Above & Beyond @ Epic, Minneapolis

It's been almost 2 1/2 years since Above & Beyond performed in Minneapolis. As they took the stage, right before midnight on Saturday, their gigantic LED display started off by saying, "Minneapolis, it's been too long."

Currently, on tour for their new artist album, Group Therapy, Above & Beyond have visited a lot of lesser known clubs. I think they intend to have another North American tour later in the year to all the American clubbing hot spots. They've completely skipped over New York and Florida. And have found themselves in Indiana, Ann Arbor, St. Louis, and plenty of Canadian areas too.

I was there in November 2009 when they took the stage and completely reopened my dormant thoughts about the good 'ol days of Trance. All of their tracks were beautiful, melodic, and completely uplifting. I was smiling all night. Read all about it!

Last night was a little different though :/

A lot has changed in Electronic Dance Music over the past 2 years. Electro House and Dubstep (and other) producers and DJs have brought the music genre into the mainstream, and popularity is currently at a ridiculous high. Above & Beyond have continued to capture the attention of old fans while still raking in new ones. Which made for quite a crowded site.

I've seen Epic (or The Quest) more crowded than it was last night, and still had a fantastic time. But the crowd was a different beast than what I expect from Minneapolis. Almost every time I've attended a DJ event in Minneapolis, the crowd is friendly. They'll give you space, smile at you when you're dancing around, and be quite courteous and mindful of others.

Kids these days... It's all pushing and shoving, and crowding out others while making more space for yourself. Or maybe it's because it feels like the true fans of Minneapolis are STARVED for the type of music that pioneered the scene in the first place. Now, if a remotely decent international DJ finally makes their back way to Minneapolis, every one remoted interested shows up, nerd or not. Not to mention the #5 DJ Act in the world, Above & Beyond.

I expect this kind of behavior from the crowds in Chicago, but Minneapolis? And at a Trance show?

Crowd mentality wasn't the only that has changed since the last time.

In order to stay relevant, Above & Beyond have adapted to the changes in the EDM landscape with their own sound. They have somewhat shifted away from the uplifting melodic sounds that blew me away 2 1/2 years ago, to more mainstream modern day trance, ala Armin van Buuren. Their huge single last year, Sun & Moon, is a perfect example of keeping some hints of melody while totally succuming to hard Trance beats.

I was very very hopeful, when they began their set with Above & Beyond - Filmic, which is a beautiful track, but it turned into modern trance shortly after. I was keeping track of everything they played, but it was pretty damn close to the Data Trasmission Podcast ep 200, and their Essential Mix last year.

Actually, one thing about those two mixes that I found absent in their set last night was the addition of some breaky tracks, or, at least, some breaky soundy tracks. While the mixes were still modern day trance, it was refreshing to hear some of that mixed into it. I don't recall hearing any of that last night.

Blah blah blah, complain complain complain... If I had picked up their new CD and listened to it a little more, I would have certainly been more prepared for modern day Above & Beyond. They should get Ocean Lab back together and make a follow up to Sirens of the Sea!

They did play On a Good (Metropolis) Day. :)

I went up to Minneapolis with Fishy and Five. Five had a great time. He's more into the modern day Trance sound than I am, so he was absolutely in heaven the whole time. Fishy was hopping around with her glue sticks (when we actually had a room), and attracted random people here and there. Also, I was able to meet up with a childhood friend of mine, so the night turned out pretty great. :)

Once the night finished, Above & Beyond exited the stage and raced back to the merch booth. They blew right past Five as Jack Trash announced they're signing stuff at the merch booth. Five turned around and was first in line for signed shit! So, he picked up a $4 tour poster.

Only Paavo and Tony were signing things, though. The third member, Jono, was not back there. Actually, I never saw Jono on stage either. Maybe he was waiting in the bus, or something.

Also, if you noticed the tour dates on that schedule, Minneapolis was the last stop on a 12-day concert binge for them. Today was their first day off since last Tuesday. And these 12 dates are almost the entire tour. That's pretty crazy. Though, I suppose if you have 3 members and only 2 of them are up on stage doing the work, it's not so bad.




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