Pentatonix: World Tour 2016
Vector Arena, Auckland, NZ
September 10th, 2016
By SERENA LOW
Photos by HARRY GOLDIE
With dynamic harmonies from five voices, the YouTube sensation Pentatonix lived up to their double Grammy-award-winning reputation.
Not going to lie, I was a bit sceptical about how this show would turn out. I was expecting to see more of a Superfruit + three background vocalists show, as Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying have gained popularity through their separate comedy channel. Thankfully, this concert was well balanced, with each vocalist having a chance to lead part of the show.
Cracked commenced the show, with silhouettes of PTX in their respective colours from their self-titled original album Pentatonix. Right from the get-go, PTX did a great job interacting with their sold-out audience, who grooved along and sang with them. Kevin Olusola’s popularity was demonstrated through the massive cheer as he stepped centre stage to beatbox in Cheerleader.
Scott was the first member to talk to the audience, saying that this show was the biggest in their World Tour so far. As it was also their first show in New Zealand ever, Scott expressed his love for the Kiwi audience, saying to the crowd, “We are three songs in and I’m already completely obsessed with you.” Well, we are obsessed with you and Pentatonix too, Scott!
The next song was Pentatonix’ first original single, Can’t Sleep Love, which had the whole arena singing along and bopping their hands up and down. During part of the song, Mitch demonstrated his vocal range with a massive high note which obviously stunned the whole audience. I’m sure a glass somewhere in the room shattered. By this point in the concert, I totally forgot that PTX is an a cappella group – I was mind-blown at how they create such sounds!
One of my favourite parts of the concert was the Evolution of Michael Jackson. Each member had a chance to show their talents, especially Kirstin Maldonado belting it out in the Jackson 5 hit I Want You Back, showing the audience why she’s the beloved female singer in the group.
My personal favourite, Avi Kaplan, was next to chat to the audience, with a typical reference to Lord of the Rings. However, he went one step beyond the LOTR mention and instead sang a rendition of Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold from The Hobbit. How this man sings so low that my phone can only register my squeals of awe and not his voice, beats me.
Noted as one of Kirstin’s current favourite (and also my favourite!) jams was Ride by Twenty One Pilots. A couple weeks ago, I watched Pentatonix do this cover on a radio show of some sort, and as much as I love PTX, I didn’t like the cover. It was badly recorded and Mitch was the only one you could hear, even though he wasn’t near to the mic like his co-vocalists were. The concert performance, however… was SO, SO GOOD! The blend between the singers was fantastic and I couldn’t help myself from moving along with them. I guess it proves that sound technicians play a big role in how the balance of vocalists sound in a song, so good job, sound guy!
Next, Kevin took the stage, playing Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude, with a beatbox remix. This performance had some of the longest applause, and rightly so. Still on the cello, the rest of Pentatonix joined Kevin to do a cover medley of Radioactive, Say Something, and the French song Papaoutai by Stromae. Scott mentioned after that he pretends to know what he’s singing, but he knows nothing in French except, “Where are you, Dad?” (Insert sad ‘awww’.)
After a cover of Meghan Trainor’s No, PTX brought members of the audience up onto the stage to sing Misbehavin’ with them. This was not before Scott discovered that one of the girls was having her birthday that day, breaking out into a normal version of Happy Birthday, and then PTX remixing it into their style and jamming on the celebratory tune.
After Pentatonix exited the stage, it only took a few seconds before the audience started chanting for an encore. And an encore is what we got. Putting down their individual mics, the five singers surrounded one microphone to sing Light In the Hallway. The whole audience was silent as the beautifully haunting lyrics filled the arena, and this was honestly one of the coolest concert moments I have seen. The song gave a reminder of the foundations of Pentatonix: their incredible voice chemistry.
The very last song of the night was Sing, which had the whole room dancing once again, before the group bid the audience goodnight, not forgetting to add a “See you next time!” which we hope won’t be too far away.
- Evolution of Michael Jackson cover
- Avi’s rendition of Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold
- Kevin’s cello playing
- Scott’s impromptu Happy Birthday jam
- Mic-less encore song
- Avi’s super deep “Thank you” after each song
Pentatonix’ style of dynamically mixed performances was reflected in the diverse audience of the night. Children, teenagers and adults were all seen in the venue, singing along to the hits. A concert where each vocalist’s personality could shine really made the night enjoyable for fans of any age.
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