Ever since I first saw their cover on YouTube of Moves Like Jagger, I have loved Pentatonix. There was no way that I wasn’t going to go and see them when it was announced they were coming to Auckland. No.Way. Pentatonix (sometimes abbreviated to PTX), if you’re not aware, are an American A Capella group, consisting of Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Mitch Grassi. They started off in 2011, and while they won a recording contract with Sony through The Sing Off, it’s their online presence, especially on YouTube, that really kicked them off.
They’ve released 4 albums, including a Christmas album which is on repeat from December 1st in our house. You can read more about them on Wikipedia, and be sure to check out their website and their YouTube Channel.
Originally, their Auckland show was going to be held the Town hall, and we got tickets just in time, as they were selling out fast. It meant we were going to be standing, but if it was between standing and being there, or not being there, then obviously we were standing. But then the show had so much interest and so many people wanted tickets that they were moved to Vector arena, which seats 12,000 people (there were about 5,000 there). This was great news, but it was also slightly annoying because we could have bought seated tickets if it started off at Vector. But not too worry – it was so amazing anyway, that I didn’t really noticed that my feet were numb.
Pictures are of average quality, but you get the idea.
The opening act was Chris Sebastian, who is an Australian artist and who was in the first season of the Aus The Voice a few years ago. I hadn’t really heard any of stuff before, but I really enjoyed his music, and will be checking out his album, which I believe he said will be released later this year.
Where to start? They were amazing. It’s like they were even better live than they are on YouTube and their album, if that’s even possible. They did a great range of their covers and their mashup songs, as well as their original music, which was released on their self-titled album last year.
What I loved about their show was it’s simplicity. Sure there were lights and smoke and images on the big screen, but really it was just them and their mics. They had a couple of moves here and there, but they were no boy-band dance moves like Backstreet Boys last year (not that I expected that, of course), but on the whole it was simple. There were no elaborate outfits changes, nor were there moving stage parts or props. And of course, no band. No music.
At one stage Kevin brought out his cello and played Bach while rocking his beat-boxing sounds over the top, and if you haven’t heard/seen him do this then you really must check it out. It’s so incredible, and that amount of multitasking blows my mind. The creativity of the cello and the human voice box combined…seriously. Who’da thought that was going to make the best combination.
Even just watching their videos on YouTube and listening to their albums always impresses me. The range not only of the group as a single unit, but of the individual voices is extreme. The heights in notes that Mitch can sing, the room-shaking depths of Avi’s voice – you could literally feel everything move when he sang those low low low notes. Because we’re New Zealand, he sang Misty Mountains, and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard. You can check out this video from the concert I was at. A-mah-zing.
One of my favourite originals of theirs is Water, and Kirstin does a stunning job at singing it. It’s a beautiful song. For Misbehavin’ they all chose someone from the audience to come up on stage to sing it with them. The girl that Scott chose actually had a birthday that day, so obviously they sang her happy birthday and I really really hope for her sake her friends were recording it for her.
Another beautiful song they did at Vector was – and this really impressed me – Light in the Hallway. They managed to silence 5,000 people so that you could have heard a pin drop, while they took away the mics and literally stood in a semi-circle on stage and just sang. The atmosphere in the room changed so much, and I’m still shocked at so many people who were screaming so much for so long managed to stay so quiet for the length of an entire song. props to Pentatonix for having that sort of impact on a stadium full of fans.
They’re touring the world for another 2 months, so if you’re in Asia then they’re heading your way next! More of North America is on their last leg too, and you can see all the cities they’re playing in here. Hopefully you can still grab tickets.
It’s so incredible just how far they’ve come, individually and as a group. You can find them at all the places on the internet, and make sure you check out their videos on YouTube too.