Smile Politely

The Overture: September 20-26

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.

MONDAY, September 20th

Big Daddy Pride and the East Side 5

WEFT Sessions (virtual) // free // 10 p.m.

Big Daddy Pride has just released their new funky new album Snake Jazz. I imagine they’ll be playing songs from it during this session. Check out Smile Politely’s review of the new record, and be sure to tune in! 

Urbana Country Music Community Band ft Dyke Corson

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Head to the Rose Bowl at 5 to hear some country hits!

The Urbana Hootenanny

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8 p.m.

Every Monday at the Rose Bowl, come hang out with some great musicians. A sort of open mic meets song share, you can expect a variety of music and performers. 

TUESDAY, September 21st

Image from Rose Bowl Tavern’s Facebook page.

Los Guapos

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

Come get a taste of traditional Peruvian Chicha and Cumbia with Los Guapos.  With covers and originals, Los Guapos always entertain. 

U of I Jazz Faculty

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 7:30 p.m.

The U of I Jazz Faculty is putting on a welcome back concert at the Rose Bowl. Expect some incredible playing from this group. Come hang out and help make the first faculty performance of the semester a great one!

Tueday Jazz

Boomerangs Bar and Grill // free // 6 p.m.

Come here some of Champaign-Urbana’s finest jazz musicians for weekly jazz night at Boomerangs!

WEDNESDAY, September 22nd

Vine Street Syncopators

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 5 p.m.

The jazz train continues at The Rose Bowl on Wednesdy with the Vine Street Syncopators. Come hearsome piping hot jazz and hang out.

THURSDAY, September 23rd

Dogleg, Retirement Party, Nectar

NOLA’s Rock Bar // $15 // 8 p.m.

A great night of DIY punk and indie awaits you at NOLA’s. Dogleg is a four-piece punk band from Michigan, Retirement Party brings indie rock down from Chicago, and local favorite punk band Nectar kicks the show off. Part of day 1 of Pygmalion Festival, this is a great way to get your night started.

Album cover for Tinashe's album

Image from Tinashe’s Facebook page.

Tinashe, WilliamGold

Canopy Club // $25 // 9 p.m.

Multi-platinum R&B singer Tinashe hits the Canopy Club as part of Pygmalion. Releasing her new album “333” this year, you can expect to hear many songs from that record, as well as her previous albums. Opening up the show is WilliamGold, bringing his own style of music with hints of R&B, soul, jazz, dance, hip hop, and alternative. 

Afro D & Global Soundwaves

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 8 p.m.

This 7-piece hip hop/jazz/funk band plays Rose Bowl as part of Pygmalion. Bringing great music for old and young as well as a brand of positive messages and social-consciousness, this is a group to catch.

Scott Clay

Sipyard // free // 7 p.m.

Rock and roll and a little Americana mixed in, Scott Clay comes from Seattle, you can expect some tunes from his 2020 album Time Will Tell. 

Mike Bray with Tom & Guido

Boomerangs Bar and Grill // free // 6 p.m.

An acoustic show featuring Mike Bray from L.A. joined by Tom & Guido. 

Thomas Nicholas Band

One-T’s Cornerpocket // $15 adv, $20 door // 9 p.m.

You might recognize Thomas Nicholas from his role as Kevin Myers in the American Pie film franchise. Thursday, he brings his band for a night of rock and roll. 

Ty (of The Unemployed Architects)

Clark Bar // free // 6:30 p.m.

Bringing originals and covers, I have seen The Unemployed Architects once before, and Ty has a great voice. Well worth catching him this Thursday. 

FRIDAY, September 24th

Steven Page, 90s Daughter

City Center // $40 // 7 p.m.

Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies hits Champaign to perform. A portion of each ticket will go towards The American Brain Tumor Association and First Gig Rock Camp for Kids. 90s Daughter will open the show.

Portrait of the group Tankk and the Bangas.

Image from Tank and the Bangas Facebook page.

Editor’s Pick: Tank and the Bangas, NNAMDÏ, McKinley Dixon, Mermaid Heaven

Rose Bowl Tavern // $25 // 8 p.m.

Oh man, if you’re looking to experience some pure joy, come see Tank and the Bangas on Friday night. Winners of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, they quickly rose to fame and in 2019 were nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 Grammy Awards. Led by Tarriona “Tank” Ball — who is also doing a reading of poetry earlier in the day — the group is sure to bring a smile to your face and get you dancing. Not to mention the other acts joining them on this bill, you are in for a kick-butt night of music and fun. 

Blackest Hour

Independent Media Center // free // 2 p.m.

DJ CK brings ” the sounds of Black traditional music in the Americas, Africa, Caribbean, and throughout the Diaspora” to the IMC. 

SATURDAY, September 25th

Serena Isioma

Rose Bowl Tavern // $15 // 10:15 p.m.

Nigeran-American artist based out of Chicago, Serena Isioma combines alternative, hip hop, indie, and R&B to create a perfectly blended sound. This is sure to be a great show.


Sipyard // free // 7:30 p.m.

Live music from Mona Fang, Twoleggedzoo, Heuristics, and aLiens in the sky. Live projections from Matt Harsh and Jake Metz. Closing out the night is a DJ set from Disco Phil, Heuristics, and Mission.

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, September 26th

Corea and Congas: A tribue to Chick Corea

Rose Bowl Tavern // free // 4 p.m.

A stellar line up of musicians bring a Latin jazz tribute to the late, great Chick Corea. A great way to spend your Sunday afternoon. 

The Auctions, Col James Presents, Francis Wossom

Rose Bowl Tavern // $5 suggested donation // 7 p.m.

A night of rock and roll shredding awaits you with these three great acts. Punk, acoustic punk, rock and roll, good times!

Top image from Tank and the Banga’s Facebook page. 

Music Editor

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