by Dan Harr
A capella quintet Pentatonix is riding a rocket. They’re not only riding it, the boosters are firing and they are shooting into the heavens (and up the charts) at some of the fastest speeds known to the music world.
Five years ago, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Kirstin Maldonado formed the group as a trio in Arlington, TX, in 2010 while still in high school. After graduating, Hoying went to the University of Southern California where he heard about the television competition show, The Sing-Off. Needing at least four members to perform as part of the competition, the group found Avi Kaplan and Kevin “K.O.” Olusola and – literally – rehearsed for the first time the day before the show auditions.
The rest, as they say, is history. And it’s that history which is providing the fuel for the rockets.
In just four years since winning the third season of The Sing-Off, Pentatonix has won a Grammy, become one of the top YouTube music channels, is in the top tier of ALL YouTube channels overall, and put out four studio albums including this past season’s holiday chart-topper That’s Christmas To Me, which was certified platinum on December 24, 2014 and is the highest-charting holiday album by a vocal group since 1962.
Last night, Pentatonix brought their “On My Way Home” tour to The Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta, where they performed numerous hits from their catalog for a sold-out crowd of fans. Unlike many acts on the touring circuit, Pentatonix draws crowds across a wide array of demographics with their family-friendly shows. Not only do you see children and their parents in the audience, but grandparents and even great-grandparents are on hand to listen to the phenomenal harmonies and vocal stylings that have contributed to the group’s meteoric rise.
It was refreshing to be in a venue without the usual smoke-laden air hovering above my head and watching the crowd down soft drinks instead of guzzling alcohol or taking drugs to a point of idiotic stupor. The fans were there to enjoy the music and it was a breath of fresh air from the usual Saturday night music melee.
Many groups who have “overnight success” become shooting stars as their quick rise turns into a swift fall back into the atmosphere. I believe Pentatonix will avoid that quick turnaround because they have the “IT” factor which should allow them to remain stable in the heavens for a long time to come. The talents of the five members, combined with their crossover-genre audience draw and the wide-ranging ages of their fans gives them the ability to sustain themselves as long as they can keep things fresh and have that “what comes next” moment up their sleeve.
Pentatonix is a MUST-SEE concert for the family and for anyone who appreciates a night of good music.
Pentatonix continues their “On My Way Home” tour through May 6, and then heads out with Kelly Clarkson starting in July.
For more, visit their website at www.ptxofficial.com
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