Above and Beyond Comes to Echostage

By Elina Levit, Bloc Reporter 

Fans of dance music group Above & Beyond attended a show filled with an eclectic range of music genres on March 28 at D.C.’s largest music venue, Echostage.

Above & Beyond consists of three musicians: Jono Grant, 34, Tony McGuinness, 44, and Paavo Siljamäki, 36. The group originated in London, England.

The group members are classically trained DJs and have been compared to acts such as The Smiths and Joy Division.

Freshman neurobiology major Austin Chen said the DJs “[make] songwriting and composition so much less artificial compared to new coming producers who pick up a laptop and torrent software.”

The night began with Roberto Gonzalez, resident DJ for Club Glow.  His set centered mostly around house music. As the night went on, he progressed to electronic and progressive house music.

Freshman letters and sciences major James Faucett said Gonzalez’s performance was satisfactory.

“He wasn’t playing trance music, which is what everyone in the audience listens to, so less people were into his set,” he said.

Around 12 a.m., people excitedly waited for the London group to take the stage.

“It was intense; all the lights went out, and you couldn’t see anyone on stage, and when they got on stage, the lights went on and everyone went nuts,” Faucett said.

Many posters read, “We All Need a Little Group Therapy,” referencing the music group’s second album and weekly radio show.

“There were really good vibes throughout the entire show,” said freshman letters and sciences major Daniel Getz. “Everyone was very friendly, and I felt like I could have a conversation with any stranger.”

Siljamäki and McGuinness connected with audience members by posting comments and motivational phrases on a projector.

“The people who come see the shows all come together from their own different lives to share emotions with each other and connect with Above & Beyond in their own way,” Chen said. “The messages help convey and capture the emotion of the crowd.”

Above & Beyond finished their set with “Alone Tonight,” a song from their album “Acoustic” released in January.

“Playing the acoustic version reminded the audience that [Above & Beyond] is not just [composed] of DJ’s but [they’re] also musicians,” Chen said.

“Their entire set was an emotional roller coaster, but the last song seemed to slow everything down and make the perfect ending.”

The group formed in 2000 when Siljamäki and Grant met at the University of Westminster and found they both had interests in electronic music.

Tony joined the duo later and helped think of the name “Above & Beyond.”

For more information on the group’s 2014 tour dates, visit http://www.aboveandbeyond.nu/.

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