Chanticleer reaches the stereotypical DePaw CLA student


Normally, I'm the stereotypical DePauw University College of Liberal Arts student. That means I ignore the artists that come to DePauw's School of Music.
But I don't ignore them out of a blatant disregard for music or out of a lack of interest. I enjoy seeing the performances of both my peers and award-winning professionals at DePauw. What normally happens is I make plans to attend such events, but I end up missing them either because of my own forgetfulness or because other events or homework end up taking precedence.
Right or wrong, it happens.
That being said, I always go into these concerts prepared for one of two outcomes: either it will be amazing and I will be glad that I came or I will leave feeling like I wasted that chunk of time.
The performers are always talented; that's never the question. But as someone who does not study music, I can't fully appreciate the beauty of some chamber music because I don't understand the talent or hard work that is required for the particular piece. For me, what would be a beautiful rendition of a challenging piece instead usually sounds like the other songs that have lyrics in a language other than English.
While I had heard good things about Chanticleer and had hoped to leave their concert feeling glad I'd gone, I also knew they had the potential to be hit or miss. The 12 member, male a cappella group surpassed all my expectations.
The Green Center for the Performing Arts' Kresge Auditorium was nearly full.
Chanticleer began with songs that if performed by another group would have made me regret my decision to attend the concert. But with Chanticleer, I didn't have to know that the music was challenging vocally to appreciate it.
Perhaps the enjoyment of music that I otherwise might not enjoy was a result of the energy that they brought to the performance. They were lively, comical and entertaining to watch. Perhaps it was the fact that 12 different voices performed at the same time to create something entirely new that added a new level of difficulty to the piece even I could recognize.
Regardless, the group gave it their all and held the attention of the audience.
After intermission, the songs shifted to English and eventually turned into contemporary favorites such as Gotye's "I Feel Better" and Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," which both appear on Chanticleer's album, "Something New."
At the end of the concert, Chanticleer bowed before a standing ovation and left the stage. The crowd remained on its feet and cheered loudly until the 12 men came back and bowed twice more before leaving again. But the crowd wasn't finished yet. The audience refused to stop clapping or even to sit down until they received the encore that they demanded from Chanticleer.
Finally, the group came back to give the crowd their encore. After the first encore, the crowd tried to get a second, but their efforts were to no avail.