Show Review: Above & Beyond @ Royale Boston 1.24.12

Tuesday January 24, 2012 was a night I had been highly anticipating for weeks: The #5 DJ act in the world (as of this past Fall according to DJ Mag’s Top 100), Above & Beyond, were coming to Boston’s Royale nightclub.  As a frequent listener of their weekly podcasts (which span OVER TWO HOURS), and as someone who constantly listens to the artists on their record label, I was excited to see what they could do in a club environment. Of course I say this only after having seen part of their set at Electric Zoo 2011. Well before the night arrived, tickets to the show had sold out. ABB were ready to rock the place.

On this particular Tuesday, I had put in a full day at the office (my “day job”), and had spent two hours after work handing out flyers for my promotion team’s up-coming event just two nights later.  Needless to say, I was pretty wiped out to go to a show that was slated to go until 2am. The adrenaline, however, was keeping me fueled up and my partner in crime, Bryant, and I arrived at the venue around 11pm.

After waiting in line for a few minutes, emptying my pockets for a security search, and climbing the stairs to the main dance floor, Bryant and I were greeted by a man wearing a rather unique costume (you’ll see what I mean by viewing our photos). To the average person, this would be a bit startling, but the combination of being at my fair share of festivals and club shows, plus being at a Trance show, left me thinking this was a normal thing. Up until around midnight, DJ Melee was on the decks getting the crowd warmed up. I really enjoyed his set and found it to be a lot different than the Trance we were about to hear.

Once Melee finished up, an epic layer of synths started playing. This was clearly the into to Above & Beyond’s first song. Once the group finally walked on stage to roaring applause, I realized only two of the three members were present: Jano Grant and Tony McGuinness, the latter wearing a Patriots t-shirt. I always wonder why a DJ group consisting of more than one member plays shows when not everyone is present. Do the other members have something more important going on? For example, I’ve seen Nero a handful of times, yet only once were both members there.

While I didn’t recognize the first song, the energy was insanely high and within a few minutes I was hearing the opening groove to “Mozart” by Mat Zo & Arty – perhaps one of my favorite songs from 2011. Bryant and I took advantage of our proximity to the stage to snap some pictures and observe our surroundings. While Jano manned the decks, Tony, with his bleach-blonde hair, walked around and clapped happily with the crowd. I began to realize there were a LOT of males in the crowd and I won’t make any generalizations, but I did happen to notice one guy sitting on another guy’s shoulders. But hey, it’s all about the music right?

I thought the volume could have been louder given that Royale’s system is pretty nice. The video screens ABB used went very well with the music they played. They even had a computer where they could type on screen to the crowd, garnering a particularly rowdy response when they typed “Patriots” on screen. Clearly this event took place before the Superbowl…

All in all people in the crowd were having a great time. Some notable songs that were played were “Forumula Rossa” (ABB’s newest track – where they informed the crowd via video screen that it was named after the fastest roller coaster in the world), “A Thing Called Love”, and a new Maor Levi song that was an absolute BANGER (again – they informed us this via the video screen).

I’m glad I had the opportunity to see Above & Beyond in my hometown and I am looking forward to the next chance I’ll have to see them again. Until then I’ll be a slave to their podcasts…

Click HERE to see our photos from the show as well as a whole pile of other pictures from the EDM world!