Straight No Chaser brought some holiday cheer to Chicago fans a bit early.
The 10-member a cappella group performed two sold out shows at The Chicago Theatre on Dec. 9. During the energetic 90-minute evening concert, they blended a collection of their favorite tunes and holiday songs.
Straight No Chaser catapulted into the public eye in 2006 after a You Tube video they made while performing "The 12 Days of Christmas" went viral. All the members are graduates of Indiana University in Bloomington where they got together as a group in 1996.
Their Chicago show began with a highly unusual directive for a concert: the gentlemen singers actually invited fans to feel free to photograph or video the concert.
Photos are definitely encouraged at any Straight No Chaser show. As a group who shot to fame with the help of the Internet, they're open to fans singing their praises on social media. And it's working for them.
In concert, the group delivers polished, soulful vocals and have attractive harmonies.
During the show, they performed a mix of tunes including Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Bill Withers' "Use Me," and Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me."
The singers showed a playful, creative side with a medley of movie tunes, which are normally instrumental songs, but they added their own words to the music. Among themes on the list were: "Home Alone," "Rocky," "Star Wars," and "Titanic."
On the holiday song roster were tunes such as "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Carol of the Bells," and a feisty rendition of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," which is featured on Cee Lo Green's new Christmas album, "Cee Lo's Magic Moment."
Among show highlights were their signature/humorous "The 12 Days of Christmas," and a fusion of Michael Jackson's mega hit "Billie Jean," and "Poison," by Bel Biv Devoe.