Ever heard of a capella? Chances are, the name “Pentatonix” usually follows. Pentatonix, the largest a capella quintet in the music world right now – is composed of members Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, Kevin Olusola, and Mitch Grassi. They have broken through from a televised a capella show, to viral YouTube arrangements, to the main stage in music. Between bringing in yet another Grammy (just this past February) to releasing their self-titled record composed mainly of original music in November – Pentatonix has been exhaustively non-stop touring countries around the world. Aptly named “Pentatonix World Tour 2016,” the group returned to the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles to play to a sold-out crowd of 7100 fans on May 1st.
Their first opener, AJ, was an energetic performer who utilized the whole space given to him – even excitedly going out into the audience. He performed several covers, including Selena Gomez’ “Hands to Myself” and a medley of radio hits as a tribute to Pentatonix. He later shared with the crowd that he was only 17 and thanked Pentatonix for bringing him on tour.
The second opener was a very musically inclined husband and wife group, Us the Duo. Carissa and Michael Alvarado performed several originals, including new single “(Stop), Just Love” and “No Matter Where You Are,” an ode to their wedding vows in song form. They also performed a medley of top 2016 pop hits, as well as the classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
After a short intermission, the lights dimmed, and fans began to scream wildly. The stage curtains raised, and Pentatonix launched right into “Cracked,” one of their originals songs off of their self-titled album. The set introduction was amazing – each of the members had individual boxes which housed videos of their silhouettes, smoke, cracked glass, and more. They performed standing on top of those boxes, and made their way down. They then transitioned into “Na Na Na,” another original piece. Towards the end of the song, Hoying, Grassi, and Maldonado made their way down the runway in synchronized fashion, ending the song with a kick. After that, they performed Omi’s global hit and their single “Cheerleader” in true Pentatonix fashion. The arrangement had the crowd grooving on their feet.
The rest of the setlist covered a tirade of melodious originals and covers, including an evolution of Michael Jackson songs, original “If I ever Fall in Love,” and even a dedicated spotlight on Olusola’s cello/beatboxing skills. Afterward, the quintet mashed up Imagine Dragons hit “Radioactive,” A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” and Stromae’s “Papaoutai.” There was a sweet moment when each member brought up several fans on stage to sing their original “Misbehavin’.” Taking selfies and singing along, the onstage fans looked like they had a great time (although likely still in shock).
The second half of the set, Pentatonix performed even more memorable songs – with a galvanizing performance of “Christus,” a fast-paced and iconic “Aha!” as well as a tribute to their top YouTube cover to date (approaching 193 million views), the Daft Punk medley. Wrapping up the set, the group performed their more solemn songs like originals “Rose Gold,” “New Years Day,” and “Light in the Hallway.” Pentatonix made their encore “Light in the Hallway” a special performance by opting to sing it microphoneless. After a surprising note, fans began to cheer – only to be shushed by other fans (remember, they are singing without microphones!) This was received with giggles across the entire room.
Pentatonix closed their set out with original single “Sing,” which had everyone back on their feet. They thanked their fans so much for coming out to support them, and exited the stage. Although sad to see them go, fans went home with sore feet but happy hearts.
All photos are by Genesia Ting for the Los Angeles Beat. You can view more HD photos of Pentatonix, Us the Duo, and AJ here.