Group therapy

Tony McGuinness and Jono Grant of the superstar DJ group Above & Beyond spun a powerful and engaging set to a sold out crowd at Beta Nightclub on Sunday, Jan. 29.

The UK-based duo are the founders of the Anjunabeats music label and the creative minds behind Above & Beyond, alongside the Finnish-born Paavo Siljamäki, who was notably absent on Sunday.

One of A&B’s greatest additions to the world of electronic music has been through their projects with other prominent DJs. Sunday’s set was part of Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy tour, which shares the name of their most recent album. The show featured songs by Mat Zo, Richard Bedford and Above & Beyond themselves. The set received strong responses from the crowd.

A high point of the night was the venue wide sing-along to Above & Beyond’s hit track, “Sun & Moon,” featuring Richard Bedford. Beta has undergone several changes in recent weeks, which have functioned to improve the club’s overall operation and atmosphere. By removing several pedestal platforms, Beta’s dance floor has become more open.

The coat check system also received an upgrade and is now more efficient and capable of housing a larger number of garments. However, the most impressive improvement by far is to the sound system. Several speakers have been added to the club’s rear area, which simultaneously improves the venue’s sound quality and contributes to an immersive experience on the dance floor.

The single high quality screen brought by Above & Beyond as part of their Group Therapy tour allowed the artists to showcase strong visuals linked to their set instead of relying on Beta’s dazzling array of lights.

The most effective use of the screen was through the groups communication with the crowd. Typing messages throughout the show, the group kept fans up to date with artists on deck, while also sending personal messages to the crowd.

Surprisingly the crowd did not respond as enthusiastically as expected, milling about in a generally lacklustre manner. Though there was a strong storm of dancing happening in the immediate front of the venue, the middle of the crowd and further back seemed content to bob to the music, packing together, making it difficult for those who wanted to move.

Above & Beyond ranks among one of the top acts to visit Beta since its recent opening and played one of the most impressive sets to date.

Providing over two and a half hours of quality hard pumping trance, it’s no small wonder the trio are currently ranked number five on DJ Magazine’s top 100 list, squeezing between Canadian sensation Deadmau5 and Swedish house heavyweight Avicii.

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