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Pentatonix Live in Singapore... And On Your Lap

8/13/14 1:13 PM

For the lack of a better expression, THE a capella group of the moment Pentatonix absolutely SLAYED the Marina Bay Sands – Sands Theatre last night.

Yesterday’s first show coincided with the start of pre-orders for their third studio album “PTX Vol. III“. While the 1,600-strong crowd was kept enthralled from start to finish, the five-piece vocal band were also making waves on iTunes around the world.

A line was already snaking out of the merch store when we arrived an hour before the concert was due to begin (kiasu, we know). Tee shirts were going for S$50 apiece, while posters and their previous compilation “PTX Vol. II” were priced more affordably at S$8 and S$25 respectively.

The doors were opened punctually and many (including yours truly) immediately dashed to the stage to take selfies with the setup. A set design of five sets of stairs at varying heights and some banners mirrored the simplistic and no-frills nature of a capella music.

- 5 MINUTES TO SHOWTIME -

With this being PTX’s first show in Singapore, it came as no surprise that this audience was the cream of the fandom crop. Spotted amongst the crowd were members from varsity singing groups (hello, SMU Voix!), some familiar faces from the media, and even Benjamin Kheng from local indie band The Sam Willows.

The setlist for the night was pasted on the stage and we (sneakily) managed to get a picture!


Courtesy of Sunny Goh for Native Entertainment

- … AND THE SHOW IS ON! -

The quintet’s epic “Daft Punk Medley“, which has garnered over 86 MILLION views on YouTube, was a fantastic starter. The live vocals of the group were almost note-perfect, although Kirstie sounded a little flat at some parts of this song (nothing a little warming up couldn’t fix, as proven later in “Say Something“).

Also their first single off the upcoming “PTX Vol. III”, Ariana Grande’s “Problem” was performed by PTX for only the second time ever (the premiere was just two days ago at their South Korea show). Three words: Queen. Mitch. Rapping.

The sassy Mitch Grassi was consistently on point the entire night, from his high notes in “Telephone” (their audition song for The Sing-Off Season 3, which they won), to his skillfulness at um.. hip gyration in the ***flawless “Beyoncé Medley“, his feisty choreography kept the energy fierce throughout the night.

The incredibly-talented Kevin Olusola brought ‘Beyoncé’ to the stage and placed her between his thighs. Of course, we’re referring to his cello, not the goddess herself. After some much-loved banter between earthshaker Avi Kaplan and himself (“Kevin, you ready, baby?”), Kevin displayed his stunning ability of cello-beatboxing that got him noticed by the original trio before their inception three years ago.

Another memorable moment was during the performance of original number “Natural Disaster” off their second album “PTX Vol. II”. The audience was asked to sing lead during parts of the verse and chorus, essentially making us the sixth member of Pentatonix. Autographs later, people.

The gem that is “Evolution Of Music“, a medley of hits from the 11th century to the early 2010's, was even more stunning live. Kevin and Avi especially proved their mantle during this challenging mix, with literally no lyrics to guide them as they meandered seamlessly through the rapidly-changing rhythms and keys of the various featured songs.

Most Prepared Fan Award went to an audience member named “Kim”. When Avi brought a chair out for their special performance of Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On“, “Kim” and her friend brought out signs that they somehow smuggled through the bag checks. With a huge sign that screamed “ME! ME! ME!!!”, it was difficult for her not to be chosen.

The lucky girl got both Scott and Avi on her lap at points throughout the song, complete with some… pelvic choreography from the talented Bass. Just to make everyone present even more jealous than we already were, she initiated hugs with all five members after the number. Sigh.

The choral-inspired original “Run To You” was magical in all its engineered reverb, but Avi and Kevin could have had louder output on their microphones, especially since this is one of the few songs where Kevin gets to sing a part.

Two encores included, the final numbers transformed the theatre into a booming club. “Can’t Hold Us” , “Thrift Shop“, and “We Are Young” got the packed venue on their feet clapping and grooving along to the kicks and snares of Kevin’s ridiculously-impressive beatboxing and Scott’s Bey-worthy riffs.

- THE AFTERSHOCK -

The ushers were quick to um… usher us out of the venue after the lights came back on, mostly because they had to clear the theatre for the autograph session to take place.

While we were not present (read: not lucky enough) for the album autograph signing, some of the fans we spoke to outside the doors felt that the signing was too rushed. Photography was also not allowed which was a shame, given how selfies with celebrities are coveted social currency nowadays. Others present also mentioned how the band looked “really tired and exhausted” during the signing, although they were still extremely nice to the fans.


Courtesy of @PTXPhilippines and @PTXSG

But here’s to an unabashedly fun concert put up by the five astounding members. Pushing for a genre that’s probably never entered mainstream charts before is no mean feat and doing just that are these young singers, armed with just a microphone, some pretty amazing jawbones, and a whole lot of talent. All the best for the rest of your shows here in Singapore!

P.S. now you guys know what to do if you want Avi to sit on your lap, right? :)