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Above & Beyond Group Therapy 100: Our Small Moments In New York City

Group Therapy has always been a place where people can share their stories to gain some sort of meaning in this world. Above & Beyond has transcended that with their radio show Above & Beyond Group Therapy. Over the weekend they showed just how much this radio show means to so many people. We basked in the light, sound, and love that projected from the main stage. We made new friends, shared past memories of their shows, and told each other how much they actually mean to us. It’s extremely hard to quantify an experience like this, but we will do our best.

[divider]Group Therapy 100 Unites Us All[/divider]

Having an electronic show at Madison Square Garden is a bit of a rarity. Given the significance of this broadcast, it only seemed appropriate to have this “garden party” there. This marked the 100th broadcast of Group Therapy, but in actuality marked the 550th radio broadcast for Above & Beyond if you include their previous show, Trance Around The World.

There were a few moments that stuck out to me and people around the world watching on the live stream. Above & Beyond is known for their ability to connect with their audience like none other through a simple format: Being able to type messages across the huge LED screens behind them. At one point during the night, they typed out “Music Unites Us All” and right in the middle of the floor crowd there was a flag that represented that exact sentiment. It was an Israeli flag and a Palestinian flag sewn together with a heart in the middle. This struck a deep cord with me considering that the girl I was with is half Saudi and half Palestinian and I have Jewish heritage. Seeing things like that can leave you overwhelmed by the beauty that music can offer, especially at an Above & Beyond show.

musicunitesusallThe audience there and all over the world responded in kind with Twitter messages flooding the scoreboard screen above the crowd praising the music of Above and Beyond for uniting us all for the largest Group Therapy show to date. To top it off, we saw so many people from the Northwest it was hard to keep up.

[divider]Debuting Music, New & Old[/divider]

They really saved a lot of big guns for this show by premiering remixes and new tracks made by themselves and other artists. One of the songs that stood out was the premiere of Nick Sembers new track Forth. You may know Nick Sember as one half of the power duo Norin & Rad. Nick Sember and Bruce Karlson will still be putting out tracks as Norin & Rad, but you can expect a lot more individual productions from the both of them in the future. If there is anything that we can get out of this it’s that we can expect some great things from Nick Sember as an individual artist.

The night was one that featured plenty of new tracks from Above & Beyond’s upcoming new album. Of course we heard We’re All We Need, featuring the vocal talents of Zoe Johnston, but we also heard a yet to be titled track with Alex Vargas, and another one featuring Johnston again called Peace of Mind. But they did not forget about their roots either, knowing full well they would not be where they are today had it not been for a special album called Sirens of the Sea from their earlier project Oceanlab.

Every time a remix of those incredible tunes came on, the crowd freaking lost it! Little breaks in the music were made so they could hear the entire crowd sing their hearts out to those beautiful lyrics. Needless to say, those moments had us coincidentally get something in our eyes that triggered a liquid-like substance to secrete from the corners of our eyes. Not sure what that is called, but it pretty much lasted the entire set.

The event pretty much started the day before with the premier of their new music video for We’re All We Need in Times Square. Police were in full effect with riot gear and mounted officers. Why that was needed for the premier of a trance music video, we are not sure. The music video is pretty amazing and you can read all about it here.

[divider]The Lucky Fans Who Pushed the Button[/divider]

Perhaps the coolest features of an Above and Beyond show, over any other electronic show, is the “Push The Button” segment in their show. During the performance of  “Blue Sky Action”, Tony McGuiness scanned the crowd to find a lucky fan to do the honors of “pushing the button” and TWO lucky ladies were selected. The raw emotion you could see over the crowd when the button was finally pushed caused a thunderous roar that could be felt in your feet. Similar to what we experience as the 12th man. You can watch the video below.

Over all this performance was nothing short of amazing. The only issues I had in New York had nothing to do with the performance its self. We are extremely lucky to live in the northwest. New York is one filthy city. Everywhere you go, at almost every corner and strewn between the blocks are heaps of trash. Looking out a window when I was at a bar, I actually thought it was snowing at one point with all the debris flying through the air. I fully recognize that New York is a giant city and the logistics of getting the trash out of there must be daunting, but seriously. If you can manage moving eight or so million people around the city with an incredible transportation system, you would think New York would have better management of their trash. All complaints aside, hopefully ABGT 150 will be here in Seattle where it is clean.

All the sets are now up on Soundcloud, the podcast has been released as well, and the full performance is now on Youtube. I have included a link below. Everyone at the Dance Music Northwest head quarters have been playing them none stop since they have been released. Did you watch the live stream? What were your favorite small moments?


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Written By

Phillip was raised on so many different genres of music, it has given him a unique perspective into the ever evolving music scene. Trance music began defining his life at the young age of 14, but thoroughly enjoys any type of music equally. He sees the music as an escape from the daily doldrums of life and says music can change a persons life in an instant pulling from his own experiences. His only goal in life is to share wonderful music with people and take electronic music to a higher plain with more accountability and creating a safer environment for his friends.

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!