Professional acapella groups make performing look easy, but it actually takes an incredible amount of talent, skill, and practice to sing without instruments accompanying you. Add a couple of songs to a medley and put a dance routine on top of that, and you’re looking at some seriously skilled performers.
Straight No Chaser is an all men’s acapella group that combines vocals, dance, and humor. The group’s rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight/Brown-Eyed Girl” drew whoops and hollers from a crowd in Santa Fe. Before they began, one of the singers had a warning for the audience.
“We should take a moment to mention that we actually choreographed this number ourselves,” he said, drawing laughs from the crowd. “It’s gonna be blatantly obvious in about a minute.”
Right away, the singers were setting the audience up for a fun time.
They drew more chuckles from the audience as they did exaggerated stretches, preparing for the choreographed routine. Clearly, they were already enjoying themselves and getting ready to let the audience do just that, too.
But their rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” started out slow and melodic. The 10 men lined up in their sober brown suits to sing a slow version of the 1961 Tokens classic. But the audience members anticipated a joke, and they were already getting into the music.
By the time the group reached the first chorus, they were all proven right. Suddenly, the music swelled, the beat dropped, and the men fell into a synchronized dance.
The best part of their performance, aside from the gorgeous harmonies?
The individualized dance routines of each and every member. Some of the singers leaped up and down, some shouted to the crowd, and one even attempted the Carlton, the famous dance that was featured on the 1990s sitcom “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
The singers clearly were having the time of their lives. Even while they sang, they joked together, nudged one another, and laughed. It brought a refreshing uniqueness to what might normally have been a fairly ordinary acapella number.
At one point, the lead singer even held out a microphone to a man in the audience and told him to take it from there. The joke drew another round of laughter from the audience.
At the very end of the song, the members all broke out into freestyle.
One of them did a silly shuffle, one shook his hips, and one did a serious-faced macarena.
Since the performance in 2010, Straight No Chaser has gained some recognition as a top acapella group. The singers regularly tour the United States, still bringing humor and spirit to their acapella performances. With a Pandora station and an active YouTube channel, their fanbase has only grown since the rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight/Brown Eyed Girl” eight years ago.
They still favor song medleys, like many other acapella groups.
Straight No Chaser loves to add a splash of humor and fun to performances. The men obviously love singing and dancing together, and they bring an enormous amount of skill and energy to the stage.
It’s also obvious that they have fun making music videos as well as performing live. Back in 2015, they did a music video called “Straight No Chaser’s Movie Medley,” performing the acapella version of several famous movie themes — in costume, of course.
On top of that, the group had the chance to play around with some silly self-composed lyrics.
Singing the instrumental part isn’t as fun as writing your own words, and that’s just what the fun-loving group decided to do.
“There are dinosaurs in Jurassic Park,” they sing in the first theme. “Oh no! They just escaped! The power went out, setting them all free — run for your life!”
The video also includes the main themes from James Bond, “E.T.,” “Titanic,” “Indiana Jones,” “Forrest Gump,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Rocky,” and “Star Wars.”
“Have you seen this movie?” they sing of “Chariots of Fire.” “Our guess would be no! But this famous theme song you probably know.”
Unsurprisingly, the video ends with a Star Wars-themed can-can number complete with full costumes.
Even though they may like to act silly, it’s clear that the members of Straight No Chaser love to perform and find creative ways to rework classic songs. They also have an enormous amount of talent. Their voices blend perfectly — something that isn’t easy to do without a lot of practice. It isn’t hard to see why their popularity continues to grow.
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