Above and Beyond played at The Forum as part of their “We Are All We Need” world tour, with their Los Angeles stop on February 6.
The night started off with Lane 8 from Anjunadeep, sister label to Above and Beyond’s Anjunabeats, playing deep house to get the crowd going. Following was Anjunabeats’ own Mat Zo, known for his collaborations with Kill the Noise and Porter Robinson. His set started at 8:30 p.m. warming up the crowd for the rest of the night.
Then the floor fell silent. The screen lit up, and names swirled across the screens, forming a multicolored hand. Above and Beyond stepped on to the stage, and the night kicked off.
They opened with “We’re All We Need,” the namesake song of their newest album. Above and Beyond played memorable tracks “Hello,” and “Sticky Fingers,” whose accompanying visuals were reminiscent of an old-school James Bond opening sequence.
Above and Beyond also played several fan favorites from their 2011 album “Group Therapy,” such as “You Got To Go,” “Alchemy,” “Home,” and their hit, “Sun and Moon,” of course. They played a few older songs from their Oceanlab moniker, as well as some unreleased tracks (including Andrew Bayer’s “Superhuman”).
Visuals were composed of music videos produced by Above and Beyond (such as the video for “Blue Sky Action”), as well as the geometric visuals that are a mainstay in much of electronic music shows.
An interesting side note was the diversity of the crowd. This wasn’t a night dedicated to raunchy bass and shirtless fraternity “bros.” It was a celebration of the power of music to join people. People of all ages and abilities were present, from club-goers, a couple in their early 50’s, to a girl looking no older than 21 in crutches,supported by her friends. At one point, the main screen read “Music Unites Us All,” and it was easy to see why.
Around 11 p.m. Above and Beyond started to repeat a long, echoing synth, signaling the moment many on the ground floor were waiting for – the “push the button” moment. For the unfamiliar, the “push the button” moment is when a lucky fan is chosen by Above and Beyond to push a button to stop the reverberating sound, unleashing the music for the rest of the night.
The lucky fan was a young girl in a pleather sweater, who looked ecstatic to have been selected – and with good reason. Getting chosen is an honor for any Above and Beyond fan, for in that moment they become part of the show. Not to say that she was the only one with that honor – those on the ground floor had a chance to see themselves projected on the main screen a couple of times throughout the show.
Alas, the night had to come to an end with “Thing Called Love” complete with accompanying hearts onscreen to set the mood. For many present, being present with Above and Beyond was proof that for that night, they were really all they needed.
In an era of big room drops and over-hyped festivals, it’s nice to see the acts like Above and Beyond still draw in large amounts of listeners. It’s a good sign of the future of dance music, as the genre continues to evolve further. From a personal standpoint, there is anticipation to see what Above and Beyond will produce in the future.
The “We Are All We Need” world tour goes on until April 6 with a final show in Belfast, UK.