Pentatonix, the a cappella quintet that won the third season of NBC’s “The Sing-off” and then went top 20 with their debut EP, has a Christmas EP and a January-to-April tour in the works.
Making their Los Angeles debut at a sold-out Roxy Theater, one of the group’s lead singers, Scott Hoying, told the crowd “you didn’t hear it from me” but the band would be back in L.A. around March. Their current run of shows — 22 shows between Oct. 18 and Dec. 19 — finds the Texas band taking a step up from clubs such as the Roxy to small theaters, a trend expected to continue in the new year.
Pentatonix 85-minute performance offered a mix of songs they performed on last season’s “Sing-off” and their EP PTX, Vol. 1: recent hits such as Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Nicki Minaj’s “Starships,” fun’s “We Are Young,” Beyonce’s “Telephone,” Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.” They have added to the mix a Katy Perry-Justin Bieber mash-up and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in a G-rated seduction of a fan brought onstage. During the show, they asked the audience to film a performance of “The Baddest Girl” and email their footage so the band can create a video for their original tune.
Members of the group, which came together as a five-piece a week before the Sony-produced “Sing-off” held auditions last summer, were busy before the show recounting stories about the current tour. One of the stand-outs was a trip to China where they sang on the Chinese version of “The Sing-off.” Fortunately, the group’s beat-box vocalist Kevin Olusola was fluent.
“The Chinese like when you attempt to show you want to be part of their culture,” Olusola said backstage, noting that he learned Chinese at Yale. “They were pretty surprised when I was able to do the interviews and so they asked us to do a Chinese song in addition to the two we were already doing. I taught it to everyone phonetically.”
Hoying chimed in — “and we only had a day to learn it.”
In the interview in China, Olusola explained that he spent 18 months studying at Tsinghua and Beijing Universities and was enthralled by the culture, music and entertainment.
Pentatonix will be finishing their holiday album in early October to be released on Sony’s Madison Gate imprint, the label that released their debut. Sony Pictures’ Music Affairs Group executive VP Shelly Bunge, who took on the band after their victory in late November, was in the audience at Tuesday’s Roxy show along with Marc Pollack of the MGMT Co. and the group’s manager, Jonathan Kalter of MGMT.