Arlington, Texas based a cappella group Pentatonix – comprised of singers Avi Kaplan, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, and Kevin Olusola – have been taking live music to the next level since their victory on season three of NBC’s The Sing-Off.
It started back in their high school days, with Kirstie, Mitch and Scott. The group added Avi, and later Kevin (after seeing his videos which were going viral on youtube). Meeting just a day before the auditions for The Sing-Off, the group would eventually go on to win the 2011 title.
It is very refreshing to hear music that is actually done well; hearing vocals that are purely raw. There is something to be said about a group that doesn’t need to hide behind overly effected guitars and keyboards. This was on full display when the group put down their microphones during “Run To You”. It is amazing that 5 individuals can captivate an audience of 3,700+ with only their voices.
Pentatonix is carving out their place in today’s music industry with amazing versions of some of todays most popular songs such as “Say Something” and “Royals.” The group’s harmonies and incredible talent of blending together seamlessly is really showcased in “Say Something.” while Mitch nails Lorde’s vocals in “Royals.” Any questionable choices for a song, based on lyrics, is completely forgotten once you hear the arrangements that the group performs. Medleys were also present during their performance, and one arrangement that really stood out was PTX’s “Evolution of Music.” All vocal skills these individuals could have showed off came out in this entertaining and well done piece. It really quells any doubt that these vocalists can sing any genres of music thrown at them.
My favorite moments? Certainly Kevin Olusola’s celloboxing solo. This in itself is worthy of an event. The artist received a massive standing ovation, which was completely owed to him. Second, their rendition of Imogen Heap’s “Aha!” complete with intricate vocals and unexpected, yet catchy, beat really nailed it. Last, but not least, the MTV’s Unplugged-type performance of “Run To You”. Pulling this off in a small venue would be difficult; now try to imagine five vocalists who can accomplish this in a massive venue such as Washington D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall.
There are very few artists who can challenge Pentatonix. There are fewer who can use their voices to do it.