There's a love-hate relationship as an audience member when it comes to hearing groups perform ballads.
On one hand, if not done correctly or in other cases, if the interpretation is too literal, they risk losing the audience's attention. Why? Well, in the format of a live concert, we like our emotional and slow singing, but to a degree.
However, this article highlights what a successful ballad should represent and execute. The Afterglow, from the University of California, Davis interpret Rihanna's "Stay" in a way that we can all get behind. Simply because the performance is not linear. Its interpretation is close enough to the original where you get Rihanna's conviction in the duet by The Afterglow's leads, while also transforming the ending to give it momentum as it builds to the end.
It's dark, but with a sense of hope. All of this can only be achieved by the entire group truly delivering their parts. And The Afterglow's pristine sound can really deliver.