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Pentatonix puts on ‘best concert’
LYNETTE RANDALL on 20 February, 2014 at 12:15


It all started with a YouTube video of “Thrift Shop” that my friend showed me over a year and a half ago. While watching the YouTube stream, I realized that the five group members who simultaneously sang and beat-boxed to the chart-topper did a better job than Macklemore himself.

After that, I was hooked. I become a steadfast and devout fan of the group known as Pentatonix. With each new song and video that was released, my affection only grew. My holidays were spent singing along to every song on the PTX Christmas album and trying out the different harmonies with my roommate while we did the dishes in our little studio apartment. I showed the posse’s “Daft Punk” video to anyone who would watch. I read their biographies and watched their “Sing Off” performances. You might say I was borderline obsessive — actually, scratch the borderline.

When their 2014 tour dates were announced with one single and blessed night scheduled in Salt Lake City, I was beyond overjoyed. But then the tragedy of combined popularity and advertising hit — the show was sold out. I was devastated. I resolved to put it out of sight and out of mind.

Yet when Monday rolled around, I was vaguely aware of their performance that night at The Complex. To be honest, I was more enjoying lounging in my pajamas and pretending to do homework than mourning my missed chance at seeing my favorite a cappella group.

That all changed in a split second when my friend called and asked if I wanted to go with her. Gone was the history midterm I was studying for. I immediately sat myself down and watched/listened to each one of their songs, revving up and igniting my full anticipation and devotion for the night ahead.

So there I was, smashed between hundreds of bodies — adults, teenagers and kids alike ­— waiting, not so patiently, for Scott, Mitch, Kirstie, Kevin and Avi to come onstage. The lights went out. It was four minutes past 8 p.m., and the anticipation was absurdly palpable. Then, they appeared.
Spotlights beamed on each individual as their solo notes in a “Daft Punk” mashup were reached. Lights were flashing every which way, and the crowd was crazy, myself included. Truly the most fabulous way to open up the night.

As the show went on, numbers were broken up with different members of the group introducing themselves and the next song. They also shared little tidbits of their life on the road. With each obscenely high note Mitch hit and with every deep bass Avi solo, the crowd went wild.

Some fantastic favorites include renditions of “Royals,” “Telephone” and “Hit the Road, Jack.” After closing the show with “Can’t Hold Us,” hundreds of screaming fans, streamers in the air and a unanimous chant brought Pentatonix back onstage for an encore of the one and only “Thrift Shop.”

The sheer undiluted talent that graced the stage that night is something I will never forget. Pentatonix’s energy and unique ability to relate to our audience made the show spectacular. Frankly, the group bumped themselves up to “best concert of my life” category.

l.randall@chronicle.utah.edu