Pentatonix, Echosmith, Calum Scott – Irvine, CA – 07.19.2018

PTX Summer Tour 2018
FivePoint Amphitheater – 07.19.2018
Photos and reivew by Angelica Nicolle Abalos

Pentatonix kicked off their 39-city North American tour in support of their recently released album PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. I. The inaugural release for the group’s PTX Presents series features 11 PTX-curated modern pop performances, many of which will be played during their live show on tour. Along for the ride are Calum Scott and Echosmith who are set to open up for the five-piece act throughout the full run.

Calum Scott, a British singer and songwriter, best known and recognized from his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent in 2015 took the stage first. With only himself and his pianist on stage, Scott commanded the attention of the audience for the set. His soulful singing voice, charming presence cause the crowd to fall in love with the shy, smiling man on stage. His short statements in-between moments and even the smallest “thank you” after each song warrant a large cheer from the audience. Toward the end of the set, Scott shared an emotional, unreleased song titled “No Matter What”. The few minutes that followed resulted in an emotional end of the song as he turned away from the crowd with his hands in his face. After a brief moment, he faced the crowd again with a choked up thank you. “No matter where you get in your life, no matter what you achieve or don’t achieve, you just want your parents to be proud of you. Thank you for allowing me to tell my story. I did warn you I was sensitive.” The crowd laughed and cheered as he introduced his final song, his popular cover Robyn’s “Dancing on my Own”. Scott shared how he was working in Human Resources before releasing the song changed his life and wowing the crowd one last time. “I want my music to be medicine for people… this song means everything to me.”

Next to take the stage was Echosmith, an American indie pop band from Chino, CA consisting of a trio of siblings Sydney, Noah and Graham Sierota. In case anyone was unaware of who they were, a large sign spelling out the band’s name was lit up on stage. As the band took the stage, bassist, Noah, and drummer, Graham, began a drum beat create anticipation for their sister’s entrance. The band’s energy and the crowd’s spirits were high as Echosmith’s set began. The next half hour was loud, poppy and fun-filled as Sydney and Noah danced across the stage and the venue was filled with smiles from ear to ear. Echosmith’s set included a rendition of “Bright”, which transitioned into a duet between Sydney and Noah to Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”. The band then began to end the set with their latest single “Over My Head”, as large red and white balloons were tossed into the audience for the crowd to interact with. They closed with their original hit “Cool Kids”, the whole crowd sang along as Sydney reminded their fans of the truth they are “so incredibly loved, especially by this band on this stage”.

After much anticipation, Pentatonix (abbreviated PTX) took the stage in their matching red and black attire, not complete without the glitter, of course, an improved stage production, and all-new dance moves. The acapella five-piece has clearly come a long way from Arlington, TX as they celebrate their 7-year anniversary as a group. PTX’s current lineup consists of vocalists Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado and Kevin Olusola plus their newly added member, Matt Sallee.

PTX‘s live show is truly one that must be experienced in person. Each tune is done so incredibly well that you would be completely in awe of the fact that there was no instrument used other than each members’ vocal chords. The sounds they produce are so full – each part is accounted for and nothing in the music feels lacking. No matter what song they cover or continue to mix together, the blend of each of the individual’s voices match smoothly and perfectly. It is incredible what the human voice can do and PTX shows us how the simplest tool one has can be used to make some amazing music.

Calum Scott