Straight No Chaser's "One Shot" Tour Is A Holiday Tradition In St. Louis

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Straight No Chaser on the "One Shot Tour" played the Fox Theatre  on December 18, 2018. Photo Credit: The Fabulous Fox

Who doesn’t love the tradition of the holidays? Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, crazy lines at department stores, Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty…and live a cappella music to delight the mind and warm the heart. For as many years as Straight No Chaser has been coming to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to perform around the holidays, I’ve had the privilege to attend and review their show. It’s always a fun evening of new and classic pop songs and holiday favorites.   This year, Straight No Chaser is on tour to promote their seventh full length album, One Shot.

The pride of Indiana University, Jerome Collins, Mike Luginbill, Walter Chase, Seggie Isho, Randy Stein, Steve Morgan, Charlie Mechling, David Roberts and Tyler Trapp bring energy, humor and passion to every song they perform. Jerome was particularly energetic on “Proud Mary,” “Lean On Me” and “When A Man Loves A Woman,” and Mike was silky smooth with his tenor soaring on “Go Your Own Way” and the band’s original all-inclusive holiday number “That’s Why We Celebrate.” Walt and Steve hit the high notes on their cover of Toto’s “Africa” and was very funny on “the remix” as “Africa” is also incorporated in their world famous version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Seggie, David, and the “Human Sound Machine” Tyler were hilarious as the reluctant Chipmunks on “Dear Christmas Don’t Be Late.”  Tyler and Steve reminded the audience that it was only Tuesday but everybody’s “Working For The Weekend.” The rhythm section of Randy and Charlie didn’t get a lot of solo time—they didn’t perform “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” or “It’s All About The Bass (No Tenors)” but they are the core of the backbeat that everyone builds upon and thus equally essential.

The new album also features a fun mash-up of “Motown Philly/This Is How We Do It,” everyone’s secret guilty pleasure “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” and “Homeward Bound,” which the group performed live. Songs still to be discovered when I get the album include Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town,” Grand Funk Railroad's “We’re An American Band,” Jame’s Brown’s “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere” – I’d love to see who handle that rapid-fire geography lesson, but since Cash was a baritone I’m going to guess Randy. “Our House” is also on the track list, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise by looking it up on the internet to know if that’s from Madness or Crosby, Stills and Nash, or, knowing SNC, perhaps both?

I occasionally hear someone scoff or read a sarcastic comment about a cappella groups, but St. Louis doesn’t seem to mind. The December 18, 2018 show sold out the Fox Theatre, and honestly I suspect this town would support two dates. We know a good thing when we hear it, and Straight No Chaser is the cream of the a cappella crop. See you next year, fellas, and happy holidays to you and yours!

5.0 / 5.0