendly people who don’t host nearly as many shows as they should, especially in their excellent outdoor space, so it’s important to catch one when you can.


WHAT: ZXO & We Are The Willows with Abbi Rajasekhar

WHERE: The Accord ($10 at the door)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 9 p.m.

Acoustic, experimental psych band ZXO will be accompanied by orchestral indie band We Are The Willows for an evening of slow jams and chill vibes.


WHAT: Library House Parents’ Show

WHERE: Library House (free)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 1 p.m.

Ryan Groff, Kittens Incorporated, and Kurt Bielema will be playing this kids-friendly show meant to follow Market at the Square. The music will be kept at a reasonable volume, with porch performances set for sunny watching. Bring your food truck bounties for picnicking.


WHAT: Bonesstock

WHERE: The Iron Post ($15 advance/$20 door)

WHEN: Saturday, July 16th at 3 p.m.

This is the third annual Bonesstock festival, an all-ages folk and indie music event, featuring the lovable weirdo-folk outfit Bones Jugs. Also in attendance will be Devil in a Woodpile, The Fights, Caleb Cook Band, Meadowhawk, and Ricky Wells. The Iron Post has one of the best beer gardens in Urbana, and seldom do they host gigs as large as this one there. Kids twelve and under get half-price tickets.

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