Show Preview: Pentatonix, Shoreline Amphitheatre, July 17th

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Pentatonix, often abbreviated to PTX, is one of those rare bands that is taking a road less traveled and doing it with flair. Next week, that road brings them to Mountain View’s spectacular Shoreline Amphitheatre, where they’ll be playing on Tuesday 17th, bringing multi-Grammy-winning skill and arrangements to a stage in unparalleled and beautiful surroundings, right on the Bay.

With a core strength centered around the less-explored musical form, multi-part a cappella singing. Going without instruments is a strategy that’s risky but can be beautiful – leaving nowhere for artists to hide, but giving the band an amazing ability to reinterpret genres as diverse as pop, R&B, and soul. Any Pentatonix fan will tell you that while these genres of music may undoubtedly define the group of five, it’s the band’s covers that have an extensive fan base. Their history of covers mostly includes modern pop numbers or Christmas songs, in addition to their own compositions.

RIDGEFIELD! ❤️ #PTXSummerTourWAS #PTXSummerTour2018

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Pentatonix’ first time in the limelight began when they won the third season of The Sing-Off, back in 2011. Since then, the band has released an impressive discography that includes six studio albums, four extended plays, and several singles. And of course, there are their almost-unrivaled music videos – amazing viral successes that showcase vocals and make singing itself the spectacle.

They have also been nominated for and won several sought-after awards. Among their memorable wins are Grammy Awards for Best Arrangement, Instrumental, or A Cappella (2015 and 2016), Best Country Duo/Group Performance (2017), Streamy Award for Best Cover Song (2014), and Shorty Award for the Best YouTube Musician (2015). The group has also been nominated for Webby Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, among others.

Pentatonix’s latest studio offering is an album titled PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. I. The album is a collection of heavenly covers that remain true to the originals while simultaneously allowing the Texas group to add their magic touch to the tracks they’ve chosen, including hits from the likes of Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato and Kesha. The album takes off with a thunderous cover of Charlie Puth’s sensational number “Attention,” before the band’s elegant version of Bruno Mars’ soulful R&B track, “Finesse.” The album has some other wonderful gems too, like Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” and a gentle, passionate take on Ed Sheeran’s much-loved song, “Perfect.” The record also includes some original mixes, like the inspired mashup of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” with Aaliyah’s classic number “Are You That Somebody?”

Pentatonix is now a household name across America, and everyone who has heard them undoubtedly has a track that has swiftly become a favorite. If you’re looking to hear more before the show, we recommend their viral video hits ‘Royals’ (originally by New Zealand’s Lorde), or their ground-breaking (325 million views to date) take on Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’. The show promises to be a classic, and tomorrow at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, a crowd of 20,000 will welcome them to the stage with open arms, listening to some of the best and most inventive a cappella vocal arrangements ever heard.

Photo courtesy of RCA Records

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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