Concert Review: Straight No Chaser

The Palms, Sept. 27

Straight No Chaser | Photo by Edison Graff/ Stardust Fallout

Straight No Chaser | Photo by Edison Graff/ Stardust Fallout

In an era of distortion-and-reverb sound engineering and hyperbolic stage antics, it is refreshing to see 10 guys in dark suits hang their reputation solely on their voices. This group of Indiana University boys bubbled slowly from their inception in 1996 until they blew up 10 years later on YouTube. Their production is deceptively simple, a minimalist frame upon which they hang complex vocal arrangements.

Their act consists almost exclusively of covers, many in medleys that showcase the boys’ ability to construct and execute complex harmonies. Their perfectly interwoven covers of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Prince’s “Kiss,” for instance, not only sounded great, but also served to contrast Prince’s consensual seduction with Thicke’s forcible seduction.

Their encore removed all doubt as to their abilities as they turned off their mics, effectively pulling away even that thin net, and then delivered a clear, clean and moving rendition of “Stand by Me” that filled the house. ★★

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