Pentatonix Comes to Auburn Hills

A Capella group, Pentatonix, performed at the Palace of Auburn Hills as part of their 2016 World Tour.


Elizabeth Arnott

Pentatonix (Kevin Olusola, Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and Avi Kaplan) at the front of the stage during one of their songs.

The lights dimmed and all of the audience members cheered and shouted “I love you!” as the intro to “Cracked” played. Fans from around the state gazed towards the stage, as five boxes were lit up with black, pink, light blue, green and yellow LED’s representing the five members of Pentatonix. Singer Scott Hoying began the song and then after a flash of light, the five singers appeared on top of the boxes.

The popular a capella group Pentatonix, made up of Avi Kaplan, Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi and  Kevin Olusola, began their journey on the television show “The Sing Off” on NBC. The quintet won “The Sing Off” in 2011 and went on to create nine albums, including a platinum Christmas album released in 2014 called That’s Christmas to Me. Pentatonix went on their “On My Way Home Tour” in 2015 and are currently on the fifth and final leg of their “2016 World Tour with guest stars Us The Duo and Abi.”

The 2016 world tour began April 2, 2016 in Chiba, Japan and is scheduled to conclude Nov. 22, 2016 in Houston, Texas. The tour had five legs, including 12 shows in Asia, five shows in Oceania, 23 shows in Europe and 44 shows in North America making a total of 84 performances.

On Nov. 6, 2016, the quintet performed at the Palace of Auburn Hills in southeast Michigan. Before the a capella group went on stage, Abi and Us the Duo performed some of their hits. At 9:42 p.m. the arena went black and the concert had begun.

The group performed their original song “Cracked” and then went on to perform another original, “Na Na Na” and OMI cover, “Cheerleader” before Hoying came out onto the island and spoke to the crowd. The quintet took turns addressing the audience with every stage setup.

Halfway through the concert, beatboxer Kevin Olusola, nicknamed ‘K.O.’, came onstage with his electric cello and addressed the crowd before playing his cover of Bach’s Prelude from Cello Suite No.1. He then stunned them by beatboxing while playing the signature Bach piece.

Just a few songs after the celloboxing, tenor Mitch Grassi shocked the audience with the groups cover of “Gold” by Kiiara. As many fans know, the chorus of “Gold” is originally clips of words in the song strung together to create a unique sound. However, Pentatonix used only their vocal skills to complete the complex song.

To finish the performance, the group performed one of their originals from their album PENTATONIX, “Rose Gold” and then smoothly transitioned into a cover from their new Christmas album A Pentatonix Christmas, “Hallelujah.” The crowd sang along and lit up the arena with their flashlights to round out the evening.

Five minutes after the quintet had exited the stage, they marched on once more and greeted the audience still stunned from the 90 minutes of amazing music.

“You guys are really really great,”  bass singer Avi Kaplan said. “You guys are so great, I used my upper register for you! That’s the highest I’m gonna sing in the show. No, really you guys are absolutely amazing, this was an amazing show because of you guys. So, thank you. For this next song, we would like to do it without any of these microphones, but if we do that you have to be very, very quiet. I hope you guys feel our hearts when we sing this song, this is ‘Light in the Hallway.’”

Pentatonix put down their microphones and sang, showing off their singing abilities as their unamplified voices filled the arena. Fans watched and listened carefully as a single light stood in front of the quintet lighting the stage only slightly.

The group then sang one of their hit singles “Sing” to finish off the performance. Towards the middle of the song, Hoying and Grassi, as well as singer Kirstie Maldonado stood on the peninsula jetting out into the crowd as they poured every last breath into the final song of the night. On the final note, confetti shot out of cannons in the five colors representing each of the members.

You can follow Pentatonix on twitter (@PTXofficial), YouTube (PTXofficial), Instagram (@ptxofficial) or on their website

A view of the audience from the stage taken by Mitch Grassi during a stage setup.
PTX Official
A view of the audience from the stage taken by Mitch Grassi during one of the stage resets.