A Look Back at Above & Beyond Acoustic USA at The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life (check out her blog too!)

Click here to pre-order the acoustic album + a chance to win it too!

Over the course of two nights at the Greek Theater in LA, on a chilly October weekend, during the year of two thousand and thirteen, trance trio Above & Beyond accompanied by a 13 piece band and three enchanting vocalist, performed a spectacular acoustic show that has never been achieved by any other Electronic Dance Music act. Los Angeles area trance fans impatiently waited for these two nights from the very moment Jono, Paavo & Tony announced that they had set their sights on the USA for their next acoustic show after the first acoustic performance taking place in their hometown of London. Every single moment of this performance was worth the impatient anticipation, after all the quality of performance that Above & Beyond execute is not one that can ever be rushed.

The first three songs performed showcase each vocalist’s unique contribution to the beauty of an awe-inspiring acoustic set. British singer Annie Drury lends her vocals to the climate change inspired “Miracle”, while fan favorite Zoe Johnston sings the dreamer’s ballad “You’ve Got To Go”, and newcomer Alex Vargas sings his heart out to “Thing Called Love” in a rendition that would make Richard Bedford quite proud. In a statement that puts a huge smile on my face and teary eyed, Tony makes a point to mention how delighted he is that Zoe is there live to fully experience what she means to the fans. In that moment it’s clear that this night wouldn’t be the same without Zoe, the raw emotion and pure love that she contributes to each track that she graces. If the first three songs are any indication of what’s in store for the rest of the night, it’s clear that musical magic is ahead.

The show continues with tracks performed from the Group Therapy album and even a few classics from the trio’s first artist album Tri-State, such as “Good For Me”, “Can’t Sleep”, and “Stealing Time.” The eerie landscape of the dark venue at night surrounded by trees appropriately adds a mysterious setting to the goosebump inducing performances of “ No One Earth” and “Sirens of The Sea.” The first surprise of the night is announced as halfway through the night a new song “Blue Sky Action” (video below) inspired by the movie WALL-E, is premiered. Surprises of the night continue as Sonny Moore a.k.a. Skrillex is called on stage as the would be “push the button” guest. Sonny lends his hand on guitar while Tony leads vocals on the dark hearted “Black Room Boy.”

An Above & Beyond acoustic performance wouldn’t be complete without fan favorites “Satelite” and the uplifting “On A Good Day.” Tony announces the last song as “Alone Tonight”, but everyone in the audience knows that just can’t be. Fortunately the absence of  the Group Therapy hit “Sun and Moon”, has not gone unrecognized and the crowd roars in anticipation of an encore. Above and Beyond return to the stage, with Paavo asking “Do you want one more?” If Paavo only knew that the majority of the audience probably would’ve endured hail and thunderstorms for this rare and special performance. A new unnamed song was performed by Tony, with a pleasant embrace from the crowd.

It’s finally that time for “Sun and Moon”, and the audience doesn’t hold back in singing along with Alex to every word and turning it into an acapella. Tony doesn’t hold back and even says “WOW” into the microphone as the crowd begins to sing along. Although this incredible and unique experience has unfortunately come to an end, it’s evident that everyone in the audience has left with a new respect for the personal connection, emotion and musical magic that Above & Beyond are capable of invoking through their passion, love and talent for what they do best, creating beautiful music.

You can pre-order the acoustic album and enter to win it as well by going here.

Did you see Above & Beyond’s very first Acoustic performance in a Hot Air Balloon?