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Interview:
Pentatonix at The Palace, 5 Things To Know
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Pentatonix knows how to bring the noise without making a lot of it.

The a cappella quintet from Texas won the third season of NBC's "The Sing-Off" in 2011 and has parlayed that into worldwide fame. Its last three albums -- including two Christmas sets -- and an EP have debuted in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200. Its 2014 set "That's Christmas To Me" went double-platinum. PTX has won Grammy Awards each of the past two years, and after opening for Kelly Clarkson on her 2015 tour, and the group is playing arenas on its own.

So we can allow PTX leader Scott Hoying a little ebullience as he gets on the phone from Sacramento, Calif., to talk about his group's success...

PTX is still getting used to being an arena headliner. "Aesthetically from the stage it's really a surreal feeling, having the thrust that goes into the audience and three tiers of people in front of you," Hoying, 25, explains. "It's the most I've ever felt like a pop star, that's for sure. We never really dreamed that this could have been a possibility; I remember thinking it was so cool we could be an OPENER on an arena tour. So having our own is surreal. The entire band is beside itself."

And although everything is bigger, the actual act of singing "hasn't changed that much," according to Hoying. "the main thing is we've made the show longer, which is kind of brutal on our voices. So we're pacing ourself a bit more. We had to change the keys of different songs to make sure we can make it through the set. When you're a capella you're singing the entire time; Even when you're not doing a solo you're doing a background part, so it's a pretty exhausting set. But it has to be longer if it's an arena show."

Pentatonix put out another holiday album, "A Pentatonix Christmas," during October, and Hoying predicts it won't be the last time PTX goes in that direction. "Christmas music and a cappella just go so well together," he explains. "We've had so much fun in the past. We just love it and the fans love it so much, so we keep doing it. And we keep getting new ideas. On this Christmas album we have two original songs. which was a lot of fun to do."

"A Pentatonix Christmas" also features a collaboration with the Manhattan Transfer, one of PTX's idols, on "White Christmas." "It was so amazing," Hoying recalls. "We're definitely vocal group nerds. We always heard about them as one of the most iconic vocal groups of the past. Our old sound guy sings in (the Manhattan Transfer) now. He had that connection to them so he texted them and they were totally down with it. We got the most amazing version of 'White Christmas' I've ever heard, just insanely, completely difficult. The Manhattan Transfer is the bomb and they just killed it. It's one of the top two, top three Christmas songs we've ever done."

PTX is also working on material for its next studio album, the proper follow-up to 2015's "Pentatonix," and the group expects to include even more original music on it. "The next year is going to be a lot of writing, writing camps and just writing as a group, figuring out what our sound is going to be," Hoying says. "We wrote 40 songs for the last album; We're definitely very prolific. So we have a head start on this next album and we're definitely excited to get started."

Pentatonix, Us The Duo and Abi

8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Lapeer Road at I-75.

Tickets are $35-$69.50.

Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.




Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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