If you like a band that can sing without hiding behind loud instruments or Auto-Tune, the stellar a cappella band Straight No Chaser will impress you. Here's why this group has been around for more than 15 years and is still touring for admiring fans worldwide.
Straight No Chaser has been touring on and off since 1996, starting out at venues near Indiana University before criss-crossing the U.S. for shows. In 2010, the band members toured to 75 cities throughout the UK, US and Canada -- but from 2011 to 2012, they stuck to performing mostly in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 2014 tour destinations included major U.S. cities like San Diego, San Francisco and Chicago, and 2015 concert locations include major European cities such as London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Stockholm, Vienna and Paris.
Straight No Chaser was originally formed as a student band at Indiana University. The original members have since graduated but kept the band going, which meant the college eventually had to change the name of its student a cappella group to differentiate between the two. The a cappella group that remains at the college is now called Another Round, which is also the name of an album previously released by Straight No Chaser.
Straight No Chaser was formed by ten college students at Indiana University in 1996. They eventually began touring elsewhere at venues like Carnegie Hall and Chicago's Navy Pier, until they graduated in 1999. In 2006 eight of the original members reunited at the request of a record executive who contacted the band after seeing their 1998 rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas" on YouTube. Since then, a few of the members have left to fulfil career and family obligations, but they have been replaced by equally talented musicians.
The band's breakthrough came after a video of its holiday performance was posted on YouTube. Their first album released was "Holiday Spirits," which reached number 46 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and became a number one seller on the Amazon and iTunes music charts. Some of the songs on that album include "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "The 12 Days of Christmas," and "Jingle Bell Rock." This album helped put the band on the map for those who had not heard about its success at Indiana University.
The band's subsequent albums did even better on the charts. The second album, "Christmas Cheers," was released in 2009 and reached number 38 on the Billboard 200 chart. Some of the album's popular songs include "Let It Snow" and "O Holy Night." In 2010, the band released "With a Twist," which reached number 29 on the Billboard 200. Some of the songs included "Fix You," "Tainted Love," and "Wonderwall." After focusing on performing live for a few years, Straight No Chaser released an album in 2013 called "Under the Influence," featuring famous musicians like Dolly Parton, Phil Collins and Stevie Wonder. "Under the Influence" did the best on the Billboard 200 charts, reaching number 28 and making its way into the Top 10 on iTunes.
Fans who are lucky enough to get Straight No Chaser tickets often appreciate the subtle humour and abundant energy in every show. The band members are known for being funny, entertaining and unafraid to interact with the audience, even pulling people on stage during shows. It doesn't hurt that the songs are all well-known and well-liked, so audience members can come prepared to sing or hum along, and maybe even get a CD signed.
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