Mar 292012
 
Authors: Courtney Riley

Sixteen years ago, a group of young men on Indiana University’s campus were just “10 guys who happened to be good friends who also liked to sing.” Now, they are known for starting the famed a capella group, Straight No Chaser.

“Straight No Chaser are neither strait-laced nor straight-faced, but neither are they vaudeville-style kitsch,” according to the band’s website. “They are reinventing the idea of a cappella on the modern pop landscape.”

“We take the music very seriously,” said Straight No Chaser member Randy Stine on the group’s website. “We just don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

The group, which has reached more than 20 million views on YouTube, appeared on national television programs and released six albums, is performing at the Lincoln Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $34 to $37 and can be purchased at www.fcgov.com.

“We perform songs we enjoy, from Marvin Gaye to what’s on the radio today,” said Straight No Chaser member David Roberts. “There’s a little bit of something for everybody. Our audience ranges from high schoolers to grandparents.”

When the original members graduated from IU in 1999, they chose replacements and established Straight No Chaser as a group on campus, which more than 50 members have passed through. IU hosted a 10th anniversary reunion show for the original lineup in 2006, and the band’s fanbase skyrocketed after Stine posted clips from a 1998 concert on YouTube.

They released their first album, “Holiday Spirits” in 2008, followed by five other records within the next four years.

Five of the current Straight No Chaser members are from the original line-up, including Roberts, Stine, Charlie Mechling, Jerome Collins and Walter Chase.

“It’s kind of been a college reunion for four years,” Roberts said.

“A music career was definitely not on my radar,” Stine said. “Getting the guys back together — not just for someone’s wedding or bachelor party, but to spend the majority of the year together touring and recording — is a dream come true. I pinch myself all the time and hope it continues and becomes a longstanding career.”

Straight No Chaser has performed in Colorado before, but Roberts said he and the rest of the group are excited to visit Fort Collins for the first time.

“Well, there’s a lot of breweries,” he laughed. “We really enjoy Colorado. We’re excited to introduce ourselves to Fort Collins and see what the people are like.”

The band is looking forward to college students coming to their show to support them and a capella and to feel the nostalgia that comes from a college campus, bringing back memories of their roots.

“We know the collegiate atmosphere, it’s a fun, electric environment,” Roberts said. “It reminds us where we came from.”

Entertainment Editor Courtney Riley can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

What: Straight No Chaser
Where: The Lincoln Center
When: Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $34 to $37
More info: www.fcgov.com and www.sndmusic.com

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