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Featured Image: Straight No Chaser –
Review by Victoria Durgin

Decades of pop hits and sounds of the season filled Easton’s State Theater on November 27 as a capella group Straight No Chaser took to the stage for two performances.

The group, who has performed at State Theater several times, were back as part of their 2021-22 Back in the High Life Tour. While the show is touring across North America, Straight No Chaser said they were happy to be back “in the land of Wegmans and WaWa.”

After opening with a video introduction of the group in the style of the credits of TV show “The Office,” the group launched into a journey through several decades worth of music. Their a capella style hit the likes of Usher and Imagine Dragons with imaginative arrangements that brought all vocal parts out to shine.

Other highlights included an upbeat cover of Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” and one of Straight No Chaser’s original songs dedicated to popular movies such as “Titanic” and “Forrest Gump.”

The show wasn’t all music, as the group took plenty of opportunity to express their gratitude for live music’s return following the pandemic. Jokes about quarantine and the hardships of schooling children at home resonated with the crowd and provided fun banter as the group rearranged between numbers.

Intermission served as a divider between musical choices; the second half of the show was focused entirely on Christmas and other winter holidays. The choice was especially fitting as the second show of the day was less than an hour after Easton lit the city’s Peace Candle.

That didn’t go unnoticed by Straight No Chaser, who took time to reference the candle and other festivities of the day.

Before moving on to their popular Christmas carols the group took time to introduce themselves by sharing their hometowns.

For two group members those hometowns were plenty familiar to the State Theater crowd. Straight No Chaser member Jerome Collins hails from Allentown, and member Walt Chase is from Easton. The two received thunderous applause from the hometown crowd.

After introductions the group launched into the holiday hits they might be best known for. “Run Run Rudolph” and the band’s famous “12 Days of Christmas” rendition were fast-paced and tons of fun. The slower, but emotionally impactful, arrangement of “Celebrate Me Home” offered a chance to sit back and soak in the wonder of Straight No Chaser.

The group returned for an encore performance of Semisonic’s “Closing Time,” sung without microphones and stage lights. The performance was simply the capella group as they were, and it was nothing short of spectacular.

Straight No Chaser – Links

State Theatre Easton – Links