Move over Disneyland, because this weekend Above & Beyond made the Shrine auditorium the happiest place on Earth. In fact, Insomniac’s #GroupTherapyLA show had so much demand that it sold out the Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th shows, which led them to generously open a Thursday night event as well! The loyal following they’ve earned over the years from their fans has really paid off. I felt a very welcoming #trancefamily vibe the entire night; so many who attended wore a variety of Anjunabeats t-shirts and sang the lyrics to the songs with all their hearts.
The exceptionally talented Andrew Bayer arrived as the special treat for the evening with a 90 minute opening set. Hearing his masterfully produced tracks like his version of Rift by Matt Lange on the venue’s killer sound system was nothing short of breathtaking. Later in his set he showcased some of his experimental side with glitch hop off his album It’s Artificial as well as some classics like Meet Me In Montauk from back when he was in Singalrunners. The definite peak of Andrew’s set hit when he dropped his irresistible vocal tune Keep Your Secrets and the crowd exploded with cheers of joy.
Above & Beyond warmed up the crowd nicely with smashing big room bangers including Norin & Rad’s version of In And Out Of Phase by Andrew Bayer and Matt Lange, Language by Porter Robinson, and Mat Zo’s latest beast The Sky. Tracks like Maor Levi’s remix of Alba by Super8 and his recent collaboration with M.I.K.E. Couleurs Du Soleil dealt a harmonious contrast between melody and raw energy.
About an hour in, Above & Beyond announced “Ready for some Group Therapy?” on the huge LED screen and a tremendous roar of excitement filled the room. Kicking off this stage of their mix came their unreleased, epic club mix of On My Way To Heaven which had everyone pumping their fist and bouncing high. They continued with their latest single Love Is Not Enough that swept everyone up in Zoe Johnson’s tear-jerking vocals. As I hoped, they made sure to drop some classics like Helsinki Scorchin by Super8 & Tab and Flaming June by BT & Paul van Dyk. For the show’s outstanding Sun & Moon climax, they invited one lucky fan from the audience who during the show held up a huge sign asking if he could push play for the drop. All I have to say is that there are few people I’ve seen in my life who were as happy as that dude when he pressed it and the entire room flashed blindingly bright as the speakers boomed with bass.
It was impossible to not compare this show with last year’s show at the Palladium, but this year’s show came out on top. They really captured the magic and soul of trance and progressive. They’re currently accepting video submissions taken at the event to be featured in the next A&B TV episode on YouTube. To learn more, see the video with Paavo below and get the full scoop here on their Facebook.