When I bumped into a friend in the lobby of Spark Arena, she recoiled. "Oh no, I had hoped no one I knew would see me here," she said. "My children are appalled that I've come, they say Pentatonix is so uncool."
It's true that there is no place for cynicism or pretence in the presence of the US three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling quintet, Kevin Olusola (voice percussionist), Kirstin Maldonado (mezzo-soprano), Matt Sallee (bass), Mitch Grassi (tenor) and Scott Hoying (baritone).
The group, with no instruments other than their voices, have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Watching them, their popularity came as no surprise (despite what one's children may say).
Each performer's voice soared in response to their songs' emotional truth and a quick glance around saw many audience members in ecstasy. A sweet sense of excitement from the audience – cue lit phones moving in unison and several Mexican waves - preceded an evening of soaring melodies and frankly, pure joy. It was two hours of listening with respect and some degree of awe at Pentatonix's skill as musicians.
Each has a three-octave range, their harmonies were complex and exquisitely melodic; their musical intervals sometimes pleasingly unusual and their performance seemed effortless.
Pentatonix sang a ton of songs from their remix of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's Telephone - the group's first song following their establishment eight years ago – to medleys celebrating the work of the likes of Ariana Grande.
Sallee was first lead in the group's interpretation of John Lennon's Imagine. His deep and true bass just wrapped up your heart and took it on a love fest. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was led by the charismatic Grassi whose stunning falsetto sent shockwaves through the audience. Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, performed as an encore, was sublime.
Olusola, the group's voice percussionist is arguably the star. His simultaneous cello and beat box performance received a standing ovation. His high energy and musical skill takes the group from excellent to gold standard.
A 6000-plus audience was lucky indeed to have experienced the power of acapella at its absolute best.
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When & where: Spark Arena, Saturday
Reviewer: Penny Hartill