As I've mentioned before, my mom and I are big fans of Straight No Chaser. When I found out they were going on tour this Christmas, I checked out the tour dates and saw the closest they'd be was Junction City, Kansas. Then I got the brilliant idea to buy tickets and take Mom as her Christmas present. So that's what I did. I bought the tickets at the beginning of September, and I managed to keep it under wraps for two months--considering I almost blabbed the night I bought the tickets, I think I did a pretty good job!
The concert was Friday night. We arrived a full hour early (thanks, Google Maps, for wildly overestimating the time it would take to get there!) and had to wait about 40 minutes for the auditorium to open. Fortunately, we were able to wait in the lobby instead of out in the cold! Our seats were in the middle of the second row--we were so close that we couldn't see the whole group at once; we had to keep looking back and forth across the stage! (I don't know where this fits, so I'll just insert it here: Mom was so funny--I could tell how much she enjoyed each song by how high she held her hands in the air while clapping!)
The concert was wonderful. Afterward, Mom and I talked about how we grinned so much that our cheeks hurt. Seriously, I don't know if I stopped smiling once during the entire concert! I have all three of the albums they've released--Holiday Spirits, Christmas Cheers, and the Six Pack EP--and while just listening to them is wonderful, seeing them live is in a completely different realm. First of all, they sound just as good live as they do recorded--and a lot of bands don't. Second, they're absolutely hilarious! They definitely know how to play to the crowd ... whenever they weren't singing a "serious" song, someone was doing something to make the audience laugh. You can get a glimpse of that by watching their YouTube videos, but in person you can see all the faces they make--priceless!
The concert wasn't solely Christmas music, though they did sing many of their Christmas songs. They did all of the Six Pack songs, as well as one or two new ones that hopefully will show up on their next album--including a song that morphed into "Single Ladies"! And ... they did some of their old songs, too! If they had asked me, "Becky, which of our old songs would you like us to do?" I would have said, with no hesitation whatsoever, "Sitcom Medley." Well, they didn't ask me, but they did it anyway! It's a slightly different version than they sang back in the day--the Growing Pains, Spiderman, and Perfect Strangers themes have been replaced--but they still started out with the Full House theme, so I was a happy camper!
Basically, if you ever get the chance to see Straight No Chaser live, you should go. Also, check your local PBS listings, as they recorded a special in New York that is airing this Christmas season ... pretty much everywhere but in Nebraska. (NET, what's your issue? Oh, I know--you have to show Big Red Wrap-Up over and over and over ...)
Now, for the real reason you're reading--if you're coming from my facebook page, anyway--my thoughts on the guys! Go here to see their individual bios.
- Jerome--What a ham! His faces cracked me up. Throughout the concert, he was the one to watch; he was always making some crazy face or doing something silly! Some of my speech kids could have learned from him.
- Dan--Founded the group back at IU. He arranges a lot of the music. Interestingly, he wasn't that memorable. He didn't make a poor impression or anything, but I definitely remember some of the other guys better.
- Dave--Cracked up when he wasn't supposed to--something I can totally identify with! For everyone who is dying to know which guy Mom picked out for me, Dave's the one. She thought he spent the entire concert looking at me, which apparently means he wants to marry me. (Sorry to burst your bubble, Mom, but according to his bio he's in a relationship!)
- Charlie--easily the best-looking of the bunch, but married. Tells a great story.
- Michael--SNC's answer to Robert Pattinson--but better looking. Much better looking. Also looks much younger than he really is. I was guessing 21 or 22--he's 28.
- Seggie--Mom thought he looked like he belonged in the Italian Mafia.
- Tyler--Should I even say this? The guy seemed to have no personality. He can sing with the best of them, but his stage presence wasn't so great. He's one of the new guys (two guys left the group after the first album came out last year), so maybe he just needs to get used to performing.
- Randy--He's the guy who put their old videos on YouTube, where millions of people watched them. He looks quite a bit older than the rest of the guys, and there's something endearing about him.
- Ryan--I liked Ryan. Two days later, I can't really tell you why, but I remember liking him!
- Walter--Incensed the crowd by mentioning the Jayhawks. Apparently, Junction City is firmly in Wildcat country! This was a running joke all night. He's now the "Jewish guy," as the original dreidel guy left the group.
This is right before we went inside. We're excited!
We're still excited! We're waiting for the concert to start--and the lovely vocal stylings of Michael Bublé are keeping us entertained.
Intermission. We can't stop smiling!
Mom whipped out these chocolate chips for a snack during intermission. Soon, the little girl behind us started talking about smelling chocolate ... should we have offered to share?
After the concert, and we still can't stop smiling!
We stopped at IHOP for a late supper. And we're still smiling!