Original article published for Mediazink, available here :
Store Vega, 22nd January 2015
5 0ut of 6 stars
Trance trio Above & Beyond brightened an otherwise dull and insipid Thursday evening with a furore of a party that attested to why they are as highly ranked an outfit as they are.
Playing to a capacity – packed Store Vega, Jono Grant, and Tony McGuinness put the loyal crowd into hysteria with wave upon wave of cathartic anthems, punctuated by epic, beat – free pauses that have come to demarcate the trance genre. And whilst the third member of the project, Paavo Siljamäki was absent from the festivities, if he was missed on stage, it certainly did not show.
Above & Beyond: Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki . Photo – Dj Mag California
Above & Beyond’s latest album, We Are Are All We Need provided some of the evening’s fodder and went down well with the jubilant crowd. This is a work that has been well marketed, in keeping with the strong marketing backing that the trio are flanked by in all that they do. And whilst there are certainly several gems on the album, such as the eponymous ‘We Are All We Need” track featuring the talented Zoe Johnston, I personally find myself more inclined to some of their older material such as Tri – state, from as far back as 2006.
The electronic music world finds itself increasingly dominated by the EDM sub-genre and the nefarious showbiz fascination that it pulls in its wake and much to many’s dismay, it is clear that no genre, trance included, can escape its clutches- as much of the material on the latest album demonstrates. This notwithstanding, the music of Above & Beyond has consistently stood out for its sentimentality and thoughtfulness; two elements that are are in abundance on We Are Are All We Need, as they were at Thursday’s show.
Amping the experience, a beautifully -strung light show and massive background imagery turned Store Vega into an amphitheater of dreams; propelled by the pulse of life and the tick of the soul. A monumental confetti burst towards the end summed up the feeling of ethereal nonchalance that the concert created; a sheer elation of being in a very, very comfortable place and a wistful longing for more of the same. . Above & Beyond exited as they’d come; playing softer material that left space for contemplation and unobscured imagination.