Last week a cappella group, Pentatonix, took Athens, Georgia by storm. Comprised of Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstie Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Avi Kaplan– Pentatonix features astounding harmonies, a killer vocal bass, and beatboxing that will leave your jaw on the floor. This five-piece group won season 3 of NBC’s The Sing-Off, and now they are performing at sold out venues, including Athens’ very own Georgia Theater.
The positive energy was evident as it radiated off of PTX throughout their entire performance. Lasting about two hours, the audience was treated with unique takes on popular songs such as E.T. by Katy Perry, Telephone by Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé, and Team/Royals by Lorde. Each vocal arrangement was absolutely stunning, providing a remarkable setlist that never faltered far from exceptional. The genuine and humble attitude from this group constantly shined throughout the set, causing fans alike to broadcast their own excitement. The venue was absolutely buzzing, and the dedication was evidently shown throughout the crowd. A notable moment was when the five-piece began singing their rendition of Say Something by A Great Big World, even when changing parts of the song to show harmonies, the crowd held its own and sang along. The audience even earned praise from Scott, having him compare them to a “choir of Beyoncé’s”.
Pentatonix focused a great deal on the music, but they still smoothly transitioned into personal stories of how the group came to be. They explained how Kirstie, Mitch, and Scott found Kevin on YouTube and Avi through a friend. These stories prompted a highlight when vocal bass, Avi Kaplan, showcased his incredible skill by singing a bit from ‘Little Lion Man,’ and was followed by an impressive cello-boxing solo by Kevin Olusola called ‘Renegade’. Looking throughout the venue, it was obvious that the duo left the crowd speechless by the end of their arrangement.
They each had a proclaimed stage presence, and continuously kept the audience involved. At one point, PTX even brought on stage a lucky fan. It was an incredibly cute moment that had everyone either jealous beyond description or a giggling mess over Scott sitting in said fan’s lap. I was the latter.
The concert was not completely flawless, though. The one negative criticism? The fact that their merchandise table couldn’t accept AmEx. By the end of this concert, I wanted nothing more than to buy everything in sight in support of this fantastic, talented, and incomparable a cappella group. The table featured a Pentatonix necklace, phone cases, a beanie, posters, and t-shirts. And I wanted it all approximately five seconds after hearing their original song. The concert featured many covers, but the standout was when they began singing Run To You. This was a perfect display of how in check their harmonies were, and I think it’s safe to say that they sound even better live than they do on their CD/YouTube. Run To You has a certain calm, simplicity that makes it easy to touch anyone who listens to it. The venue was completely silent as they sang this, which I believe added to the beauty of it. This, with Say Something at a distant second, constitutes as my favorite performance of the night.