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Pentatonix 04/05/2014

Published on April th, 2014
On Saturday night, the House of Blues Boston was home to one of a cappella’s biggest sensations, Pentatonix. The winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off season 3, Pentatonix packed the house in a sold-out show filling general admission, as well as the 2nd and 3rd floor balconies.

Running through an impressive set-list comprised of Youtube covers that have garnered millions of views worldwide, the group pandered to their fans in every way possible. Perhaps one indication of the group’s clear devotion and loyalty to their fans, Pentatonix had asked the House of Blues security to not have a barricade in the front of the stage. While a security risk, it made the show a lot more intimate; Scott Hoying, Kirstie Moldonado, and Mitch Grassi consistently high-fived fans in the front row while performing.

Opening with their Daft Punk medley, the group belted out strains from “Get Lucky” and other Daft Punk classics. Pentatonix also included a mix of both modern pop (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Katy Perry) as well as classics for the older crowd (“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles, “Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye). While the show was decidedly upbeat, there were certainly solemn moments as well, such the cover of “Say Something” originally by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera, replete with the slow glittery of disco lights scattered around the venue.

Halfway through the concert was HYPEACCESS’s favorite moment: Kevin Olusola’s “celloboxing” solo. Before Kevin’s performance, Scott recounted how the group found Kevin: they needed a beatboxer for the group, and turning to their Youtube roots, searched for “beatboxer” on the video streaming site. Kevin’s celloboxing video was the first result that came up, and Scott described how their immediate reaction was that they “gotta have this guy”. And we’re glad that they found him – Olusola’s original piece was incredible; while Olusola’s cello skills are, by itself, impeccable, his ability to beatbox and play at the same time was something that must be seen and experienced in person. Other fun moments of the show included Avi Kaplan’s whistle overtone singing, in which he performed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by singing two notes at once.

One aspect of the concert that left us a little bit wanting, though, was less crowd engagement than we would have hoped. While Hoying asked for participation on certain pieces – such as “Natural Disaster” – and the crowd obliged, the segments that Hoying asked the crowd to sing were complex and difficult to remember. This meant that the crowd tried participating the first time the chorus hit, but it quickly petered out and Hoying gave up cajoling the crowd to keep singing.

Nevertheless, this was certainly a concert to remember. Vocals were (obviously) flawless, the band was fun, and most importantly, the crowd was very engaged and invested in the group. We’re excited to see where the rest of 2014 (and beyond) takes Pentatonix.