AMERICAN acapella five-piece Pentatonix played at Albert Hall, Manchester on Saturday (May 28). Quays News entertainment reporter Lauren Bones went along…

Not only have Pentatonix been taking the Internet by storm over the last 12 months with their accapella covers, but they are now taking England in their grasp, performing at venues all over the country on their world tour.

Personally, the Albert Hall is one of my favourite venues. The whole hall is framed by beautiful stained glass windows and the rig they have set up allows the venue to be lit up with some incredible lights and lasers. Pentatonix are the first performance of this type I have seen at The Albert Hall, in the past I have seen the likes of Carl Cox and Yousef so going there not to see a tech house DJ was a bit surreal for me.

Any gig at this venue feels intimate, possible due to its 2000 capacity, and is definitely one to remember. The crowd for the show was such a mix, ranging from screaming 14-year-olds accompanied by their parents, to elderly church and LGBT communities.

Before any of the acts even took to the stage, Taylor Swift could be heard playing over the speakers around the hall, and the whole crowd began to break into song to get themselves pumped for the gig.

Supporting Pentatonix were the adorable Us The Duo who consist of husband and wife Michael and Carissa Alvarado. Their relationship on stage quite literally made peoples hearts melt. They showed off their musical talents by alternating between playing instruments such as bass, guitar, drums, keyboard and then jumping into some beat boxing.

Us The Duo supporting Pentatonix at Albert Hall, ManchesterThe couple did a couple of covers, such as Johnny Cash’s ‘Hold Me til The Morning Comes’ and a medley of their favorite songs from the last couple of years which really got the crowd going. The harmonies that the couple achieved were seriously impressive and their voices were so smooth and easy to listen to.

At this point, the building felt like an oven. It was a rare day for Manchester, seeing some impressive sunlight, however this did not mix well with a room full of 2000 people and the huge stain glass windows of The Albert Hall so, the bar staff was having to dish cups of water out to the somewhat sober crowd.

Us The Duo supporting Pentatonix at Albert Hall, ManchesterAfter Us The Duo, Pentatonix took to the stage. The group consists of Avi Kaplan, Scott Hoying, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Mitch Grassi who won an American TV show called ‘The Sing Off’ in 2011. Their success has just sky rocketed from there and this was shown when they first came onto the stage, the crowd literally went wild, screaming ‘PTX! PTX!’ before the group broke into their first song, ‘Cracked‘.

The group covered songs such as OMI’s ‘Cheerleader‘, which was a number which really got the crowd going. It was so surreal that this group of five people were making such an incredible sound by using nothing but their voices. It was so difficult not to sing and clap along to some of the songs.

The relationship that Pentatonix had with their audience was amazing. They constantly took the time to chat to us, express their love and appreciation for the fans and Manchester. At one point, they invited five fans onto the stage to sing their song ‘Misbehavin’ with them, which was heart warming to watch.

Pentatonix at Albert Hall, ManchesterUs The Duo also came back on stage to sing ‘If I Ever Fall in Love’ with Pentatonix which was fantastic and their vocals all worked magically together.

Kevin Olusola took the stage alone at one point accompanied with an electric cello and began to play it and beat box at the same time, creating a surreal, funky sound. This was one of the parts of the performance that really stood out, alongside Mitch Grassi’s high notes. Damn.

Pentatonix at Albert Hall, ManchesterThe whole evening was wonderful and full of so much talent, from Us The Duo to the main act themselves and the atmosphere of the crowd was something that I’m not sure you’d find at another concert.

By Lauren Bones

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