Atlantic Records recording group Straight No Chaser made a stop at Mohegan Sun on Friday for their “One Shot Tour.” This is their third stop on a tour through the U.S. and Europe.
The evening started with a look back at the history of the band. A video introduction with a Morgan Freemanesque voiceover set the mood for the next couple hours. Family pictures and important group moments captured on video were presented to an audience with a wide age range.
It has now been over a decade (2008) since we first heard them on the radio / internet with a mash-up of “Twelve Days of Christmas” and Toto’s “Africa”. It can be said that SNC is arguable the biggest a cappella group around.
The undergraduate singing group from Indiana University has come a long way. They have an international following, seven LP's, their latest is titled "One Shot" and over 100 million YouTube views.
It was YouTube that really put them on the map. Posting the “Twelve Days of Christmas” made them a hit overnight as the 1998 clip went viral online. The band used this as part of their show. Often going back to the day that Atlantic records CEO spotted them on the ‘tube’.
Nine members make up the group today. The one thing that makes them different from a 'normal band' is that they do not use instruments or backup singers. They generate the sound, the vibe and the beat, which is especially seen when Tyler Trepp kicks out his beats.
The group covers songs from every decade. They put their own twist on each, often mashing them up, changing lyrics and turning the evening into a musical comedy at times. This group is tuned in and on point as they play off of each other’s part of the song.
My favorite song performed was the intro song “Motownphilly/This Is How We Do It," an energetic mash-up of Boyz II Men and Montell Jordan that happens to be the first single on the new album.
Right before the intermission the group sang a medley of Disney songs such as – “A Whole New World,” “Under the Sea” – as they added in their 'revised' lyrics. These types of tweaks kept the crowd chucking throughout the evening.
Jerome Collins was a fan favorite as always. His twist on “Proud Mary” and “When a man loves a woman” had the crowd anxiously looking for more.
Other highlights were the “Thriller” and “Uptown Funk mashup” as well as the group’s version of “Homeward board.0”. If my count was right they sang about 19 songs in just under two hours.
Mohegan is one of the better places to see a show in my opinion. With ultra HD screens, lighting and on point sound systems there wasn’t a seat in the house that was disappointing. SNC performance and stage set up took full use of that. With a multi stepped stage and fog effects it really felt like a full on production. This isn’t a group of boys in blazers singing in a barber shop for loose change.