Smile Politely

The Overture: September 4-9

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.

TUESDAY, September 4th

Traditional Jazz Orchestra

► The Iron Post // cover // 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, September 5th

McNeill Quintet

► The Iron Post // cover // 6 p.m.

Counting Crows, Live

► State Farm Center // $15-$48 // 7:30 p.m.

Counting Crows are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a tour stop here in Champaign at the State Farm Center. I don’t think I need to go any deeper than linking to “Mr. Jones” do I?

The White Swan, Staghorn, Close The Hatch, Belle

► Blips and Chitz // $5 donation // 8 p.m.

Ian Shepherd, Mitchell Killough, Corfton Coleman, Clayton Thompson

► Blackbird // free // 9 p.m.

THURSDAY, September 6th

Jordan and the Jordanears

► The Iron Post // cover // 5 p.m.

Kayak Jokes, Safe Bet, Ghoul Jr., Adobo, Open Hall

► Portlandia // $5 // 8 p.m.

Here’s a cool house show on Thursday: Kayak Jones (from Iowa) heads through on tour with Safe Bet (from Indiana). They’re joined by a few locals — indie rock outfit Ghoul Jr., emcee Adobo, and jazz fusion act Open Hall.

James Singleton, Aurora Nealand, Charles Rumback

► The Iron Post // $18 // 8 p.m.

The Mighty Pines, Charlie & The Possible Wilds

► The Canopy Club // cover // 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, September 7th

Guido Sanchez-Portuguez

► Springer Cultural Center // free // 12 p.m.

Jazz Walk

► Meadowbrook Park // free // 5:30 p.m.

The Barefoot Movement, Mank & Sass

► Allerton Park // $15 // 6 p.m.

Ranky Tanky, Baracutanga, AJ Ghent, New Orleans Jazz Machine, Mucca Pazza

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // free // 6:30 p.m.

KCPA’s 50th anniversary season opens on Friday night with this stellar lineup of acts: West African / American jazz fusion band Ranky Tanky, steel guitarist AJ Ghent (returns after performing at ELLNORA in 2015), and more kick things off for Krannert’s celebratory double season. All of this for free, plus food + drink, and other activities throughout the evening.

The Something Brothers, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts

► The Castle Theatre in Bloomington // $15 advance/$18 door // 8 p.m.

Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Jordan Davis

► State Farm Center // $15-$69 // 8 p.m.

SATURDAY, September 8th

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, The Way Down Wanderers, Edward David Anderson, Kayla Brown, Fox Crossing String Band

► Allerton Park // $37 // 12 p.m.

Allerton Park’s second annual Prairie Sky Music Festival is this weekend, and actually begins on Friday night, though I’m highlighting Saturday’s lineup here for you (see Barefoot Movement show above). Marty Stuart & His Famulous Superlatives headline this with a bunch of other excellent acts (do check out Way Down Wanderers). There are options to buy single tickets or a festival pass, so check out the event link for all the info via Allerton. There’s also Julie’s SPlog here.

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Japan House 20th Anniversary

► Krannert Center for the Performing Arts // $10-$65 // 2 p.m.

Krannert isn’t the only one celebrating a milestone — Japan Houses’ 20th anniversary celebration is this weekend. There’s this performance happening in the Tryon Festival Theatre on Saturday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s Masturi Festival at Japan House. This performance begins with Kosho Fukushima’s Shinto blessing, remarks and special guests, a tea ceremony, taiko drumming, contemporary tsugaru-jamisen performances, and much more.

The Parasites, Werepire Day, Fat Harvester

► nightshop in Bloomington // cover // 8 p.m.

Big Guns

► Memphis on Main // cover // 8 p.m.

Elsinore, Melvin Knight & The Amber Sky

► Seven Saints // $7 // 9:30 p.m.


► Blackbird // free // 10 p.m.


SUNDAY, September 9th

Shonen Knife, the 5678s

► Japan House // free // 5:30 p.m.

Here’s one you truly should check out this weekend: Shonen Knife and the 5678s at Matsuri Festival at Japan House. These two bands are legendary in their own ways, and this is a rare performance, let alone one you can see for free. These two acts have quite the cult following and have been around since the early 1980s. What a better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Japan House than to see these two bands on Sunday night.

The Subservients, Soy City Stranglers, Dirty Rotten Revenge

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

Kevin Hart & The Vibe Tribe

► The Iron Post // $5 // 7 p.m.

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