Pentatonix have been proving to worldwide audiences since 2011 that acappella is cool. With 4 billion plus views on YouTube and streaming numbers that are absolutely unheard of for any other acapella group, this dynamic five piece
Following a sold out run of dates in 2016, Pentatonix have finally returned to Australia for their biggest headline tour yet. Kicking off the run of dates with a sold out show at the Brisbane Convention Centre, they stepped up their production value and gave fans the arena spectacular they’ve been waiting to witness from the group.
Walking on stage to huge screams, they kicked off the show under moody blue lights with their Daft Punk medley before segueing into their original song ‘Sing’, as well as their cover of ‘High Hopes’ from Panic! At The Disco.
With a huge LED screen and lighting rig behind them, they really did step up their production game, and throughout their show different props made their way onto the stage to enhance the aesthetic. Tables and chairs came out for the rhythmic Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes mash up while a couch appeared for their ‘Evolution Of Pentatonix’ medley and grass cubes appeared for their new original track ‘Happy Now’, which is a future hit for them.
Taking time so each member evenly had time to chat to the crowd, they thanked the Brisbane crowd for selling out the show and talked about their touring experiences. While Scott Hoying was chatting to the crowd he noticed a parrot (yes, a real life parrot) sitting in the fifth row which had him laughing and admitting that it felt like one of the most Australian things to see during a show. And I guess he was kinda right. But for real, who let a parrot into a concert venue?!
There was a lot of versatility within the show. From the quirky choral performance of Imogen Heap’s ‘Aha!’, to a beautiful rendition of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ which sent goosebumps down my arms, to even a cover of Dua Lipa’s ‘Dont Start Now’ which had me wanting to unapologetically dance in the aisles. They didn’t hold back from doing it all within this show.
Switching things up for a hot minute, Kevin Olusola took to the stage by himself to solo beatbox and simultaneously play the cello which is an impressive feat before the rest of the group joined him for an rendition of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’.
After Kevin and Matt Sallee ran through the audience for a bit of a crowd singalong, the group tied the show together with the ‘Evolution of Ariana Grande’, a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and their original track ‘On My Way Home’.
But lets be real, we all knew they weren’t finished there. Returning for a performance of ‘Na Na Na’, they properly closed the show with their breathtaking version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ which was how you close a show like this. Pure class.
Performing for over 90 minutes, this was an impressive show that heard them maintaining their vocal strength from start to finish and keeping the audiences attention so strongly that they didn’t want it to end.
Opening the show was Australian pop princess Samantha Jade, who showed the crowd a different side to her artistry with a stripped down setlist of fan favourites and rhythmic covers.
Joined by two vocalists, an acoustic guitarist and a box drummer, she embraced her R&B roots with this beautifully curated stripped down set that felt pure and organic.
Opening with ‘Always’ and ‘Solider’, she segued into covers of Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’, ‘Higher Love’ by Steve Winwood, ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child and the Fugees classic ‘Killing Me Softly’.
Taking a moment to revisit her journey on The X Factor, she performed her rendition of ‘Heartless’ from Kanye West as well as her winners single, ‘What You’ve Done To Me’ which turned into a soulful moment acoustically.
While this set highlighted her raw and powerful vocal talent, what it really showcased was just how strong and well suited this resurfaced exploration of her R&B roots is and how performing with a band brings her show to live. With performances of recent singles ‘Bounce’ and ‘In The Morning’ to close out the set, she added in a little bit of choreography in there to show that the pop princess is going no where, she’s just evolving.
Check out the full gallery captured by Gabi Rankine Photography BELOW;
Photos by Gabi Rankine
Pentatonix Australian Tour
Wednesday 19 February – AEC Theatre, Adelaide
Thursday 20 February – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 22 February – First State Super Theatre at ICC Sydney, Sydney