Home Free - A Country Christmas at Northrop
Special Guest: Chris Rupp
December 21, 2016
All content by: Patrick Dunn
Just a few years after winning NBC’s TV competition “The Sing Off”, Minneapolis based acapella group “Home Free” sold out the 2,700 seat Northrop on December 21st as part of their annual “A Country Christmas” tour. The show consisted of 2 solid sets filled with plenty of holiday spirit driven primarily by songs off their current release “Full of (Even More) Cheer”. The album was produced by
The Blenders bass singer Darren Rust, who was in attendance.
Home Free did include other Country inspired material including some significant cover tunes that have helped fuel their growth in popularity across the nation. There was also an element of humor sprinkled in throughout the performance that encouraged open communication and interaction from their growing loyal “Home Fries” fan base. One example was how they livened up their version of John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold!” by hiding auction paddles under random seats for a chance to bid on a post-show meet-n-greet opportunity. The battle between fans was fierce and produced some amusing comic banter.
The exceptional acoustics at Northrop really complimented this always potentially vulnerable performance style, which is dependent on a good mix to appreciate precise harmonies and dramatic vocal builds for maximum impact. It was especially noticeable during “White Christmas” when Tim Foust wowed listeners with his extraordinary range and rumbling low notes. Another notable detail related to the venue’s location on the University of Minnesota campus was the return of alumni member Rob Lundquist whose lush tenor voice made the Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather” especially moving.
One of the surprising highlights in the second set was Adam Rupp’s drum solo that was nothing short of ground shattering and came to life without an actual drum insight. Lead Tenor, Austin Brown is a crowd favorite and had many great moments, but the feeling he infused into their encore performance of “How Great Thou Art” really put this show in the books. New addition Adam Chance proved to be a perfect fit after founding member Chris Rupp moved on to pursue a solo career, which we got a satisfying taste of as he and his new band opened the show.
It looks like Home Free’s momentum will continue as they have tour dates booked through the first part of 2017. Keep an eye out for future hometown dates as this fun group is definitely worth checking out. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the calendar of upcoming events at Northrop considering it has become one of the best venues the Twin Cities currently has to offer.