Smile Politely

The Overture: July 9-15

The Overture is a rundown of live music and performances happening in the Champaign-Urbana area (and the outskirts) each week. All of the information is as accurate as we can publish, but all shows and performances are subject to change at any time. Thank you for understanding.

Have a show you think we should know about? Email us at with the details.

MONDAY, July 9th

There are no shows scheduled for this date.

TUESDAY, July 10th

Ryan Tomski

► The Iron Post // cover // 7 p.m.

GnarWolf, Covina, Frail Body, Vivorum, xPOPPYxROSEx

► Ghost Planet // $7-$10 suggested // 7:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, July 11th

McNeill Quintet

► The Iron Post // $2-$3 // 6 p.m.

Megg Farrell & Friends, Nick Africano, Grant Milliren

► nightshop in Bloomington // $10 // 7 p.m.

The Chickadee Sermon

► Sipyard // free // 7 p.m.

Matthew Sweet

► The Castle Theatre in Bloomington // $25 advance/$28 door // 7:30 p.m.

Esther Rose

► The Iron Post // cover // 8 p.m.

Esther Rose hails from New Orleans, she’s a country and folk singer that’s hitting the Iron Post midweek. She’s toured with Pokey LaFarge (who is coming to town in October), The Punch Brothers, and more — even citing collaborations with Jack White as a part of her resumé. 

Ian Shepherd, Mitchell Killough, James Jones

► Blackbird // free // 8 p.m.

THURSDAY, July 12th

New Souls

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

Miss Tess and the Talkbacks

► The Iron Post // cover // 7 p.m.

Miss Tess and the Talkbacks headlined last year’s installment of C-U Folk & Roots Festival, and she returns to Urbana this week. She’s inspired by classic country and early eras of rock ‘n roll, and she’s no stranger to the area, having played here a few times over the least few years. While there’s no information about a cover charge here, I’d expect it’ll cost you around $10 if I had to guess.

Mank & Sass

► Blackbird // free // 9 p.m.

FRIDAY, July 13th

Paul Mock Trio

► Blackbird // $5 // 5 p.m.

Friday Night Live

► Downtown Champaign // free // 6 p.m.

Steve Meadows Trio

► Maize Downtown // free // 6:30 p.m.

Joe Asselin and The Moonlight Ramblers

► The Iron Post // cover // 9 p.m.

St. Marlboro, Clockwork Owl, Voidbringer, Karats Gold, Not For the Faint of Heart

► Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center // $5 // 7 p.m.

Here’s a few locals mixed with touring acts for a cool DIY show on Friday night at the IMC. St. Marlboro are an alt-country/emo outfit out of Chicago, Not For the Faint of Heart and Voidbringer are locals, and you can see this one for just five bucks.


► Blackbird // free // 9 p.m.

SATURDAY, July 14th

Lime Forest, Classic Bang, Standby, Parachute Day

► Exile on Main Street // free // 6 p.m.

It has been a minute since Lime Forest bounced from the local scene due to moving to Chicago, but they’re back for a free show on Saturday at Exile. The psych outfit has been working on a new record, and this four band bill also features B-N math rock outfit Parachute Day.

Mojo, Craig Russo, Kayla Brown

► Streetfest by Champaign Park District, Downtown Champaign // free // 6  p.m.

Staghorn, Meth., Pains, xPOPPYxROSEx

► Ghost Planet // $7 // 7:30 p.m.

Staghorn just released their new record Wormwood IIIand this will be their last local show until the fall. So listen to that new record and head over to Ghost Planet this weekend. xPOPPYxROSEx are also local, a thrash project you can check out here.

Jordan and Jill

► Blackbird // $5 // 9 p.m.

Allen Blackwell

► Crudo // free // 9 p.m.

Rebekah Songer, Falbonauts, Superior State

► The Iron Post // cover // 10 p.m.

SUNDAY, July 15th

Jazz Musical Worship Ensemble

► Wesley United Methodist Church // free // 9:30 a.m.

Wesley Director of Traditional Music Worship, Barrington Coleman, has curated this event happening on Sunday morning. Here’s the info about this one:

The program includes “Jesus’ Last Ballad” by Bill Evans, “Django” by John Lewis, the traditional song “I Woke Up This Morning with My Mind (Stayed on Jesus)”, “Seven Steps to Heaven” by Victor Feldman and Miles Davis, “Screamin’ the Blues” by Oliver Nelson, “Shelter in the Rain” by Stevie Wonder”, and “The Blessing” by Wynton Marsalis.

Jazz Musical Worship Ensemble
Teofilo (Tito) Carrillo, trumpet
Charles (Chip) McNeill, saxophone
Ronald Bridgewater, saxophone
Benjamin Carrasquillo, trombone
Barrington Coleman, piano
Andrew Walits, bass
John (JT) Thomas, drums
Crofton Coleman, vocals

Pelafina, Bosley Mongo, Fat Hervester

► nightshop in Bloomington // $5 // 7:30 p.m.

The Lique

► Blackbird // $8 // 9 p.m.

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