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Review: Above & Beyond Arjunabeats Vol. 10 Launch Party at Roseland Ballroom NYC

Above & Beyond - Roseland Ballroom NYC

For anybody in attendance at Roseland Ballroom on Saturday night, my words just simply won’t do justice to what transpired. For those who were not there, my only advice is this: the next opportunity you get to go see Above & Beyond, don’t hesitate.

Electronic music – in terms of its popularity – has made leaps and bounds in the past few years, growing from a somewhat underground, largely unappreciated genre of music to something you hear on the radio. It has not, however, made leaps and bounds in the quality department. Mainstream popularity has brought with it a proliferation of crap – music made on laptops by DJs who are more concerned about getting famous than about the feeling their music invokes in a large crowd of people. And I’d argue that invoking feeling is at the center of good, genuine electronic music – and it’s certainly at the center of trance.

Which is why I jumped at the chance to go see Above & Beyond at Roseland Ballroom in NYC for the launch party of their Arjunabeats Volume 10 album. Above & Beyond are legends – true mainstays of the old guard, the ones who were around before the Aviciis and the Nicky Romeros and the Alessos. The crowd at Roseland wasn’t a bunch of 18-year-olds with bags of lollipops – it was an older crowd comprised of real fans, the fans that know every word to every song and stay from beginning to the very end.

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Above & Beyond came on to a full house and electrified crowd, largely to the credit of Andrew Bayer. I have been to many a show at Roseland, from Swedish House Mafia‘s performance immediately following their groundbreaking show at Madison Square Garden in December 2012 to Deadmau5 in October 2011 when he was (arguably) at his prime. But I have never, ever seen Roseland as packed or vibrating with as much energy as I have on Saturday night.

The beauty of trance is that, when done well, it flows continuously, like a wave – at times, it can be near impossible to distinguish that precise moment when one song has ended and another has begun, even to the biggest of fans. Above & Beyond executed seamlessly.

The feeling in Roseland that night simply cannot be described, and it cannot be replicated. For those who were there when Above & Beyond played “Sun and Moon” or “Thing Called Love,” I need not explain. True, tangible, shared feeling: this is what Above & Beyond created. It’s the essence of house music, and it’s undeniably the essence of Group Therapy.

Photo credits: Doug Van Sant for MadeEvent.com

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