Smile Politely

The Overture: November 9-15

WHAT: REO Speedwagon

WHERE: The Virginia Theatre ($59.50 – $99.50)

WHEN: Monday, November 9th at 7:30 p.m.

Champaign’s favorite sons return to their hometown to bring a massive night of classic rock to one of the most beautiful venues in town, The Virginia Theatre.

WHAT: Jack Beats, Win+Woo, Axilon, Ray

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($15)

WHEN: Monday, November 9th at 8 PM

It’s Monday night – is there anything better to do than dance your face off? No, there’s not.


WHAT: Pokey LaFarge, Margo and the Pricetags, Bones Jugs N Harmony

WHERE: The Highdive ($15 advance, $18 door)

WHEN: Wednesday, November 11th at 6:30 p.m.


I’ll admit, I listened to Pokey LaFarge for the first time last week. It’s a very rare moment when a musician grabs you by first listen, but Pokey did just that. This guy seriously sounds like he came straight out of the 1940’s. I’m not sure how this will transition to a live show at The Highdive, but that only increases my excitement.



WHAT: Ryn Weaver, ASTR, Holychild

WHERE: City Center ($18)

WHEN: Wednesday, November 11th at 7:30 p.m.

Ryn Weaver has been exploding on a national scale of late due to the success of her single “Octohate”. This Wednesday, Star Course is bringing her to The City Center. New venue, new sounds, this show should be on the top of your priority list this week.



WHAT: The Saturday Giant, Paul Kotheimer

WHERE: Library House (Message for address, donations accepted)

WHEN: Wednesday, November 11th at 8 PM

Urbana would not be Urbana without a decent house show scene, and as such, The Saturday Giant pair with Paul Kotheimer to bring a unique brand of rock to Library House. If you haven’t been to a house show in a while, I would suggest this as a great place to start.


WHAT: NGHTMRE, Antics, Banter, Treepeoh

WHERE: Canopy Club ($15)

WHEN: Thursday, November 12th at 9 p.m.

Nightmares are scary. NGHTMRE is less scary, though those bullets in the poster may tell a different story. Either way, Canopy is going to be bangin on Thursday.


WHAT: theNEWDEAL, Turbo Suit, Positive Vibr8ions

WHERE: The Canopy Club ($20)

WHEN: Friday, November 13th at 8 p.m.

In my opinion, FDR was a pretty rad President. He was so good, he got elected 4 times. Thus, I am extatic that theNEWDEAL is coming to Canopy. Perhaps this EDM will involve some historical factoids – going to Canopy is a lot more fun than going to the library, especially on a Friday.


WHAT: Brooklyn Babylon

WHERE: Krannert Center Tryon Festival Theatre ($27-$10)

WHEN: Friday, November 13th at 7:30 p.m.

Created by Darcy James Argue adn Danijel Zezelj, Brooklyn Babylon is more of an urban fable than a musical performance, but it features an 18-piece big band, so if that’s not enough to get you excited, I’m not sure what will.


WHAT: Tractor Kings, Thunder/Dreamer, Cole Rabenort of The Fights

WHERE: Mike N Molly’s ($7)

WHEN: Friday, November 13th at 8:30 PM

What better way is there to spend a Friday night than accompanied by a little twang? Catching Cole Rabenort is always a pleasure, but make sure you get there right at 8:30, because he’s opening the show. Tractor Kings and Thunder/Dreamer will be sure to round the night out nicely, as well. 


WHAT: Kenna Mae, Tigerbeat, Superior State

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($7)

WHEN: Friday, November 13th at 9:30 p.m.

Kenna Mae, who has exploded onto Champaign-Urbana’s folk (and music, as a whole) scene is moving to New Orleans, and as such, this will be her final show in C-U for the time being. Combine that with the excellent support of Tigerbeat and Superior State, and you’ve got a great night of music.



WHAT: The Acme Principle, Jesse W Johnson, Penny Horses

WHERE: Mike N Molly’s

WHEN: Saturday, November 14th at 9 PM

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing The Acme Principle at MnM’s mulitple times, and each time, they have failed to disappoint. Saturday, they return to the Downtown Champaign establishment to provide what is sure to be a fun night of rock.


WHAT: Isabel Leonard and Sharon Isbin

WHERE: Krannert Center: Foellinger Great Hall ($47-$10)

WHEN: Saturday, November 14th at 7:30 PM

Isabel Leonard has spent time with teh Metropolitan Opera, and has struck out on a bit of a solo tour. This saturday she hits Krannert Center, accompanied by the sweet guitar tones of Sharon Isbin.


WHAT: DJ Belly

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($2 after 11 PM)

WHEN: Saturday, November 14th at 10 PM – 2 AM

For those who are more hip-hop inclined, like myself, DJ Belly brings a wonderful mix of eclectic hits and originals nearly every time he plays, and that’s great news. He might even play some new tracks this weekend, but that’s just the word on the street.


WHAT: John Coppess, Marten Stromberg

WHERE: The Iron Post

WHEN: Saturday, November 14th at 9:30 PM

A pair of solo singer/songwriters are set to take The Iron Post by storm on Saturday night, which will include several duets and perhaps even some covers. Speaking from experience, there’s nothing better than a lowkey Saturday night at the Post, and this show appears to be no different.


WHAT: Roberta Sparrow, Playoff Beard, Bull Nettle

WHERE: Cowboy Monkey ($5)

WHEN: Sunday, November 15th at 8 p.m.

Sure, you could end your weekend on the couch. Or, you could live a little and end your weekend with a killer punk show at Cowboy Monkey. Locals Roberta Sparrow consistently put on a good show, and this rare Sunday night endeavor may be the perfect place to catch them.


WHAT: Marching Illini

WHERE: Krannert Center: Foellinger Great Hall ($8 for students, $10 for public)

WHEN: Sunday, November 15th at 3 p.m.

In case punk isn’t your scene, the Marching Illini will be performing inside of Krannert’s biggest theatre on Sunday night. Will they march around in circles? Will they march through the aisles? Only time will tell, friends…


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