The air is electric, yet calming. A gentle wind blows through the air. It's the perfect summer evening. The lights go down in the venue, and Above & Beyond, the progressive trance outfit from the United Kingdom, make their way onto the stage as they get ready to perform a sold-out show (the second of a two-night stand) at Berkeley, CA's beloved Greek Theater.
Only this time, the situation is a bit different. See, this isn't anything like the DJ set they're accustomed to playing (they sold out an astounding number of shows when they performed as a DJ group in the Bay Area last year at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium). No, this time they've done something a bit different. They've taken a number of electronic tracks they've produced and won the world over with for years, completely deconstructed them, and rearranged them as acoustic tracks. In order to bring these songs to life, the trio enlisted vocalists and other classical instrumentalists to go on a tour with them and perform these tracks in a brand new, non-EDM environment. This was the Acoustic Tour.
The tour was done in preparation of the release of the group's second acoustic record, written in the same principle (minus the live audience aspect that is now present at the show). Listening to each of the tracks that I've known for several years ("Sticky Fingers", "Blue Sky Action", "We Are All We Need", "Sun & Moon", just to name a few) in this new arrangement was hauntingly beautiful. The fact that the group brought out each of the vocalists that actually recorded the arrangements for the record with them (something that I've seen producers like Armin Van Buuren do for their tours in the past) added to the authenticity of each of the songs in this format.
The show lasted about an hour and a half, much longer than I had expected a show of this nature to go on. But I didn't mind the length of the show at all; I felt like I was in an incredibly peaceful state of mind, and the performances were beautiful. Confetti adorned the crowd once "Sun & Moon" was performed.
It was a spectacular performance, and one that I hope Above & Beyond bring back to the masses very, very soon.
For more information and music from Above & Beyond, please visit www.facebook.com/aboveandbeyond.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.