On December 17 and 18, Straight no Chaser, an a capella group, performed at Fletcher Hall in downtown Raleigh.
The show opened with their own version of “Joy to the World,” originally by Three Dog Night. They revamped many popular songs, such as “Superstitious” by Stevie Wonder, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, and “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.
In addition to their revised editions of popular songs, they also included several Christmas songs during the performance, such as “The Grinch Song” and a two minute version of “Jingle Bells.” They sang their original holiday medley based on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” but including portions of tunes from other traditional holiday songs, one of which was “The Dreidel Song,” and parts were sung according to the melody of Toto’s “Africa.”
Patterns of multicolored lights flashed around the room, reflecting off of the group’s suits, adding a stunning visual effect to the concert. They captured the audience’s attention with their stunning performance, creating a new environment with the combination of astounding music, kaleidoscopic lights and relaxed chirography.
In between songs, the group introduced themselves or shared information in a humorous way. The easy-going feel of the artists’ personalities, the familiar way they spoke to the audience, lent to a friendly atmosphere. They added a bit about their history, too.
The original group began fifteen years ago in 1996 at Indiana University (IU). Although the original ten have graduated, they new members continue to replace them. However, today only five men from the original group tour with Straight No Chaser as they perform around the country.
One of the members posted a video of their concert in 1998 on YouTube, earning seven million hits within the year 2007. Today, that number has more than quadrupled. They have four albums available for sale and performed over 170 concerts in 2010.
The phenomenal performance was well worth my money and time. The combination of their professional appearance, enigmatic personalities, spectacular talent, brilliant lights, and astounding music made a night I will not forget.