Happy Belated New Year’s and a warm welcome to 2018! I hope you rang in the new year surrounded by family or friends, or blankets and pillows if that’s more your style. We spent it with family and friends (and framily, for that matter) in Minneapolis for Above & Beyond‘s special New Year’s show. In short, I can’t recommend seeing them enough, but when it’s a special occasion, they really know how to make it special. Head here for a photo gallery if that’s more your speed.

Taking the reins for the NYE show were Jono and Paavo, fresh from their ‘Common Ground Tour’ kickoff in LA, who took the crowd on a journey through a lot of their new material, as well as some back catalog favorites.

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So much electronic music is so dopamine obsessed, either happy or balls to the wall, where a live show just amounts to smiling and fist-pumping without any real substance. It kind of feels like growing up in the suburbs. But for Above & Beyond and their Group Therapy performances, the substance is 100% there and all of the feels that come with it. Just take a look through the lyrics of their music and you’ll quickly find out why the ‘Group Therapy’ theme makes so much sense. You’ll find heartache, loss, regret, sadness, along with the gamut of positive emotions as well. There is personal growth, lessons learned and pressing on despite wanting to curl up in a ball and cry yourself to sleep. There is progress.

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This is why you’ll see as many people crying at an A&B show as there are people laughing, the tears of joy blending with the tears of sadness, the light with the dark, and it is why it’s important to hug the people around you. One of their shows is also the perfect setting to remind people that they are loved, that they are cared for, and that they are enough.

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This was only the second show hosted in Minneapolis’ newest concert/event venue, the newly renovated Armory. While the building most recently served as a parking garage, the space has a long and storied history of event hosting, dating back to National Guard dances in the 30’s to Minneapolis Lakers games in the 50’s to Aerosmith and Prince videos in the 80’s and 90’s. Given my experience on Sunday night, it looks like it has a bright future ahead of it as well. If you’re in the area, keep an eye on their event calendar, as they’re under the watchful eye of local production company SIM Shows’ head Jack Trash. That’s a good thing for anybody with even a passing interest in electronic music, and a great thing for people who love it. Like us.

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I hope so, too, fellas. Until next time…
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Finishing up the night was Minneapolis native and Anjunabeats labelmate, Jason Ross, who picked right up where A&B left off, plunging from the emotional cliffhanger briefly into the abyss before thrusting back up like a firework. It helped to keep everybody’s feet moving, ushering in a new year in a really positive place.

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I work, live and play in Minneapolis.

I try to tell the story of the people that create music and experiences through pictures as well as through words.