Eric Hutchinson introduced himself as Kelly Clarkson to the Toronto crowd. Sadly his joke fell on some deaf ears, but I heard and laughed! He played a great set and I am a new fan, as I told him via Twitter. He even tweeted me back, following his set, thanking me for commending him on a job well done!
Pentatonix finally graced the stage with all their a cappella wonder. I have been a long-time fan, since discovering PTX on YouTube one day. I too fell into the YouTube vortex and I haven’t looked back since! It was clear by the roaring crowed that I was not the only one who bought a ticket to see Pentatonix as well as Kelly Clarkson. The group performed one of my favourite covers, Lady Gaga’s Telephone. Their cover of Omi’s Cheerleader was a crowd favourite, which is not surprising, as this is one of the anthems of the summer. A personal favourite was the Michael Jackson Medley, which boasts nearly 8 million hits on the group’s YouTube page.
One of the things that I love so much about Pentatonix is the fact that what you hear is genuine, incredibly skillful, and unique. The way the fivesome gracefully progressed through their set allowed each singer to shine in their own right, while always remaining in sync (in all senses of the word). Keeping things soaring high in the upper register are Mitch Grassi and Kirstie Maldonado, Scott Hoying in the middle, Kevin Olusola keeps the beat with vocal percussion and beatboxing, and Avi Kaplan rumbles the bass with a very deep register.
PTX is moving towards more original music and they certainly did not disappoint their fans with “On My Way Home”. The song, strong vocally, is so beautiful and has a very calming sensation. As the crowd chanted along, I had goosebumps throughout the entire song.
I was left wanting more, and was very grateful when Kelly Clarkson brought the band back on stage to perform Heartbeat Song with her towards the end of the show. Scott tweeted how grateful he was for an incredible audience, after the show, telling the world that our standing ovation made him tear up.
I have been to many, many concerts and I have to say that Kelly Clarkson’s realness and genuine personality will stand out to me above others for years to come. Kelly was so candid with the audience, sharing stories of overcoming daddy issues, gloating about her amazing husband and daughter, and being honest about introducing Heartbeat Song slightly earlier.
Kelly opened up the show with “Dance With Me” which got the crowd really excited and ready for a night of dancing ahead. Kelly’s songs are anthemic in nature, having you on your feet jumping and belting along with her. The crowd went wild for “My Life Would Suck Without You” and Behind These Hazel Eyes”, being my two favourites. I was hit with nostalgia as I sang along, remembering high school memories that these songs took me back to.
One of my favourite moments during the concert was when Kelly started to introduce “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You”. Right away, I knew that she was going to play this song. She told the audience how deeply it touches her that everyone has a story for this song and each story is so unique. I couldn’t agree more, as a plethora of moments when this song was my personal anthem came flooding to my mind.
Kelly takes fan requests at every show on her Piece by Piece tour, and a Toronto fan requested a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”. Kelly slowed the song down and absolutely nailed the cover. Sorry Taylor, but in some ways, I preferred Kelly’s version. The slowed down version, accompanied by the piano, even caught the attention of Taylor herself who tweeted, “Kelly Clarkson covered Blank Space and YES.”
Kelly finished off the show with “Since U Been Gone” and I have to say, her raw, incredible talent blew me away on Saturday night. This woman is a powerhouse vocal and she has undeniable talent. My life would suck without her music in it.