Sixteen years ago, a group of young men on Indiana Universityâ€™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.
â€œStraight No Chaser are neither strait-laced nor straight-faced, but neither are they vaudeville-style kitsch,â€ according to the bandâ€™s website. â€œThey are reinventing the idea of a cappella on the modern pop landscape.â€
â€œWe take the music very seriously,â€ said Straight No Chaser member Randy Stine on the groupâ€™s website. â€œWe just donâ€™t take ourselves too seriously.â€
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.
â€œWe perform songs we enjoy, from Marvin Gaye to whatâ€™s on the radio today,â€ said Straight No Chaser member David Roberts. â€œThereâ€™s a little bit of something for everybody. Our audience ranges from high schoolers to grandparents.â€
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 bandâ€™s fanbase skyrocketed after Stine posted clips from a 1998 concert on YouTube.
They released their first album, â€œHoliday Spiritsâ€ 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.
â€œItâ€™s kind of been a college reunion for four years,â€ Roberts said.
“A music career was definitely not on my radar,â€ Stine said. â€œGetting the guys back together â€” not just for someoneâ€™s wedding or bachelor party, but to spend the majority of the year together touring and recording â€” 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.
â€œWell, thereâ€™s a lot of breweries,â€ he laughed. â€œWe really enjoy Colorado. Weâ€™re excited to introduce ourselves to Fort Collins and see what the people are like.â€
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.
â€œWe know the collegiate atmosphere, itâ€™s a fun, electric environment,â€ Roberts said. â€œIt reminds us where we came from.â€
Entertainment Editor Courtney Riley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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