Pentatonix at the O2 Academy, Oxford

Last Thursday yielded the culmination of many months of excitement: Pentatonix, live and wonderful. If you follow me on Twitter, you have probably inferred by my gushy tweets that I enjoyed it. Allow me to gush some more here.

I do not exaggerate when I say that this experience was probably the highlight of my 2014 so far. It started with my discovering that, if you’re on O2, you can skip the queue. Thanks, O2. Awesome. If we hadn’t skipped the queue thanks to my shiny, shiny contract we probably wouldn’t have been as near to the front as we were and I would probably not have been able to see a thing, being somewhat vertically challenged and having to wear glasses (amazing glasses, which I would never ever trade for contacts). As it was, I had a pretty great view and we were close enough to see Mitch’s fantastically sassy facial expressions, a sight which would have been sorely missed (and those high notes – whoa!).

If you’ve watched their videos (two of which can be found below), you know how incredible they are but seeing them perform live takes their music to another level. Even if you’ weren’t looking, you could feel how much they were enjoying themselves and it was impossible not to enjoy it with them. Their enthusiasm is like electricity and the energy… – Pentatonix have an incredible amount of energy, not only were they all singing almost all of the time but often songs were choreographed. I can’t imagine how hard it is to do that for just one show, let alone a whole tour with both an American and European leg.

The vocals were powerful and en pointe – Avi’s bass notes were not only heard but felt – and I definitely got goosebumps at more than one point during the show.  Run to You, an original song, elicited silence from the crowd and there were moments when you could have heard a pin drop (excuse the cliché); it was beautiful to listen to and to watch. It was clear from each of their faces how much that song means to them and was possibly my favourite part of the concert (if I absolutely had to pick one). Pentatonix were made to sing together.

As well as the music, I also really enjoyed how they interacted with the crowd (everyone wanted to be Jessica, the girl they called on stage for Let’s Get It On) – when people shouted about how awesome they were, they thanked them. It was clear that they appreciated us as much as we appreciated them, which makes for a great experience all round. Kirstie’s face when Scott enlisted the audience in singing Happy Birthday to her was beautiful, she seemed so, incredibly happy.

I can’t finish this blog without mentioning three things: Scott’s ‘FLAWLESS’ shirt, which is perhaps the most perfect shirt he could have worn; Kevin’s celloboxing, I need some of that on my ipod right now – it was amazing, totally amazing; and finally, Avi’s overtone singing, I can’t even describe it other than to say that the man is clearly some kind of mystical being who has jumped out of a fantasy novel – that is the only explanation.

It was a fantastic gig and I know I will be seeing them again when they’re next in Oxford/the UK.

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