When Pentatonix won season 3 of The Sing-Off, acapella wasn’t a national phenomenon. It was as it always was: a beloved genre within the classical and collegiate community. But with the popularity of Pitch Perfect, acapella became the “it” style which reignited The Sing-Off and gave more social clout to their already climbing popularity on YouTube. Four and a half years after they won The Sing-Off, Pentatonix has won two Grammys, toured opening for Kelly Clarkson in summer 2015, and now they are selling out concert venues in their own right, including their L.A. tour date on May 1 at the 7,000-seat Microsoft Theater.
As Pentatonix is known primarily for their covers and only have one studio album, they performed the majority of their repertoire. Fans particularly enjoyed their Grammy-winning arrangements of “Daft Punk” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. We were pleasantly surprised when Kevin Olusola (the beatboxer and cellist) performed his own interpretation of the prelude to Bach’s Suite No. 1. Needless to say to hear beatboxing and Bach at the same time was something we didn’t expect but definitely left us thinking.
Pentatonix ended their lovely concert with originals “New Year’s Day” and “Rose Gold”. But what made the audience really pay attention was their encore. Pentatonix asked the audience to quiet the room so they could sing acapella without microphones. It was minimal, natural, and effortlessly beautiful.
To be in a venue where the concert goers actually respected the artists and weren’t constantly trying to grab or harass them was refreshing to say the least. Pentatonix is a rare group of five stellar musicians who bring a much-needed diversity to the clouded mind-numbing content on the radio today. May these talents find their place in pop radio and possibly redefine it so other music goers can open their mind to other styles and modern innovations in music.