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Pentatonix live in Auckland

. Sunday, 16 February 2020 .





It finally happened. After long four years of waiting for Pentatonix to grace our shores again, all our acapella dreams came true last night at their one-night only show in Auckland. A large crowd of excited fans gathered outside Spark Arena way before the doors were even set to open, with a long queue already forming in the merchandise ticket. There was no doubt that this show was highly anticipated by Pentaholics of all ages. From where we were sitting, I overhead three different families talk about how this was the first concert experience for their young ones and you could just see the excitement on their faces, cheering with the crowd in their official tour merchandise.




Opening act Samantha Jade kicked things off with an acoustic set of her own. The Australian musician talked about her X-Factor roots in between set, introducing the rest of her band with a personal anecdote of how they worked together back in 2012 when she won the fourth season of the reality show. She performed a great medley of crowd-pleaser songs like "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child and "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack. It was her rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless" that really stood out to me, though. It's refreshing to hear a softer version of the song and she truly made it her own.




During a short changeover between Samantha Jade and Pentatonix (seriously it was the quickest opening act to main act transition I've ever experienced), the packed arena was clearly enjoying themselves when an impromptu round of a Mexican wave started around the sections. I'm not sure who started it, but it kept going for a while and only really coming to a halt as soon as Pentatonix entered the stage.






They opened their set with one of their more upbeat medleys and I loved their version of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" so much! Of course, it wouldn't be a Pentatonix concert without performing their first original song - Can't Sleep Love (2019) - for us. Of course the crowd went wild!




I liked how each of them took turns with introducing songs, their spiels mostly about how much they love New Zealand and how much they've missed us. There was a strong theme of nostalgia in their show too. While they performed some current hits like Dua Lipa's new song "Don't Start Now" - a song they were performing for the first time especially for this show. It was a hit, of course, especially to the younger crowd. My brother kindly informed me it was a popular TikTok song and I thought it was fitting given the diversity of the crowd.




The setlist catered for a broad range of audience, but even then I thought they spoke a lot about their evolution as artists. I didn't realise they got their start from a reality TV show. I had always thought they were discovered on YouTube! I don't know if it was intentional or not, but they inadvertently paid homage to New Zealand when they performed Kimbra and Gotye's smash hit "Somebody That I Used To Know" - a song that's especially meaningful to the group as it was their first viral video posted.




There were a lot of highlights from the night. The graphics during their 'choir' song performances was creative and fun and just unlike anything I've ever seen on a live stage before. Also hearing them perform "Shallow" live was an unexpected delight, and the way they got the crowd to engage fully during their medley of Queen's "We Will Rock You", The Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way", and of course, "Old Town Road" was incredible. We were stomping our feet, clapping, and singing along. My shy little brother included! Another favourite was their stunning performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" - a personal favourite of my mums. They also performed Bohemian Rhapsody on stage - their version of that is ingrained in me as it is played loudly in our household several times a week. To see it live was an otherworldly experience. Mitch's vocal range was just unbelievable and I couldn't believe that it was all acapella. Hearing Kirstin's voice was oddly comforting but maybe that's because her Youtube mashup of my favourite Disney songs is literally my comfort song. It was awesome hearing her live and watching her dance around stage like the great performer that she is!




My absolute favourite moment, though, was Kevin Olusola's solo. After a quick spiel about how they found Kevin on Youtube because they needed a beatboxer and his viral video was the first one to come up in the search (yet another reminder of the power of SEO - optimise your keywords, friends! You never know who will come across your work from a quick search). At that time Kevin was a pre-med student at Yale and had exams so couldn't make the audition. But by some miraculous reason, he ended up being free that weekend and said "he was feeling adventurous" and flew across the country to audition. The rest, as they say, is history. Kevin showed us what he was all about when he played the cello and beatboxed the Game of Thrones theme. It was mesmerising. The sheer talent to be able to do that so flawlessly. Wow. I never thought I'd say this but thank goodness med school didn't work out!




They performed a few more songs - a mashup of Ariana Grande songs ("her evolution" as Mitch said), another original song, and even a happy birthday song to the girl in front of the crowd holding a sign that said she turned 11 today. Their encore ended with a powerful performance of Hallelujah. The dark arena, the lights from the camera flash, simple staging with just static white lights illuminating the group made for a great final performance.



The night ended with a standing ovation and I couldn't help but think of all the kids in the crowd who was experiencing a concert live for the first time. What an introduction to the wonderful world of live music! I wouldn't be surprised if the Pentatonix Youtube channel gained more views and followers overnight.





Follow Pentatonix here.





It finally happened. After long four years of waiting for Pentatonix to grace our shores again, all our acapella dreams came true last night at their one-night only show in Auckland. A large crowd of excited fans gathered outside Spark Arena way before the doors were even set to open, with a long queue already forming in the merchandise ticket. There was no doubt that this show was highly anticipated by Pentaholics of all ages. From where we were sitting, I overhead three different families talk about how this was the first concert experience for their young ones and you could just see the excitement on their faces, cheering with the crowd in their official tour merchandise.




Opening act Samantha Jade kicked things off with an acoustic set of her own. The Australian musician talked about her X-Factor roots in between set, introducing the rest of her band with a personal anecdote of how they worked together back in 2012 when she won the fourth season of the reality show. She performed a great medley of crowd-pleaser songs like "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child and "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack. It was her rendition of Kanye West's "Heartless" that really stood out to me, though. It's refreshing to hear a softer version of the song and she truly made it her own.




During a short changeover between Samantha Jade and Pentatonix (seriously it was the quickest opening act to main act transition I've ever experienced), the packed arena was clearly enjoying themselves when an impromptu round of a Mexican wave started around the sections. I'm not sure who started it, but it kept going for a while and only really coming to a halt as soon as Pentatonix entered the stage.






They opened their set with one of their more upbeat medleys and I loved their version of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" so much! Of course, it wouldn't be a Pentatonix concert without performing their first original song - Can't Sleep Love (2019) - for us. Of course the crowd went wild!




I liked how each of them took turns with introducing songs, their spiels mostly about how much they love New Zealand and how much they've missed us. There was a strong theme of nostalgia in their show too. While they performed some current hits like Dua Lipa's new song "Don't Start Now" - a song they were performing for the first time especially for this show. It was a hit, of course, especially to the younger crowd. My brother kindly informed me it was a popular TikTok song and I thought it was fitting given the diversity of the crowd.




The setlist catered for a broad range of audience, but even then I thought they spoke a lot about their evolution as artists. I didn't realise they got their start from a reality TV show. I had always thought they were discovered on YouTube! I don't know if it was intentional or not, but they inadvertently paid homage to New Zealand when they performed Kimbra and Gotye's smash hit "Somebody That I Used To Know" - a song that's especially meaningful to the group as it was their first viral video posted.




There were a lot of highlights from the night. The graphics during their 'choir' song performances was creative and fun and just unlike anything I've ever seen on a live stage before. Also hearing them perform "Shallow" live was an unexpected delight, and the way they got the crowd to engage fully during their medley of Queen's "We Will Rock You", The Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way", and of course, "Old Town Road" was incredible. We were stomping our feet, clapping, and singing along. My shy little brother included! Another favourite was their stunning performance of John Lennon's "Imagine" - a personal favourite of my mums. They also performed Bohemian Rhapsody on stage - their version of that is ingrained in me as it is played loudly in our household several times a week. To see it live was an otherworldly experience. Mitch's vocal range was just unbelievable and I couldn't believe that it was all acapella. Hearing Kirstin's voice was oddly comforting but maybe that's because her Youtube mashup of my favourite Disney songs is literally my comfort song. It was awesome hearing her live and watching her dance around stage like the great performer that she is!




My absolute favourite moment, though, was Kevin Olusola's solo. After a quick spiel about how they found Kevin on Youtube because they needed a beatboxer and his viral video was the first one to come up in the search (yet another reminder of the power of SEO - optimise your keywords, friends! You never know who will come across your work from a quick search). At that time Kevin was a pre-med student at Yale and had exams so couldn't make the audition. But by some miraculous reason, he ended up being free that weekend and said "he was feeling adventurous" and flew across the country to audition. The rest, as they say, is history. Kevin showed us what he was all about when he played the cello and beatboxed the Game of Thrones theme. It was mesmerising. The sheer talent to be able to do that so flawlessly. Wow. I never thought I'd say this but thank goodness med school didn't work out!




They performed a few more songs - a mashup of Ariana Grande songs ("her evolution" as Mitch said), another original song, and even a happy birthday song to the girl in front of the crowd holding a sign that said she turned 11 today. Their encore ended with a powerful performance of Hallelujah. The dark arena, the lights from the camera flash, simple staging with just static white lights illuminating the group made for a great final performance.



The night ended with a standing ovation and I couldn't help but think of all the kids in the crowd who was experiencing a concert live for the first time. What an introduction to the wonderful world of live music! I wouldn't be surprised if the Pentatonix Youtube channel gained more views and followers overnight.





Follow Pentatonix here.

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