Straight No Chaser (Kinda) Home For The Holidays at Caesars Atlantic City

Last updated: December 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm. Posted by in Uncategorized. No Comments on Straight No Chaser (Kinda) Home For The Holidays at Caesars Atlantic City.

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Do you guys know the story of Straight No Chaser?

 

Fast forward to 2006 when the guys returned to Indiana University for a 10th anniversary reunion show (of the originals) and member Randy Stine uploading old vids (like this one) to You Tube. The guys popularity soared from there and the videos caught the attention of lots of future fans as well as Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. We think it’s pretty much safe to say that the rest is history.

Straight No Chaser

Some of this history included a long-running show at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Atlantic City hearts Straight No Chaser. And we are too excited that they are coming back to give us a couple shows this weekend at Caesars Atlantic City. Friday and Saturday (12/14 and 12/15) at 9 p.m. to be exact.

Take a look at them now…and get a little taste of what to expect this weekend.


We can’t wait!

We tracked down one of our favorites SNCs, Jerome Collins, for an interview earlier in the week. Take a look about his thoughts on the group, the show, and Ryan’s departure (boo), below.

 

TAC: The story of your group is so amazing, meeting in college, then reuniting years later for a 10th anniversary show, and then going on to get discovered from there with the help of You Tube. How different was your life before all of this happened and how different of a path were you taking?

Jerome: Well me personally, I always wanted to be in the arts and music. I was actually part of The Lion King before this all came along; I was in a production in Hong Kong. Other guys were in music. Some guys were not even involved in music. One guy was a banker in New York City, one guy was in finance, another one teaching music, and we were all spread across the spectrum doing different things. So, for this to be coming back together, literally getting the band back together again, it was a Blues Brother type mentality, like are we really gonna do this? And we did it, we took the chance, dropped what we were doing, dropped our lives, and here we are still rolling along.

TAC: What is something you have gotten to do on this journey that you never thought you would have ever had the opportunity to do?

Jerome: You get closer to a lot of people that you get to brush shoulders with. You get to meet people. But really, it’s not about the people that I’m meeting, it’s the studios and the places that we’re getting to go. The places on tour we’ve been performing in have been authentic gems that you only dream about. A lot of us are doing the big venue in our hometown where we’ve seen groups coming through there when we were growing up. The biggest thrill is seeing how big it got, being recognized, and seeing our names on television and hearing our songs on the radio and Pandora. That to me is kind of the craziest thing out of all of this.

TAC: We have seen a capella groups trying to become relevant and stay within the mainstream with shows like The Sing Off popping up in the last couple years, but you guys started before all of this and have really been the only ones to gain and keep popularity. What do you think the reason for this has been with you guys?

Jerome:  These other stories are groups that have sort of been thrown together just so they can make it on television type of thing or a flash in the pan type of thing. We’ve been ten guys who have been together for a long time. We didn’t get together to sing for a record deal. We got together because we mainly wanted to sing for girls. I mean, that was our main job. We got together to do something outside of the realm of what everybody else was doing, and the way that we do things is different. We don’t do your typical sketch a capella. It’s music at its truest form because there’s nothing to hide behind. And rather and do this cheesy music and things that we don’t care about, we do songs that we listen to on our iPods and songs that we’ve grown up on. It’s real for us. It’s not even a job; it’s what we do every day.

TAC: One of the cool things you guys just came off of a couple months ago was the official Straight No Chaser cruise. These things can get crazy! What is your favorite experience about the cruise and are there plans for another one in the near future?

Jerome: The funny thing about this cruise is that it was a trial and error. It was a great success. We had 500 of our closest guests and friends come and it was craziness. We were a little busy, we had too much stuff put together in a short amount of time, but that was the trial period. We know for next time we’re gonna stretch it out and have breaks. But it was a really cool experience. It was a really great experience to spend with the fans and friends because you got up close and personal. They got to find out that we’re just normal people. It’s cool to go through this and things we get to experience. We see something new every day.

TAC: Kind of touching on the craziness again, the ladies obviously love you. What is the craziest fan experience you’ve ever had?

Jerome: Well the craziest thing is probably being noticed in different cities without the group. One time on an off time, I was in Pittsburgh and got noticed in Pittsburgh sitting at a table. I’ve been noticed over in the UK. It’s just the fact that we’re that big and we really don’t feel we are. We’re ten normal guys that are getting the opportunity that if anyone else had it, would jump at it. We understand it’s a blessing and we’re gonna ride it until the wheels fall off.

TAC: You are SO loved in Atlantic City. You guys used to have a long-running show at Harrah’s Resort. What do you like about performing most here?

Jerome: It became we weren’t just a casino show. We weren’t just a stop that people were coming in and stopping to see. It became that the people were coming to the casino to see us perform. We heard stories like we drove this far and we drove five hours, we drove six hours, we flew from here, ya know? It was our first experience to see New Jersey. It worked out because they got to come see us and Harrah’s and Caesars properties and go to the beaches. It was just a cool experience. We got a lot of flak of why we haven’t been back, people have been wondering why we haven’t done it again, but hopefully, maybe sometime in the near future we can get that back in the works. But that was a great experience and Harrah’s treated us with great respect. We had so much fun every day not just on stage, but off stage. The love that we got on the campus, we call it the campus, was great.

TAC: What can fans expect from your show at Caesars this weekend?

Jerome: We can’t take away all the classics. We got a couple classics, but we have pretty much a new show in place here. We’ve got some new songs that will be on the upcoming album. We’ve been told and we feel that this is our best show to date. We finally have the right pieces in place and we have the show down to a science so it’s really cool to see how we’ve come along. The group is moving along and getting better each day and each show.

TAC: Can you tell us what your favorite number is from the show?

Jerome: Right now my favorite song is a little version of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. It’s a little boxed for her. We do it a little differently than the way she does it, but it’s been getting a great reaction. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things afterwards through Twitter and Facebook. I’m excited to perform that song and as always, we always close with an amazing off mic song, so we hope that those two songs will be the highlights of the show.

TAC: Most recently, Ryan just announced that he is leaving the group. Walter’s blog about him made us teary! How do you feel about this?

Jerome: You can’t replace a guy like Ryan. The things that Ryan did offstage are what we’re going to remember him for. He’s just a personality. I believe that Ryan, if he ever wanted to become a stand-up comedian, could do it. This guy is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever come across, but the thing is, he has the heart that you would never believe of a person. He truly cares and there’s no other person that can lead these young children’s lives better than him. He has his priorities straight. It’s a shame because we’re not losing just a voice, we’re not losing just a partner, but we’re losing a friend. We’ve been together for so long that these groups that are out there come and go because members have inner turmoil and things of that nature, and can’t stay together because guys have different philosophies. These ten guys, we have the same philosophy. We have the same drive. And so when you lose a member, you’re breaking a link in the chain. I hate to lose a brother and a soldier, but I understand his calling, and God has blessed us with this guy. Why not bless others with him? It was a sad day to hear. And it still hasn’t hit me yet because he’s still performing with us. It won’t hit me until December 23rd until we close in our hotel in Pennsylvania and he’s saying his final goodbyes. I think that’s going to be a sad day for this group. But we’re going to move on and we’re going to get stronger from this. We hope that this doesn’t put too much of a nip to fans, but we’re glad that we came out with it now.

TAC: Can you reflect on your future as a group without him?

Jerome: We have already had talks within the group about replacements and what we want to do. We always keep everything in home. If any guy came into this group, he would have had to have been a Straight No Chaser. The only kind of guy that we can accept is if someone was an original. We need an original member that might come back and really fill the void because we have some good dates already on the books and we need to keep moving like it never happened. But right now, we’re going to give him his time to move on here. And then we’ll get that going.

 

Aw, thanks Jerome. Until then catch Straight No Chaser (and Ryan Ahlwardt for the last time in Atlantic City) at The Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Friday and/or Saturday at 9 p.m.!

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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