Shows have been a bit few and far between lately but with an upcoming flight to California, I knew I needed something to calm my nerves. My flight may not be until tomorrow morning but I’ve been have panic attacks left and right for the past week due to it. I got a new tattoo thinking it would help and it did, for just a day. I chopped all of my hair off thinking it may help relax me and it did, but just for a day. I knew what I needed and what I needed was a concert. I didn’t care which one, I just needed that bass making my heart thump and the stars in my eyes. I may have not known much about any of the three performers last night but I knew it was a show and I knew it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
My timing was perfect and as soon as I found my spot in the huge Xcel Energy Center, the lights went down and Citizen Queen took the stage and graced the audience with their presence for four songs. Honestly, it could have been thirty-four songs and it would not have been enough. Hailing from Los Angeles, Citizen Queen is an a cappella group that truly hits all of the right notes. They are young, fresh and a true representation of girl power. They absolutely nailed “Evolution of Girl Groups” which is exactly that– a song full of hits from the girl groups of years gone by. There was a sense of fury and passion as they performed that left me absolutely captivated by these kids. Some are calling them the new female version of the Pentatonix but I think these girls are innovators and are blazing their own path and I, for one, can’t wait to see where that takes them.
38 year old Rachel Platten was up next and to say she instantly stole every heart in the packed arena would be an understatement. A fairly unknown name with a huge list of songs that you do know, As soon as Rachel appeared on stage, her personality shined. Within just a couple of notes on her keyboard, she stopped and asked for help as she was having issues with her pedal. Honestly, it was the cutest way I’ve ever seen a set at an arena show start. It was honest, real and, well, it was Rachel. She was polite as her band members helped her out and then it was off to races with a set that full of feel good moments and truly stunning vocals.
Cracking jokes about how most people in the arena probably had no clue who she was and would be confused when she started singing her final song, “Fight Song”, which majority of people think is sung by Kelly Clarkson (yeah, she called me out), there was something that just screamed lovely about this woman. From the moment she got real with the audience about post-partum issues for new moms (she has a five month old) to when she ran into the crowd and gave everyone she could a hug including the security guards, Rachel came off as the type of person that you just want to be friends with. A truly bright star in an overly ugly world, Rachel Platten is definitely the pop singer we need right now. I woke up this morning still in awe of her positive energy and thankful that I had a chance to experience said energy live.
Closing out the already impressive night of music and talent was the one and only Pentatonix. One of the few groups to bring an a cappella sound to the mainstream, there is no denying the talent and creativity of the members of this group. There was something ridiculously simple about their show. The biggest production elements of their show were just the screens behind them and the stage that also served as a video screen creating a truly amazing visual effect. Other than that, the five members relied on nothing but their voices and their way of rearranging songs in the most creative way and that was clearly all the excited audience needed.
Sure, most of the songs in their set list were covers but that was no surprise being that that’s how they became a Youtube sensation year ago. I think what was surprising for me were the couple of originals they performed. I honestly had no clue this group had original songs when walking into the show last night but they completely blew me away. Having been in choir for a couple of years in high school and having watched some good friends start an a cappella group back then (shout out to 6 on Saturday!), it was refreshing to see that some people stuck with it and turned that passion for choir into something as big as an arena show. It was somehow a bit like a flashback to all of the hours spent in the choral room at my high school but there was also something so modern and fun about it.
From the opening of a couple of Daft Punk songs to the beautiful cello meets beatbox cover of the Game of Thrones theme and all of the songs in-between, there’s absolutely no denying the talent of the five singers in this group. I was left stunned and captivated by the way that, other than a couple of synchro dance moves and the moving pictures below and behind them, they commanded the audience with a sense of ease. The crowd went from roaring applause to complete silence in the blink of an eye as a song was starting. There was a sense of respect throughout the night that I’ve seen musicians at arena shows struggle with yet somehow the Pentatonix didn’t even have to try.
I’m back to freaking out over having to fly to California tomorrow but at least there were a couple of hours last night where I completely forgot about it and just got lost in the music and lights swirling around me. Live music is a hell of a drug. Try it some time.
Venue: Xcel Energy Center
Sausage Fest Meter- 1 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 42
Crowd Surfers- None
Groove-Ability- 7 out of 10
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 8.1 out of 10
Show on Deck- TBA
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