Trance heavyweights, musical shamans, and emotional soujourners, UK trance act Above & Beyond has been touring with their most recent release, Group Therapy, bringing their positive vibes and upbeat energy to shows in Miami, the UK, and now Los Angeles (and more dates to come!). Their string of shows has been a raving success bringing thousands of trance fans and music fans in general together for an experience that can be described as therapeutic, energizing, and meaningful.
After their finale performance last night at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium there is no question in my mind that Above & Beyond has cemented itself as a legend in modern music of this era, not just dance music or trance.
Joining them on their California dates, fellow Anjunabeats labelmate Andrew Bayer opened at 10PM as the night’s main support. Playing an hour and a half set, Mr. Bayer brought out tracks from his new album It’s Artificial, a varying breed of progressive house, trance, techno, electronica and even some glitch-hop. That said, Bayer did his part as an opener well, laying the ground work for what was an incredible and magical night.
In speaking on the album Group Therapy, Jono Grant said:
“We are always looking to explore new territory but try to operate in our own way rather than just trying to follow trends,”
This statement could have not been more true last night. While Paavo was missing from the CDJs, Tony and Jono engaged the crowd with a spritual journey that throughout the enitrity of their 2.5 hour set. Between interacting with the crowd via their visual setup and on-screen messages, the heaps of confetti, and the playful and inflatable Paavo doll, Above & Beyond brought out all the stops in order to make the night unforgettable. Bringing out nearly the entireity of Group Therapy, the masters also played classics such as Can’t Sleep, On A Good Day. Additionally, they played Anjunabeats label mates tracks like Mat Zo’s recent smash The Sky and Maor Levi’s remix of Super8’s Alba. Determined to not be limited by their own or their label’s collections, they dropped Porter Robinson’s Language and a version of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus. Throughout the night, the crowd engaged with A&B as they sang back the lyrics to hits such as Sun & Moon, On My Way To Heaven, Thing Called Love. They have truly captured the heart and soul of trance music.
While some people have said the dance music scene has recently lost it’s way with the increase in mainstream fandom, that could not have been further from the truth last night.
Love was in the air, positivity radiating from concert goers, PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) abound. For many people like myself, music has been an incredibly therapeutic part of our lives, and frankly would not be the same people with out. Above & Beyond has taken this to heart with their releases, their labels Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep and have weaved themselves into the very fabric of their fans lives. They have become an outlet for cathartic release for millions of fans around the world, at a time when most people are often bogged down by their baggage. Last night was a night to release that and be free of it. To move on. To engage in Group Therapy.
To Paavo, Jono, & Tony:
Thank you. You are truly something else and something this world needs.
A devoted fan.
Born and raised in NYC, a full-time student in the Towson/Baltimore, I’ve had a wealth of experience in electronic music. I’ve DJ’d parties and on the radio, and am an aficionado all things Electronic Music with a passion for art in general.
If you have any questions, concerns, comments, you can email me with inquiries and demos at 808sJake@gmail.com
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