[Review] Above & Beyond #GroupTherapy LA @ The Shrine Auditorium

This past weekend, trance fans from the West Coast (and beyond) reveled in the long-awaited return of the the powerhouse progressive trance trio Above & Beyond to Los Angeles. The group had not performed in Los Angeles on such a scale since their Trance Around the World 350 celebration at the Hollywood Palladium in December 2010 and anticipation had been running high in Southern California. When Above & Beyond’s record label, Anjunabeats, announced one #GroupTherapyLA date back in February, the response was so overwhelming they quickly added a second and even third date to the event at The Shrine Auditorium. To make the tour dates even more appealing, the group soon announced they would be joined by the likes of Davi, James Grant (Above & Beyond member Jono Grant’s brother), and Andrew Bayer.

On Friday, Andrew Bayer eased the crowd into the evening playing a range of his own deep house-trance crossover productions largely featured on recent Anjunadeep releases. Although his set was largely fluid and downtempo, he was still able to surprise the crowd with hard-hitting breakdowns. Bayer made sure to feature his and James Grant’s mix of Above & Beyond’s “Prelude”, his ever-popular “Keep Your Secrets” featuring Molly Bancroft, and the haunting and gorgeous “Undertow” bootleg with Ane Brun on vocals. As expected, the set also featured mixes of “In and Out of Phase”, “Counting The Points”, (from his 2011 debut LP It’s Artificial) and Cosmic Gate’s “Nothing Ever Lasts”. He rounded out the night with his remix of OceanLab’s “Secret” as well as the absolute classic Signalrunner’s track, “Meet Me in Montauk”.

Have a listen:

– Above & Beyond – Prelude (Andrew Bayer & James Grant Remix)

– Ane Brun – Undertow (Andrew Bayer Remix)

– Andrew Bayer – Counting The Points

– Signalrunners – Meet Me In Montauk

As Above & Beyond took the stage, the energy was palpable. Not only was the crowd prepared for this major Group Therapy session, but everyone knew to expect the very best lighting and sound production. The Group Therapy tour as a whole has focused less on the traditional vector graphics that DJs tend to use in their productions and more on visuals that appeal to a natural and completely human connection and group is known for how they interact with the crowd by typing on the screen as the sets goes along–a medium much more appreciated and appropriate than screaming into a microphone like a hype man.

The trio opened with Norin & Rad’s remix of Andrew Bayer and Matt Lange’s “In and Out of Phase,” Wippenberg’s remix of their own “Home,” and moved quickly into recent smashes like Porter Robinson’s “Language” and the fantastic production by Mat Zo, his own club mix of “The Sky.” Just as during their #GroupTherapyMiami set, they dropped their remix of Kaskade’s “Room for Happiness” before moving into pounding out massive tracks from the Group Therapy album. The club mix of “On My Way to Heaven” hit just as hard as during their Trance Around the World 400 celebration in Beirut. “Love is Not Enough”, “You Got To Go”, “Every Little Beat”, “Thing Called Love,” and of course “Sun & Moon” all filled the crowd with joy during this 120 minute set. They represented a bit of their 2006 Tri-State album with “Air For Life” and changed it up with a little of Eric Prydz’s remix of the Depeche Mode classic, “Personal Jesus”. To conclude the impressive set, they first moved into “Prelude” from Group Therapy and unexpectedly finished off with the stunning acoustic version of OceanLab’s “On A Good Day” featuring Justine Suissa on vocals.

Have a listen:

– Kaskade feat. Skylar Grey – Room For Happiness (Above & Beyond Club Mix)

– Above & Beyond – On My Way To Heaven (Club Mix)

– Depeche mode – Personal Jesus (Eric Prydz Epic Mix)

– Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab – On A Good Day (Above & Beyond Acoustic Mix)

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