Straight No Chaser, Indiana University's pride and joy blew the top off The Centre in Evansville, Indiana last night....joyfully performing tunes for the holidays and covering hot songs from popular artists. You know how you love that surprise when you put on your comfy ole' winter coat for the first time of the season and you find a $20 bill in the pocket ?? Well.... listening to Straight No Chaser singing holiday classics infused with their catchy twists and surprises makes you feel warm, fuzzy and like a millionaire..... Their element of surprise holds your close attention so you don't miss any addition or revision to their tunes. This a capella group of 10 gentlemen (OK... I know there are peeps out there who aren't familiar with "a capella" - don't be ashamed...... it means NO MUSIC).... performs with such depth that you'd swear there was a 12 piece orchestra backing them up... The range of their vocal talents extends from both ends of the spectrum; great soprano, with alto and bass foundations.
I can't write enough great things about these guys --- they are The Rat Pack meets the Backstreet Boys with a schmaltzy midwestern charm......from the light jokes about their ethnicities...to the jabs at their dancing "skills" (the choreography is similar to a grade school musical) .... to their love of being in their college home State: Indiana. It's enjoyable to watch their comedic style which endears them to the crowd and the crowd LOVES THEM!
The group aims to please all ages, and they covered songs from Elvis to Weezer to Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson and Madonna...and a particularly great version of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" (which is actually titled something different...but I'll keep it rated "E" for everyone) . One of my favorite sets was their homage to those Jersey boys, Franki Valli & The Four Seasons. The group was smack-dab DEAD ON with their "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man" - oh and the dance moves....priceless. They didn't indulge me, however, by performing their version of "Rehab" by Amy Crackhouse...I mean Winehouse ...their cover is fantastic.
Their Christmas songs were full of soulful harmonies and of course, more humor stemming with my favorite song of the eve, "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" which contained the lowest bass I believe I've ever heard live. Be sure you look on YOUTUBE for their "12 Days of Christmas" and "The Christmas Can-Can" .... We also included this group on our Christmas song list on page 191 of Recipe Records.
It's not clear who, if anyone, is the frontman of the group and it seems to me it's not necessary to have one. Each member brings something great to the stage and it's clear these fellows are going to entertain for decades to come. Their creativity is obviously endless and it's backed by incredible talent and charm.. Bing Crosby & Nat King Cole were the kings of holiday classics in the past, but the torch has been passed to Straight No Chaser who are, officially (in my book), the royalty of Christmases present and future.....
Like them on Facebook and check out their website: www.sncmusic.com