Pentatonix, Saint Paul, Minnesota Concert Review
Performing to a crowd of over 12,000 fans, a cappella sensation Pentatonix captivated Saint Paul. Rising to viral fame in the early 2010s, when shows like Glee and movies like Pitch Perfect glamorized show choir, Pentatonix still proves strong in 2019.
Having never been to a Pentatonix show before, I didn’t know what to expect. I tend to go to shows where I am on the floor and singing along to every song. However, a Pentatonix show was a very different environment. Rather than getting a 90-minute concert workout, fans stood in awe at the group’s pure talent.
What Pentatonix is able to achieve in an arena setting is nothing short of amazing. Opening with their most popular viral hit, a medley of Daft Punk songs, they would proceed to pack as many tunes as possible into the performance. With such a massive and diverse back catalog, I was deeply impressed with the setlist.
Among their arrangement was an Evolution of Pentatonix, which took the audience through some old fan favorites. Additionally, they performed an Evolution of Ariana Grande. I swear singer Mitch Grassi has a range comparable to the pop star, and throughout the night his vocals stood out the most.
Another stand-out performance of the night was Kevin Olusola’s mesmerizing cello-beatbox-loop pedal solo (an insane combination, I know). Additionally, he and new member Matt Salle performed an awesome mashup of songs ranging from Old Town Road to the Fresh Prince theme song.
Additional highlights include an amazing cover of “Shallow” that could easily rival Lady Gaga’s, a trippy yet catchy cover of “Come Along,” and the surefire crowd-pleaser that is “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Along for the ride were fellow viral stars Citizen Queen, a fierce a cappella group made up of all women. They were the perfect way to start the night and I was really pleased to see Pentatonix supporting fellow musicians in their genre.
Their outfits, choreography, and vocals were all on point. After looking into their work more, I have to direct readers to watch their most popular video: Evolution of Girl Groups. It is a true jam and was the highlight of their performance.
My only issue is I wish they did a longer set. They left it all on the stage with the audience wanting more.
Next up was singer Rachel Platten. Perhaps best known for her Kelly Clarkson-esque track “Fight Song,” Platten proved to be more than a one-hit wonder. Starting off her set with some mild technical difficulties, her stage presence and winning personality got everyone on her side.
Seriously, Rachel Platten seems like the coolest person ever. Her genuine stage banter and ability to connect with audiences of all ages made her enjoyable to watch. A highlight of her set was the song “You Belong,” an emotional track written for her newborn baby. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Platten would return to stage later in the night to show off her a cappella skills with Pentatonix during a cover of “Jolene.”
The audience at the Xcel was primarily families and girls in their late teens. This was by far the most family friendly show I’ve been to. At moments it felt a little overly staged, but that is simply the nature of this type of concert and certainly didn’t take away from my enjoyment.
Pentatonix gave me one of the most entertaining shows of the year. They proved that not only can a cappella shows fill an arena, but that the genre is here to stay.
- Daft Punk
- High Hopes
- Can’t Sleep Love
- Evolution of PTX
- Happy Now
- Come Along
- Sound of Silence
- Kevin’s Cello Solo
- Cracked/Natural Disaster
- Evolution of Ariana Grande
- Love You Long Time
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- On My Way Home
- Run To You