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.
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.
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.