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Above & Beyond At The Greek Theatre: Review

Marc Sessa |
October 15, 2013 | 12:11 a.m. PDT


A&B's normally flashy EDM set was toned down, but still electric, at the Greek. (Photo via Carly Shelar/Facebook)
A&B's normally flashy EDM set was toned down, but still electric, at the Greek. (Photo via Carly Shelar/Facebook)
This weekend, EDM trio Above & Beyond lowered the volume and slowed the tempo down to bring devout fans at the Greek Theatre an intimate acoustic performance unheard of in the electronic dance community.

Performing over the course of two nights, A&B took their acoustic tour to the United States to perform to one of, if not the biggest, electronic dance music markets here in Los Angeles. 

In the cool night air, under the stars, one felt like the performers on stage were creating a spectacle for each individual person. The stage was filled with the same performers from the acoustic set in London; however there was a slight change. The four female string players that accompanied the group were all from California.

The group performed popular songs such as “Sun and Moon” and “Thing Called Love” but just for the U.S. tour three new songs were added. In the words of Tony McGuinness, they were “new to [A&B] but old to us.” They even released their new song “Making Plans” during the first night’s performance on Saturday.

READ MORE: The Weeknd At The Greek Theatre: Review

Normally, monstrous LED panels enhance A&B’s DJ sets with stunning visuals but how could the trio provide the same experience with an acoustic set?

Simple. A mixture of small scale light panels, a large disco ball, a projector, and light fixtures arranged in an arc behind the members on stage. They accented the singers by providing different lighting throughout the night. 

As the music would begin to climax during certain songs, the light fixtures would intensify to their maximum brightness to fill the venue with light. Projections of stars would appear on the backdrop and swirl with the wistful music to accent the stars above. And at certain points throughout the performance, most memorably being at the end of the night, confetti would slowly stream out from boxes at the top of the stage to transport the audience into another realm.

Finally, the recognizable voices of Zoë Johnston brought new life to the stage all the while simultaneously bringing the audience back to the songs they knew and loved. And even a special guest showed up to help the group on the second night on Sunday: Skrillex.

During “Black Room Boy,” dubstep artist Skrillex joined A&B on stage to play guitar during their single, which made for a very memorable moment that no one would have expected.

Acoustic or not, Above and Beyond continues to assert that they are one of THE electronic groups to see before you die. At the end of their shows they put the phrase “Life is made of small moments like these,” and I truly felt like they meant it after this emotional perfomance.

If you have not had the opportunity to see them perform in person I would recommend you find out the next time they are in a city near you and purchase a ticket immediately. You will not be disappointed.

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Contributor Marc Sessa here.



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