The Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina, had sold out of show tickets long before Pentatonix played at the venue on Thursday evening. Even an hour before the show, fans had already crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in the room and were anxiously awaiting the five piece American a cappella group to grace the stage.
Pentatonix was officially formed just three years ago in 2011 by Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying. They were later joined by Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola. The group has stated that their goal is to become the first modern day mainstream a cappella group and despite being fairly new, they have already achieved much success in obtaining that goal. After winning the third season of NBC's The Sing-Off, Pentatonix were awarded a recording contract with Sony. Their debut album PTX Vol. 1 was released in 2012 and reached spot #14 on the Billboard 200 list. A year later, PTX Vol. 2 was released and ranked in at the #10 spot.
The lights dimmed at 8:00 P.M., and the crowd cheered and shouted names of individual Pentatonix members as they were glimpsed walking on stage behind a curtain. When the curtain dropped, Pentatonix kicked off with their well known "Daft Punk" medley. The song was one that devotees and new listeners alike could sing along to - and the crowd did exactly that. A mash up of "Hey Momma" and "Hit the Road Jack" came next in their set, followed by a cover of Lady Gaga's "Telephone".
The rest of their setlist was a solid mixture of sing-along songs and Pentatonix originals. At one point, Kaplan demonstrated his ability to sing two notes at once with a bass performance of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". People were mesmerized into silence, which lingered through Olusola's following "celloboxing" solo. Retaining a balance of crowd interaction, Pentatonix sang "Evolution of Music" and "Evolution of Beyoncé", song compilations that progress through a journey of the history of music and a more current journey through world renowned artist and actress Beyoncé's career. A spot-on cover of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis "Can't Hold Us" ended in a shocking explosion of confetti and streamers. Though it seemed an obvious closure to the night, showgoers rattled the venue with a stamping ovation until Pentatonix reappeared. Keeping theme with the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis covers, they entertained patrons with "Thrift Shop". Finally, "We Are Young" (originally performed by fun.) was played and Pentatonix graciously thanked the audience and officially concluded the night.
In spite of consisting solely of vocalists, the lack there of instruments goes completely unnoticed as Pentatonix perfectly simulates the sound of drums, strings and numerous other instruments. Their harmonies and tones are immaculate throughout the entire show. Pentatonix delivers a demonstration of raw talent and skill with a unique sound that distinguishes them from even some of the most well known musicians. The worldwide tour they are currently on has already sold out in all but three cities, though all dates can be viewed on their website here.