Above and Beyond brings dance fever to the Capital Region
The trio. From left to right, Siljamäki, McGuinness, & Grant Photo Credit: www. fistpumptheworld.com
Arts & Entertainment Editor
It’s 8:34 p.m. The crowd gathers around like an assembly line outside the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park on Thursday night. Groups of girls are wearing high-waisted shorts, cut-up tank tops and glow in the dark head bands while most of the guys wear simple ensembles of plain white t-shirts, khaki shorts, sneakers and sunglasses. No, everyone isn’t getting ready to go to the beach or some nightclub downtown, but anxiously waiting for Above & Beyond to rock the house tonight.
Above & Beyond is an English trance music trio known for their hypnotizing dubstep beats, flashing lights and engaging performances. Since the 2000s, the group, which is comprised of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki, has transcended electronic dance music and culture with their DJ production, radio shows and their own record label, Anjunabeats.
EDM lovers and bystanders rush towards the stage as the opening DJ spinned on his one’s and two’s and pumps up the crowd for what is in store. In one corner, there are a group of girls having a dance contest and trying to show who has the best moves out of the bunch.
The DJ continues to drop pulsating beats that leave the crowd in ecstasy. With drinks in one hand and their other hand fist pumping high up in the air, everyone is in their own little world, grooving to the sounds of EDM.
The dark and ominous atmosphere of the concert hall is met with a tidal wave of bursts of dance-crazed energy. Everyone is gyrating their hips, bobbing their heads, stomping their feet and getting lost into the beat. It’s almost like they were set in a trance and they would only snap out of it if the music stopped.
And the music did stop at one point but not to just finish the set and the opening act, but to introduce the main attraction to the stage. As Above & Beyond welcomes the crowd, the audience begins to roar with applause and acceptance, as their EDM messiahs are about to relinquish their thoughts and realities and turn them into fading memories.
The group opens up with a bang while performing hits from their Group Therapy LP. Songs like “Things Called Love,” “Alchemy,” “Black Room Boy,” “Sun & Moon,” “On My Way To Heaven,” and “Love is Not Enough,” are all crowd favorites during the concert.
There are people pumping their fists up and down while the beat keeps raging on like a locomotive train. There are people up in the balcony dancing so passionately that you see the sweat dripping from the faces and falling on the charcoal floor.
But no one seems to care, as long as Above & Beyond keeps dropping the hits, then they’ll keep grooving to our heart’s content.
Above & Beyond developed a deep connection with the audience by using the big projection monitor to communicate with concert goers. Before a new song would play, the guys (Siljamäki and Grant were performing on stage, McGuinness was not present), would take turns typing up messages on their MacBook Pro, which will then appear behind them on the projection monitor so that the audience can read and interact with the artists.
From announcing that it was time for some “Group Therapy” and other smash singles, to sharing anecdotes of how a song developed and how much their fans mean to them, the audience really got to taste the creative and expressive efforts Above & Beyond made to make their concert experience unique and genuine.
It’s 12 a.m. The music’s stopped and Above & Beyond thanks the crowd for taking the time to vibe out and party with them. The crowd disperses from the depths of the balcony and corners of the stage and unto the concert hall’s parking lot, where everyone still feels the buzz of EDM euphoria ringing through heads and ears.
But the party isn’t over and it’s looking like the night is young as the sounds of Above & Beyond still linger fresh as everyone hops into their cars and heads home.
Concert flyer for Above & Beyond’s appearence at the Upstate Concert Hall
Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/aboveandbeyond