Pentatonix turns a capella into a spectacle and an extreme sport. A combination of impeccable close harmonies, banging human beatboxing, tongue-in-cheek musical arrangements, and incredibly likeable personalities propelled the group to win season three of NBC’s The Sing-Off competition back in 2011. However, it’s their ability to bring it both live and online that has kept their dream alive and helped them pack houses and sell records since the win.
The five-piece group, which hails from Texas but is now based in Los Angeles, is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying (21), Kirstie Maldonado (20), and Mitch Grassi (20), vocal bass Avi Kaplan (23), and beatboxer Kevin “K.O.” Olusola (24). Their first EP, PTX Volume 1, debuted at No. 14 on the Billboard Top 200 when it was released in the summer of 2012, and a follow up EP of seasonal songs, PTXmas, snagged a spot on the iTunes’ Top 10. But since their music has to be seen to be believed — yes, they really can do all that with vocals and no effects — it’s perhaps on YouTube where Pentatonix have made the most impact. The Pentatonix channel there has now clocked up a staggering 50 million-plus views.
Having completed a highly successful, mostly sold-out tour in the latter part of 2012, Pentatonix has wisely decided to capitalize on the momentum by starting 2013 with an even longer string of live dates. The group plays San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre on January 27 as part of a 36-date North American tour. Expect a crowd-pleasing mélange of covers, which will likely include fan faves such as Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” Fun’s “We Are Young,” and Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”