It seems like “a cappella” has somehow become synonymous with the words “nerdy,“ “unpopular,” and “lame”. Pentatonix and The Backbeats would have to disagree.
On Sunday night, these veterans of NBC’s a cappella reality series The Sing-Off put on a show at Universal Studios CityWalk for almost 1,000 people. While both groups performed some oldies—The Backbeats’ Kenton Chen delivered a spot-on impression of Fred Schneider during their rendition of “Love Shack”—the matching outfits and metronomical snapping so often associated with a cappella were noticeably absent.
What’s more, neither group fell prey to the barbershop quartet stigma often associated with the genre. Instead, they filled their sets with crowd pleasers and Billboard chart toppers. The Backbeats’ Rachel Saltzman, a soulful powerhouse, started the night off by soloing Katy Perry’s "Firework." Pentatonix, at the incessant behest of the crowd, performed their hit cover of Gotye’s "Somebody That I Used To Know."