Last year when British trance giants Above & Beyond celebrated 450 episodes of their popular radio show Trance Around The World with a concert in Bangalore,they raised the bar quite high. Word is that electronic dance music (EDM) aficionados now use this as a benchmark for other dance gigs. So when the trio announced Above & Beyond Group Therapy (ABGT) sessions in the country this year,we wondered if it could get any better?
At their Delhi gig on Saturday,held at Amaanta in Kapashera,the outfit comprising old friends Jono Grant,Paavo Siljamäki and Tony McGuinness justified why theyre one of the top 20 EDM outfits in the world.
Organised by Mumbai-based dance music company,Submerge,the ABGT set was preceded by an hour-long performance by American producer-remixer,Jeff Montalvo,better known as Seven Lions. His mash of electro tunes and dubstep upped the excitement levels of 2,000-plus fans who waited for Above & Beyond to take over.
Once the lights dimmed and the LED screen lit up,the crowd roared as the three appeared on stage. They started the two-hour set with Mat Zos The sky and went on to play some of their more popular tracks,mostly from Anjunabeats Vol 10,the outfits compilation under their label. From the first beat till the last song,Above & Beyond kept the tempo up and crowd dancing. There was not a dull moment and it was evident that most attendees were well-versed with every line and synth.
It was quite a high to watch thousands dancing,waving glow sticks in the air and singing out every line. This is where ABGT set the right vibe. It was not just mindless trance. It was an emotional journey,about longing and love,heartbreak and happiness. So when Above & Beyond played Alchemy,it came as no surprise when most around sang It was alchemy/to sing to me/your freedom song/to make love where there was none. Apart from this,the three boys teased the crowd with their latest hit Black room boy and also played an unreleased track.
Hey now and Mirth mobile also had the fans dancing. The outfit interacted with the crowd through personal messages such as Welcome Home and Life is made of small moments like these which flashed on the LED screens through the performance.
After all the concerts that have taken place in the Capital in the last few years,our cynicism has reached a different level. This gig,however,impressed the music revellers with hassle-free parking,accessible food and drinks counters,clean washrooms and small queues. Submerge understands that Above & Beyond steers away from an overly commercial set list of dance music,and they seem to have respected that by keeping it in a small venue.
As the concert approached its Cinderella hour,the three belted out their most popular track till date,Sun & Moon. Even those who just began their Above & Beyond journey knew the song and the crowd burst into Im sorry baby/you were the sun & moon to me/Ill will never get over you/You will never get over me.