The Ferrari of A Capella stage shows was in Montreal for an evening of this past Tuesday, as Pentatonix performed at the Bell Centre. The group’s vocal talent combined with dazzling theatrics compelled me to toss all of my preconceived notions of this seemingly niche musical genre out the window. Even if you aren’t into instrument-less performances, the sheer variety they had during the show was impressive.
From Covers to Original Tunes
From the opening rendition of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky to the closing classic Hallelujah, the main performers of the night delivered as much of an aesthetically pleasing show as an impressive sounding piece.
While it’s a shame they failed to mention that the latter song was written by Montreal songwriting legend Leonard Cohen, their version remains one of the most successful remakes of the classic song.
One of the highlights of the evening was when they went old school and sang without microphones (they were placed on the stage floor). The different musical numbers included their own original music in addition to the covers of popular songs that were instantly recognizable to fans and newbies alike.
Usually concerts on the scale of a Bell Centre performance are visually appealing due to how the instruments and musicians are part of the decor. You typically get to watch drummers, guitarists, and fellow bandmates do their thing. But since Pentatonix is only a five member quintet, you might think it would be difficult to keep the audience entertained.
However, the vocalists succeeded at making their performance attractive by playing with different costumes, lighting, a moving platform, and curtain drops. Each performance was like an act in a musical, with different sets, visuals, and vocalists. The stage and the screen behind the performers meshed together in novel ways which made everything look futuristic and almost unreal at times.
Opening Act Citizen Queen
The first part of the show was covered by Citizen Queen. The A Capella group consists of five young women whose voices all came into one group. This fresh girl gang released its first video just a few months ago, and they are already part of the Pentatonix World Tour.
Based in the United States, Montreal was their first out-of-the-country performance and they all made sure to let the crowd know how excited they were to be here. The love for Montreal was actually a common theme throughout the whole show as every artist said they would want to move here. Now let’s all keep an eye out, we might see one of these celebrities walk around downtown someday!
Rising Pop Star Rachel Platten
Second up was the beautiful Rachel Platten who had a great stage presence. I already vaguely knew her hit Fight Song from a few years back, and her performance truly made me fall back in love with her music.
One of her signature moves is running through the crowd hugging fans while singing and the audience loved it. She came across as a genuine talent, with heartfelt stories about her personal life. That translated well on stage where she opened up about what she is going through in her personal life.
Her songs are of the pop genre, mostly relating to events of her past. My favourite act was her singing You Belong, written during her pregnancy, dedicated to her daughter. She sang about half a dozen songs and was an ideal bridge between the two a capella groups. You can find her all around the States on tour with Pentatonix for the whole summer. Rachel is also very active via stories on Instagram @rachelplatten.
Overall, it was an entertaining evening of remarkably talented vocalists.