Marquee Nightclub in the Cosmopolitan was more packed than ever Saturday night, with shoulder to shoulder throngs of Above & Beyond fans, all jockeying for position to see the UK’s biggest DJs launch their new Las Vegas residency. Their forward thinking trance and emotional trance has garnered them legions of followers and awards, currently nominated for six International Dance Music Awards: “Best European DJ”, “Best Radio Mix Show DJ”, “Best Artist” (Group), “Best DJ Mix”, and “Best Podcast”. The multi-talented trio, comprised of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo SiljamÃ¤ki, has been performing for over ten years and has over 30 million listeners to their weekly radio show, Trance Around the World. The concept of Above & Beyond Group Therapy in Vegas is the positive influence of music to overcome life’s hardships; “We’ve been touring the world and have been amazed how listening to and dancing to music with others helps us through good and tough times in our lives.”
The VIP service guests were standing atop their booths, craning their necks to get a closer look at the performance, all dancing from their perches. The crowd was enraptured with the performance of “Rapture,” all swaying in unison while five neon green bodybanded and hot pink mohawked girls danced sensuously on the catwalk of the legendary three story Dance Tower. With flesh-toned tops and neon green microminis, blindfolds, and body strings that wove up their calves and thighs, the girls gave the illusion of being topless as they kicked their legs over the rail, isolated their body parts into a slow, rhythmic motion, employed burlesque mannerisms and motions, and three of them kicked simultaneously in a choreographed sequence.
As a lighting rig descended from the ceiling, a white strobe light flooded the club, distorting views and images, flashing and pulsating rapidly to the beat. It was perhaps the most lively vibe yet at a club that is known for its pumping vibe and ability to pack the house on a nightly basis; it was nearly impossible to see through the throngs of their cult-like following of hipsters in skinny jeans, blazers, and razor thin ties, and girls in sequined dresses of all colors. Perhaps the most evocative piece started with a melodic introduction, building progressively in intensity for a high-drama crescendo of deep bass tones and overwhelming audience approval, with the drama of the lights increasing with the drama of the music, filling the club with a soft blue haze. The blue strobe lights matched the blue images displayed on the massive 3-story screen, displaying pithy and provocative statements like “How about those Egyptians?”
The crowd shrieked with excitement and waved their hands throughout the performance, never losing stamina or enthusiasm throughout, maintaining the same zeal from the intro to the end. Above & Beyond has a unique flair for stage presence, managing to electrify and command the people with their music and actions, at one stage, a member of the group lifted his arm, and the entire club unanimously followed suit enthusiastically accompanied with screaming. The ability to elicit a genuine crowd reaction is the mark of a great entertainer, and Above & Beyond ably meets and exceeds that mark. Fans have a lot to look forward to with the impending release of their second artist album Group Therapy, featuring their widely acclaimed single Sun & Moon.