Smile Politely

The Overture: October 12-17

The Overture is a rundown of live music and performances happening in and around Champaign-Urbana 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.

TUESDAY, October 12th

The Chickadee Sermon

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 6 p.m.

The Champaign-Urbana based folk act brings originals as well as classics to the Rose Bowl. With an emphasis on vocal harmony, the group also brings together guitar, bass, banjo, and melodica to create a sound that is oh so sweet on the ears.

WEDNESDAY, October 13th 

Reverend Robert & The Rhumba Bums

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Bringing a vast array of musical styles and influences, blues guitarist Reverand Robert brings rhythm and a great acoustic sound to the Rose Bowl.

Mother Nature, TheGr8Thinkaz

Canopy Club // $10 adv, $15 door // 7 p.m.

Chicago-based hip-hop duo Mother Nature returns to their hometown to bring their uplifting lyrics and powerful flow to Canopy Club. This is not one to miss, y’all!

THURSDAY, October 14th

Hobnob String Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Every Thursday! Outside on the patio of Rose Bowl, Hobnob brings you some great acoustic music, from blues to bluegrass and other styles. Catch some great harmonies, and of course some wonderful fingerpicking.

Ian Shepherd and Friends

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8 p.m.

Drummer Ian Shepherd teams up with other talented local musicians to bring you a great evening of jazz, blues, funk, and rock.

Image of Bad Bad Hats from their Facebook page.

Bad Bad Hats, Nectar

NOLA’s Rock bar // $10 adv, $15 door // 9 p.m.

Minneapolis indie rock/pop band Bad Bad Hats make a stop on their fall tour in Urbana for this show which is sure to kick butt. Joined by Champaign punksters Nectar, this show will get you headbanging and dancing.

FRIDAY, October 15th

Jeff Helgesen Quintet

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Local trumpet guru Jeff Helgesen performs at the Rose Bowl with his stellar quintet, bringing you hard bop of the 1960s.

Brian Stark Quartet featuring Lauren Pellant

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 5 p.m.

Saxophonist Brian Stark is joined by violinist Lauren Pellant for a unique night of jazz music. 

Stop Light Observations

NOLA’s Rock Bar // $12 adv, $15 doors // 7 p.m.

Hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, Stop Light Observations is “4-piece anti-pop/not rock (but also isn’t not rock)” according to the band’s Facebook page. Their sound does seem hard to nail down, blending pop, rock, and funk into its own unique thing. 

Image from The Claudettes’ Facebook page.

The Claudettes, Andrey Goncalves Group

Rose Bowl Tavern // $10 adv, $15 day of // 7:30 p.m.

Part of CU Jazz Festival. Rockabilly, punk, blues, and roots come together to make up the sound of The Claudettes. Featuring an impressive lineup of musicians, the group is supported by Andrey Goncalves Group, featuring Andrey Goncalves on bass. 

SATURDAY, October 16th

Brian Stark’s Blue Funk All Stars

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 1 p.m.

Saxophonist Brian Stark leads a killer band through blues and psychedelic funk music, sure to get you dancing. Come hang out and enjoy the CU Jazz Festival. 

Krannert Art Remastered

Allerton Sunken Garden // free // 3 p.m.

Head to Allerton this Saturday to hear Andrew Rodriguez’s new composition “What Stays Behind.” This will be an incredibly unique performace, combining the sonic landscape of the outdoors with Rodriguez’s music to create a whole new experience. Learn more about the performance here

HAT Trio

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m

Jazz Fest rolls on with HAT Trio, a group made up of bassist Matt Hughes, pianist Whitney Ashe, and guitarist George Turner, who will be bringing traditional and original jazz to Rose Bowl. 

Simply This Quintet

First Presbyterian Church of Champaign // $5 suggested donation // 5 p.m.

Celebrating the release of their album Step Up, the group is Matthew Storie and Reginald Lewis (tenor sax), Emma Taylor (bass), Jesus Fuentes (piano), and Frank Kurtz (drums). 

Whitney Ashe

The Literary // free // 7 p.m.

A special pop up performance for the CU Jazz Festival, jazz pianist Whitney Ashe performs at the newly opened Literary in downtown Champaign. 

Image of The Districts from Rose Bowl’s Facebook event page. 

Editor’s Pick: The Districts, girlpuppy, LLO LLO

Rose Bowl Tavern // $15 adv, $18 door // 8 p.m

Pennsylvania-based indie rock band The Districts make a stop at Rose Bowl on their fall tour. Truth be told, I only know a few of their songs, but the ones I know are absolute bangers. Joining them is girlpuppy from Georgia, as well as LLO LLO. That right there is what I call a stacked lineup. 

DJ Belly

NOLA’s Rock Bar // free // 10 p.m.

Looking for some late night Saturday fun? DJ Belly has you covered, spinning beats at NOLA’s through the evening, so come out and bring your best dance moves — it’s going to be a party. 

SUNDAY, October 17th

Eric Devey Group

Champaign Public Library // free // 1 p.m.

Trumpeter Eric Devey brings his group to the library to perform The Year Without a Summer, music based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. 

U of I Concert Jazz Band

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 2 p.m

The University of Illinois Jazz Band is sure to stun this Sunday, helping close out the final day of the CU Jazz Festival. 

Iron Post Jazz Orchestra

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 6 p.m

Created by U of I students Ben Carrasquillo and Robert Brooks, the Iron Post Jazz Orchestra was a way to explore big band jazz in a fun and casual environment. The band is now under the direction of Brian Stark and Kurt Reeder. 
Top image of The Districts from Rose Bowl’s Facebook event page.

Music Editor

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