Before the show began, I had an opportunity to speak to some of the people around me. I had the family of four to my left, whose parents had informed me that their children were actually the bigger Pentatonix fans than they themselves were, but that they had all been watching the group closely as it progressed through NBC's 'The Sing Off (season 3)'. I had the young psychology student from south Florida to my back right, there with her boyfriend. I had the nice lady from Tampa close by. Just a little further away was another young couple, who I believe knew more about my camera than I did. I thought, 'Hmmmm. This is a really diverse group around me. Pentatonix has certainly appealed to the masses to attract such a broad variety of attendees.
The stage was 'hidden' by a large sheer curtain. As soon as there appeared to be movement behind the curtain, the crowd erupted with cheers and applause. Pentatonix took the stage just a few minutes after 7 pm. Performing below the 'PTX' backdrop they came out singing to a Daft Punk compilation. I was pretty impressed with how in tune they were. In one of their earlier performances on 'The Sing Off', BoyzIIMen's Shawn Stockman had commented about Pentatonix bassist, Avi Kaplan, and how difficult it was for a bass to sing well, but how much more difficult it was for that bass to be on point when tasked with choreographed stepping requirements. Avi looks like a very 'normal' guy. However, when he spoke to the crowd in between songs, it was amazing to hear the depth of bass that his voice had. Also, during his solo he demonstrated 'overtone singing', whereby he essentially sang 2 separate notes at the same time (you may just want to YouTube him doing this because it's pretty difficult to explain, but awesome to hear!). For myself, this was the first time I'd ever heard of this type of singing, and the audience appeared mesmerized by this sound that apparently not many in the audience had ever heard.
'Say Something' was a great cover in each singer had an opportunity to have a minor solo. Ultimately, however, it was Kirstie Maldonado, who carried the majority of this song. Maldonado's voice was hypnotic, captivating, and honest. The innocence of Kirstie's voice evoked very powerful emotions throughout the song as the audience became drawn into the pain she conveyed throughout this song. The arrangement made me think a lot of a group from way back when called 'The Cranberries'. I'm thinking if Pentatonix could cover 'Ode to My Family' (by The Cranberries) as it could be a very powerful statement given the apparent familial closeness of this group.
And then there was Scott. Scott Hoying, fittingly, is the glue that held the group together tonight -- 'fitting' in the sense that he was part of the original trio of the group, he came up with the group's name, and he was the one to pull Avi into the group. There were no weaknesses in tonight's performance, but where gaps may have existed between 2 singers, Scott was the part to connect the 2 in seamless fashion. Imagine a vocal 'lead guitar' and you have Scott.
Kevin KO Olusola: