Friday, October 28, 2011

Show & Tell: Straight No Chaser

A few years ago, a student of mine asked if I had heard of Straight No Chaser. I was so disappointed to think she was asking me about a drink! I was suspicious when she told me it was a music group. How could a group with that kind of name be any good? Then she played "The 12 Days of Christmas" for me.

I was hooked! I became their biggest fan. I am amazed at the versatility and musicality of the group. I recently discovered they have a website. (Ok, so, I can be a bit slow with this whole social networking thing.) The website has their music right there to listen to - FREE! And, what do you know, I found more music to love. I mean, "The 12 Days Of Christmas" is amazing, but there's even more!

By having access to their website, one would think that would satiate my enjoyment of their music. Not so! When I heard on P.B.S. that Straight No Chaser was coming to the Fox Cities P.A.C., I immediately said, "I want to go!" (I think there was a dance with that comment. I believe the comment was stated more than once, with quite a bit of urgency.) But with life being crazy busy, I didn't get tickets until Thursday afternoon. I think these tickets were meant for me. I think they were the best seats in the house. But, then, there really isn't a bad seat in the Fox Cities P.A.C.

I am so glad I went to the concert! The minute the lights went down, and the "turn off your cell phone" announcement came over the PA system, I knew I was in for a different experience. The announcement was interrupted by the group saying, "Please DO take lots of video and pictures and upload them to facebook and YouTube." I promptly got my phone out and proceeded to try and figure out how to do just that.

I had so much fun at that concert. There was something for everyone. There was a mashup of songs from the '50s, and '60s, (hmm, I don't remember the '70s), the '80s, and a nod to Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber. "We just sang 'BABY' nine times." It was all with good, clean fun.

It was all there.Musically, they were excellent. The harmonies were tight, tuning was amazing, and entrances and cutoffs were clean. I love how they exploit the fact that most pop music is made up of three chords and mash up several songs into a medley. Yet, they still add their own lush harmonies to keep it interesting. Their choreography was fun. Perfect? No. But, fun. I loved that they poked fun at themselves as they choreographed different songs. I was able to laugh along with them. It was just ten guys who were onstage having a blast.

As I have been known to say, "There is nothing better than a good men's choir." I enjoyed being part of that fun. Now I have to figure out how to get those videos from my phone to facebook.

Posted on behalf of Show & Tell Reviewer Lori Maves

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