Above & Beyond swept across the length and breadth of the UK over the first week of April, with a tour that took in Belfast, Glasgow, and of course a stop at Brixton Academy in their home city of London. We caught them on their final date on Easter Sunday as they paid a visit to Manchester, capital of northern England and home of a certain Above & Beyond remix.
The location for the show was the city’s historic Albert Hall, which was packed with a few thousand revellers and several kilowatts of sound and lighting. Support came with a somewhat local flavor, with Manchester lad Universal Solution warming the crowd up before Leeds-based Grum took to the stage and provided plenty of progressive trance belters while nicely treading the line between warm-up and main act.
As Easter Sunday rolled into Easter Monday, the main guys themselves took to the stage, nicely raising the roof with plenty of their own hits, as well as a few surprises. The club mixes of recent productions such as Sticky Fingers, We Are All We Need, and Alchemy had the crowd singing along, but their set was far more than just a string of Above & Beyond favorites. The trio’s own take on Salva Mea–refreshingly true to the Faithless original–was shortly followed by their remix of New Order’s Blue Monday, a song that served as a fitting tribute to the city and its legendary club Haçienda, which was located only a few streets away. Keeping the underground vibe well and truly alive, the crowd in Manchester also had something of an old-school feel about it, with an atmosphere that brought back memories of the trio’s early presence on the UK trance scene.
With a busy international touring schedule making domestic shows a relatively rare occurrence, it was certainly refreshing to see just how strong Above & Beyond’s home fanbase have become of late, with a passionate crowd filling every show on the tour to the rafters. With their remaining native dates this year currently limited to Creamfields in August, it’s certainly safe to say their British fans will be waiting with baited breath for their next trip around the UK.
Photos by Jack Kirwin