HOUSTON MUSIC REVIEW

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Pentatonix - Bayou Music Center - Houston, TX


Written by Mike Pittman
Mar 25, 2015 at 08:00 PM

We have to give a huge shout out to another home town band. Well, how about home state? Live Nation brought Texas' own 5 member platinum-selling band Pentatonix roaring into The Bayou Music Center to a totally psyched capacity crowd of about 3100.


There to witness one of the hottest bands touring today was fathers and daughters, mothers and sons..entire families and a spectrum of friends and lovers. Refreshing isn't it? A real band making real music that you can actually recommend to your kids.


This is an acapella band first and last. I halfway expected a boy-band styled show in which dance moves and lighting cues weighed heavier in stature than the actual music, but I am happy to report this was not to be. No way. There was choreography, but it was designed so as not to interfere with the demanding vocals required of each member.


It's hard to pinpoint a leader, but if I just had to I'd say Scott Hoying led the charge this evening as the band kicked out powerful 4 and 5 part harmonies on song after song. Kevin Olusola provided vocal percussion when he wasn't adding his voice into the mix as the 5th part. And how about that bass voice of Avi Kaplan??

Pentatonix was formed in Arlington, Texas by high school friends Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kirsten Maldonado to compete in (and win) The Sing-Off on NBC. Probably the best thing to happen next was to be dropped from their record label (don't worry, Epic drops everyone). A grassroots campaign on Youtube and Facebook kept the band in touch with their fan base. Their plan paid off and after garnering more than 7.8 million subscribers they signed with Sony Records. Their second holiday release "That's Christmas to Me" went platinum in 2014 becoming the 4th best selling record in the United States.


With choice covers and several original songs they held the crowd for the entire set. In the spirit of keeping in touch with the fan base the band fearlessly circled out into the floor audience in a sort of train, finally making their way back around to the stage to finish the song. A lucky young lady was then chosen (at length) by Avi to come to the stage and be serenaded by the band with "Let's Get It On". "Love You Long Time" was a huge hit as was Olusola's ‘Celloboxing' solo.


Personable and likeable, this band is a refreshing change to me. As have many others, I've grown weary of the overly produced, glitzy acts that have occupied too much press in recent years. Hard work and a never say die attitude is what drives this band and has driven this band over the top. Refreshing.