Pentatonix, a nationally-acclaimed a cappella group featuring five vocalists—Scott Hoying (baritone), Kirstin Maldonado (alto), Mitch Grassi (tenor), Avi Kaplan (bass) and Kevin Olusola (beatboxer)—performed at the City National Grove of Anaheim on March 1 on their On My Way Home tour.
After taking first place for the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off in November 2011, they haven’t stopped with their winning streak, taking home a Grammy just last month. They’ve also amassed more than 7.7 million subscribers on Youtube. They’ve garnered quite the following by covering songs of a large variety of genres.
At the show, fans of all ages — teenagers, moms and dads, grandparents — were lined up hours before the show to snatch a good spot towards the front of their general admission section. It’s only been a couple years since their rise to fame, and Pentatonix is already on their way to reaching a Taylor Swift-esque fan base.
The only downside to the quintet’s performance was the use of risers as a prop on stage. Though they were fancy, well constructed risers, it made the beginning feel like somewhat of a talent show. But that feeling was quickly dispelled when their voices came harmonized over the speakers.
They opened with “Problem” by Ariana Grande, followed by a Beyonce mash-up and popular covers of La La Latch and Rather Be. From Kirstin’s mezzo-soprano to Avi’s resonate deep bass, Pentatonix made full use of their vocal range and charmed the audience with their vocal medleys. At about the half-way point, Kevin Olusola stole the show with his soulful cello playing and his stimulating vocal percussion in the song “Julie-O.” At this point, any other a cappella group would’ve went on and sang through their pieces and ended the show at that. That’s not what they did. After their closing song, they came out for an encore, and performed two pieces that left the audience speechless and full of glee (Get it? Glee’s all about a capella).
They decided to turn off the microphones to sing “That’s Christmas to Me,” and established an intimacy with the audience that’s never been seen before. It was like the cherry on top of a wonderful <insert your favorite flavor here> a capella sundae. Closing with their Grammy-winning song “Daft Punk,” Pentatonix made it evident that they did not need an opener, and held up their name and fame with their remarkable 90-minute show.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to note Kirstin Maldonado proper spelling of her first name.