The moment a capella group Pentatonix took the stage in Asia World Expo, the audience knew they were in for a breathtaking show. It was a Thursday night, a school night, but the hall was still brimming with eager teenagers waiting for the talented group to perform.
The group emerged on the stage in silhouette, singing Cracked, an original song from their self-titled fourth album. This was met with excited, ear-piercing screams from the audience which continued as they moved on to another original, Na Na Na. While they made their name singing acapella covers of famous artists’ songs, they’ve proven a PTX original can be just as catchy, if not more so. The group soon had the whole crowd moving their bodies to the beat.
As the group moved on to their third song, Cheerleader, the reverberant cheers hit the roof. Their video of the OMI song has racked up more than 55 million views on YouTube, and this live rendition reminded us why it is so popular. The bass and the beatboxing, by Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola respectvely, gave the song an even more upbeat vibe that was meant you’d wake up with it in your head the following day. (Ed: true story.)
A personal favourite was their cover of Ride by Twenty One Pilots. Mitch Grassi took lead vocals, flawlessly executing Tyler Joseph’s verse with his pitch-perfect voice. But the real highlight was the unexpected, laidback, reggae vibe, creating a nice juxtaposition with the more intense original.
At one point, five lucky fans (including YP junior reporter Pauline Wong!) were chosen to sit on stage with the band and sing Misbehavin’.
Pentatonix threw hit after hit at us; both covers – like the mashup of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself and Where Are Ü Now, a Michael Jackson medley, and their most popular release, the Daft Punk medley – and their own tracks, including the brilliantly danceable Can’t Sleep Love, and the beautiful Light In the Hallway. During the latter, the group called for absolute quiet, before they put down their individual microphones and sang with only one central microphone, creating an etheral, choir-like sound.
Pentatonix left the audience desperate for more, but happy to have seen one of the best concerts of the year.