PENTATONIX at the Hollywood Bowl
Six years together, two #1 LPs, sold $6 million cds and winner of 3 Grammys!
— Conductor Thomas Wilkins introducing the group
Pentatonix did an outstanding 3-night sold out concert at the Hollywood Bowl, over the 4th of July weekend, energizing the excited audience with their perfectly blended sounds. The name stems from a scale used in all music, the Pentatonic Scale. The ‘x’ was added to make it look sexier. Singers Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado formed back in high school in their hometown of Arlington, Texas. They later added Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola one day before they auditioned for the show “The Sing-Off” on NBC. Of course, the newly minted group won and dropped their EP “PTX Volume 1” back in 2012. From then on, they have been riding on a successful a trek that reached the Bowl.
The group began with the up-lifting, hand clapping “Sing” from their self-titled fourth studio album. Scott Hoying sang lead and gave it his blue-eye soul into the song. This is one of a few songs PTX was accompanied by the wonderful sounding from the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. From then on, the 5-member group continued to elevate their sound to the highest levels. They conquered the song “Daft Punk” written by the electronic rock duo. Followed by a Michael Jackson medley (including “ABC,” “I’ll Be There,” “Rock with You,” “Billie Jean” “Dirty Diana”) and the 1961 Elvis Presley hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
When they performed the 1971 John Lennon classic “Imagine,” PTX evoked the song with melancholy but still making it come out hopeful. The audience agreed to the sentiment by waving their lit cell phones side to side. It’s this kind of heartfelt performance that provides both comfort, joy and ease to both heart and spirit. PTX does it very well, actually, better than other vocal harmony groups around. Each member shines in their own light. Olusola brilliantly does a beatbox sound. This is a classic staple of early hip-hop when MCs also provided the beat when a DJ wasn’t available. There’s no shade among the members. Once they have their moment on their spotlight, the others kindly take a step behind to support their mate. During the latter half, Mitch took advantage of taking a picture of the audience.
It was a humbling moment for the group who thanked the crowd endlessly for coming to see them.
That brand of modesty showed good home training for being gracious that people came out to hear them. They closed with their version of the 1984 hit “Take on Me” by the synth pop Norwegian band A-ha and, again, with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the rock band Queen. Again, excellent rhythms and beats was a memorable way to end a wonderful night with an awesome sounding vocal harmony group.
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