Humbly Harmonizes At The Fonda Theatre
Sarah Mickelson |
January 27, 2013
Pentatonix headlined a
Hollywood show at the Fonda Theatre last Thursday evening on the first
stop of the second leg of their national tour.
From the outside, the Fonda doesn’t amount to much, but once
inside, it’s hard not to gawk at the ornate twenties interior
that extends from the foyer to the intimate main room.
Pentatonix, a five-member a cappella group that catapulted to fame
after winning Season 3 of NBC’s "The Sing Off," drew
a crowd that filled the ballroom almost entirely.
The audience was surprisingly eclectic, ranging from pre-teens to
college students to retired seniors. One man brought his wife to the
show in celebration of his 65th birthday.
With an appeal to a wide range of ages, it’s no surprise that
the audience remained refreshingly tame throughout the duration of
the performance: mosh pits and sloppy drunks were nowhere to be found.
Pentatonix opened with a bang: they covered a pop tune while surrounded
by a flurry of backup dancers. But the choreography remained minimal
so as not to take away from their beautiful voices.
They were sure to sing
Beyoncé and Lady Gaga’s hit “Telephone,”
particularly meaningful because it was their audition song for "The
Sing Off." Other notable songs they covered were Imogen Heap’s
“A Ha” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ new hit “Thrift
At one point they brought a lucky girl up to the stage and serenaded
her to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” The
girl was clearly star struck but made sure to snap selfies of herself
on stage with USC’s own Scott Hoying.
She wasn’t the only one in awe of the group though—one
girl had tears streaming down her face during a moving rendition of
Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.” Dare
I say some songs sounded even better than the originals!
One lucky girl gets serenaded while Pentatonix sings "Let's Get
It On" (Sarah Mickelson/Neon Tommy)
The group’s only girl, Kirstie Maldonado, blew us away with
the lead on their cover of Calvin Harris and Florence Welch’s
“Sweet Nothing.” YouTube sensation Kevin Olusola treated
the audience to a mesmerizing display of talent when he beatboxed
at the same time as playing the cello. And while the other members
took a short break, Kevin and Avi Kaplan gave the audience a taste
of their awe worthy vocal abilities, entertaining us with sounds we
didn’t know humans could make. Not to be outdone, Mitch Grassi’s
amazing range was the cherry on top of a great show.
It was hard not to notice their grateful smiles every time the crowd
screamed their praises. Clearly Pentatonix is genuinely thankful for
their fans and success. The fact that they didn’t make the audience
wait long for an encore furthered that notion and reminded us that
successful, talented people don’t always have to be divas.
Pentatonix is leading the movement to make a cappella mainstream and
have quickly accumulated a large following of adoring fans, otherwise
known as Pentaholics.
While known for their covers, Pentatonix also gave the audience a
sneak peak of some of their original songs. This group is moving up
the charts, and I wouldn't be surprised if they became Grammy nominees
a few years down the road.
Pentatonix’s first EP is in stores now and they’re going
to drop their second sometime this year; this Pentaholic looks forward
to hearing new covers and more original songs.