Above & Beyond have been on my list of DJs/producers to see for a while, and somehow they always seemed to elude me. They aren’t only just on my list, as they have been consistently in the upper echelon of DJ Mag’s annual “Top 100 DJs.” I found out they would be headlining the HiFi festival, and figured the time had finally come to become a part the uplifting and euphoric experience that Above & Beyond have mastered.

Above and Beyond

The HiFi festival was a bit smaller than I anticipated but that was fine to me, as I didn’t much care for huge mobs of people. The setup consisted of the main stage and a smaller stage which hosted more local acts which, unfortunately, was directly across from the main stage. You pretty much had to be right in front of the small speaker setup to drown out the music from the main stage, but again it didn’t bother me much because I stuck to the main stage. Though the event started at 2PM (and ended at 10PM), I arrived in the evening to make sure I was able to check out most of the national acts. Kill Paris spun a fun set of glitch hop, future funk and dubstep, while late additions Manufactured Superstars threw down a bumping set of electro and progressive house. Of course, I primarily came to see Above & Beyond and as they started their set everyone else made that quite apparent as well.

Above & Beyond have perfected the craft, mixing emotion with beats you can’t help but dance to and euphoria with a sense of bittersweet melancholy. Though incorporating tech, electro and house, Above & Beyond is at its core a trance act. This means there are rises, breakdowns, straight up dance parts and drops. One is taken on a journey that goes all out and then leaves periods for the audience to take in the experience. Trance is more emotional than other electronic dance styles and fans can relate to their lyrics of love, life and hopes. One of their biggest hits, “Sun & Moon” which of course everyone went wild for, is a great example. My other favorites include “You Got To Go,” “Alchemy,” and “Walter White” a recent tune and ode to the very popular show Breaking Bad.

During their performance, the act would type out real-time messages which would be displayed on the LED screen behind them. Messages relating to the song or messages directed the audience themselves, which just made the experience more personal. Overall, it was a great show and I’m glad I am able to mark another one of the list.

Music featured on the festival could work well in dance oriented cores like Strobe & Kinetic. I know that Above & Beyond is also featured in a variety of custom programs.

– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design