Review: Street Corner Symphony a Real Treat
Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 12:11AM

Take a good dose of the Mills Brothers, mix it with the doo wop of Dion and the Belmonts and toss in a taste of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and you have some idea of what Street Corner Symphony brought to Anderson University’s Henderson Auditorium Friday night.

The band, runner up on NBC’s Sing-Off last year, brought a playlist ranging from Coldplay and the Beatles to barbershop harmonies and even a children’s song as part of their 90 minute concert.

It was a homecoming for band members Jeremy and Richie Lister, who grew up in Anderson and were introduced by their father, the Rev. Richard Lister, who pastors Electric City Fellowship in Anderson. Friday almost marked the first time the pair shared the stage with their grandfather and Gospel Music Hall of Fame Member Bill Shaw, who showed he still has the chops to reach the upper register in a lively standing-ovation producing cover of “I’ll Fly Away.”  Adding to the family reunion, the youngest Lister brother, Jonathan, also took the stage with his elder siblings for several songs as well.

The band, currently touring to raise capital for their first album, was clearly at home as they captured the near full house. Adam Chance laid down the bass tracks while John Martin, Richie Lister and Mark McLemore brought tight harmony. And though Jon McLemore brought strong vocals to his leads, what makes Street Corner Symphony special is the spectacular lead vocals of Jeremy Lister. Channeling the swampy “Down of the Corner” of CCR. the ethereal “Fix You” of Coldplay, to the moody Radiohead cover of “Creep,” Lister displays range and tone that is rare indeed among frontmen today, and is the chief reason the band nearly won “The Sing-Off.”  

Opening for the band were a trio of local collegiate acapella groups, Cocktails from the University of South Carolina, the Bell Tower Boys from Furman University and TakeNote from Clemson University. All three were pleasant enough, but the Cocktails tight harmonies and choreography were superior and easily the most entertaining of the bunch.

If you missed Friday night’s concert, you still have a chance to catch the Lister brothers in an acoustic set tonight at Matty’s in downtown Anderson. For more information call (864) 965-9170.

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