On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of experiencing Straight No Chaser for the first time. This was no typical experience. A group of 10 Austin bloggers were invited to this special Straight No Chaser – I’ll Have Another Tour Austin, Texas blogger event by Mom it Forward and Atlantic Records. They invited us to meet Straight No Chaser before the concert during their soundcheck. Then, we were given a generous stipend for dinner. Finally, we were given seats to see the Straight No Chaser concert at the Long Center.
Straight No Chaser – I’ll Have Another Tour Austin, Texas Blogger Event
The Straight No Chaser Meet-and-Greet
Our evening started at 5pm. The 10 Austin bloggers met at the Long Center. There were a few women I had met before and I was looking forward to seeing them and getting to know them better. Upon arrival, we quickly introduced ourselves and then made our way inside the concert hall.
The security escorted us into the grand hall. It was mostly empty except for a few Long Center employees, members of the Straight No Chaser entourage, and, up on stage, were the 10 singers of SNC. We made our way to the front row and took our seats. It was pretty much just us, the Austin bloggers, and Straight No Chaser. We had no idea this meeting would be so up close and personal. We chatted and asked them some questions.
The Background of Straight No Chaser A Capella Group from Indiana University
The story of the Straight No Chaser a cappella group started around 20 years ago at Indiana University. When the original members graduated, they found replacements to keep the group going. Then, in 2006, one of the original members uploaded an old SNC video to YouTube. It was their 1998 video recording of “The 12 Days of Christmas”. Well, things took off from there. The Straight No Chaser video went viral and ended up in the right hands. Craig Kallman, the CEO of Atlantic Records, saw it and so began the talks of a record deal.
The members of SNC no longer have “day jobs”. It’s a round-the-clock gig. Many of the members have degrees in music or theater, but there are few Math, technical, and business majors in the group. They now devote their full attention to Straight No Chaser, keeping much of the duties in house. They are more than just performers.
What?!? A Private Song Performance by Straight No Chaser?
These guys were so friendly and down-to-earth. The meet-and-greet ended with a song performance just for us! It was amazing! I was in awe the whole time. I couldn’t wait for the actual concert. Finally, our meeting ended with a big group photo.
Austin, Texas Bloggers Dinner at Vox Table
Mom it Forward gave us a very generous stipend for dinner. Our group chose Vox Table, a New-American style restaurant on South Lamar that serves chef-crafted small plates with farm-to-table ingredients.
The food and drink menus were impressive. There were lots of options. I’m normally indecisive at restaurants. It drives my husband crazy. What was nice about Vox Table, is that the plates are designed for sharing. We ordered lots of different menu items and were able to try so many dishes. It is hard to choose my favorite dish (surprising?). My favorites were the fritters, cheese and bread plate, and the bacon and eggs dish. One of the other bloggers liked the ham part of the bacon and eggs dish so much, she brought home the leftovers. Then came dessert…. wow! We got a chocolate cake and some sort of panna cotta fruity dessert. Both were good, though the panna cotta dish was incredible! I would go back just for that! We had to quickly leave the restaurant as we were running late for the concert. Many of us finished the desserts standing up, on our way out, because we did not want to waste even a bite!
Straight No Chaser – I’ll Have Another Concert Tour in Austin, Texas Review
We arrived at the concert just as they were singing the first song. The ushers helped us quickly find our seats, a few rows back from the stage.
The SNC performance was so much fun. I was not sure what to expect. I had seen a cappella before. At the University of Texas, we had Schrodinger’s Cat in the late 90s.
The Straight No Chaser a cappella concert was more than just a few guys standing on stage and singing. They had some choreography and interacted with the audience a little bit. There was quite a lot of family-friendly humor thrown it the mix.
After the intermission, the majority of the songs were from the new, ‘I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album’. Here are the places to get your own Straight No Chaser I’ll Have Another Christmas Album.
Watch some video of the Straight No Chaser I’ll Have Another Tour in Austin, Texas
Facebook Live Videos of Straight No Chaser
Thanks again Straight No Chaser, Mom it Forward, and Atlantic Records. Also, thank you to Free Fun in Austin for the invitation and all of the other wonderful Austin, Texas bloggers that helped make the evening incredible.
Rachel K. Belkin, M.Ed, is a journalist and writer with over 15 years of expertise in travel, business and marketing education, health, and local Austin, Texas events.
With a Master's degree in education from Texas State University and a Business Foundations Certification from The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, Rachel's extensive background is highlighted by her published works and contributions to prestigious publications, including HuffPost, Hometalk, Matador Network, AP News, and MSN.com, as well as on her own platforms, Rachel K. Belkin, Elkin Bay, and Probe the Globe.
Beyond her accomplishments in writing, Rachel is a sought-after educator, teaching businesses effective marketing strategies and content creation techniques. Notably, she successfully built a blog from scratch in 2008, ultimately selling it for six figures in 2021.
Rachel's commitment to advocacy is exemplified by her role on the Breast Cancer Resource Center Advisory Council, particularly contributing to the success of the Young Survivor Project. Rachel is also an experienced public speaker with appearances on TV segments for Fox 7 Austin, KXAN, and CBS Austin and as a speaker at conferences and professional networking meetings for business owners and cancer survivors.