Few artists are as instantly recognizable and as impactful as Michael Jackson.
Though Jackson started off singing in The Jackson 5, a family band with his siblings, he later broke out on his own and started releasing albums that redefined pop music.
After Thriller was released, Jackson took the throne as the “King of Pop.” From that period of time, he released so many famous songs that still get played at weddings and parties to this day. But his compositions are so popular that they also inspire all kinds of spin-offs, remixes and covers.
And this performance is no different.
The musical group we’re talking about today is called Two Cellos.
For those who don’t know, the group is a Croatian duo consisting of Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. The two musicians signed to Sony Masterworks in 2011 where they’ve released album after album of instrumental music with a twist.
While there are plenty of cellists out there who play classical music and arrangements, Two Cellos takes famous pop and rock songs and rearranges them for the cellos to breathe a new life into them.
Though the two have all kinds of videos online, one of their most popular is their performance of Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal.”
The video was filmed at Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
While the group consists mostly of Šulić and Hauser, they’re also accompanied by rotating string musicians depending on what city they’re performing in. For those who know the original song, “Smooth Criminal” tends to be a mid-tempo, electric song that has funky, dance vibes about it.
Still, when Two Cellos perform it, they definitely give it their own twist. Instead of making it seem danceable and casual, they give it so much energy that it seems like they’re going to jump out of their chairs!
From the very beginning, the group has the audience clapping along as fast as they can.
As the performance continues, the two cellists cut their bows across the strings in rapid fire movements.
The group is putting so much energy into it that their hair is flying in their faces. Rather than performing the song at its original tempo, they’ve sped it up considerably and turned it into something much more aggressive.
Towards the middle, they even work a little bit of choreography into it from their chairs. Halfway through, they get the audience clapping along with them once again.
After that, it’s time for them both to do some soloing on the cellos.
The entire time the two are completely in tune and perfectly in sync with one another.
By the time its all over, they’re playing as fast as they possibly can. When it’s over, the crowd gives them a huge round of applause—even all the backing musicians can’t believe what they just saw!
Needless to say, the performance has garnered all kinds of attention online and has been viewed some six million times. Still, the group has all kinds of performances on YouTube of almost every recognizable pop or rock song you’ve heard—and they’ve definitely rocked them all.
Congratulations to Two Cellos on an awesome performance and on their continued success! Be sure to watch the entire thing in the clip below:
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