The streets of New York City were extra colourful last weekend as fans, flags and ribbons alike were out and about – all in anticipation for a night with Above & Beyond.  Tony, Paavo and Jono joined 13,000 fans at the renowned Madison Square Garden to celebrate ABGT100, the hundredth episode of their Group Therapy radio show.  A magical night to say the least, The Garden was lit up with the smiles of fans who were decorated in variations of both homemade and official Above & Beyond or Anjunabeats merchandise.

 

While we were sitting in what could have possibly been considered the furthest section at Madison Square Garden, there’s no lying when someone tells you there’s no bad seat in the house there.  We sat on the Chase Bridge, where we had a 180-degree view of the entire arena; overlooking as fans flocked into the stadium.  The night began with an Above & Beyond deep house set, warming the crowd up and leaving many wondering why the trio weren’t on stage, since they were spinning from their backstage studio set-up.  Nonetheless, the energy levels only increased as the night continued, with an impressive set by Ilan Bluestone.

 

This was Ilan’s debut on ABGT, playing all of his biggest hits including “Tension,” “Spheres,” and “Atlantis.”  Closing his set off with his mashup of his own “Big Ben” with Above & Beyond’s “Black Room Boy,” he had the crowd chanting, dancing and preparing themselves for the main event.

 

But first, former New York resident Andrew Bayer took to the stage.  Having not heard any of his music prior to attending ABGT100, I had no idea what to expect.  Sixty minutes later, it turned out being one of my top sets of the night.  Bayer built up the tempo before dropping “Bullet Catch,” evidently a crowd favourite through the screams and tweets that were livecasted on the Madison Square Garden scoreboard.  One fan’s tweet read, “Bruno Mars can catch grenades but Andrew Bayer can catch bullets.”  Seconds after, Bayer dropped a remix of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” by fellow Anjunabeats mate Audien.  He ended with a world premiere of his new track “Superhuman,” made with Asbjorn.

 

Mat Zo transformed The Garden into a “mad zoo” for an hour, playing to a now full stadium.  Showcasing his versatility in track selection, Mat Zo went from the deep sounds of Sander Van Doorn & Oliver Heldens’ “This,” to  the funky “BONK!” by Lazy Rich & Hot Mouth.  An upbeat vibe carried throughout his set with some Duck Sauce, Wolfgang Gartner, and Knife Party.  Mat Zo dropped “Something Something Champs” by Kaskade & Moguai ft. Zip Zip Through The Night, bringing the crowd into a transition that slowly introduced the “feels” as we approached the final minutes of his set – and we all knew who was coming next…

 

Chills took over my body each time the Group Therapy intro played (before each act’s set).  You can only imagine the temperature drop I felt once it was time for Above & Beyond to hit the stage.  They opened with “We Are All We Need,” the latest single off their recently announced album of the same title.  Even though the track and video had only been premiered the day before (in Times Square!) it brought a sound all very familiar to the crowd, who were singing and loving every minute of it.

 

While the stadium was predominantly seating area, they were seldom used (unless one was taking a moment to sit down and take in the magic that was ABGT100, or wiping tears from their eyes).  Above & Beyond had everyone dancing to a number of ID tracks that were presumably off their new album.  The first hour seemed to be a showcase of all the goodness being cooked up in the Anjuna kitchen, with songs by Sunny Lax, Genix, and a new one of theirs featuring the talented Zoe Johnston.  The final 20 minutes of Above & Beyond’s set triggered maximal “feels” with their OceanLab favourite, “Satelite,”bringing the entire crowd to a karaoke session as Tony, Paavo and Jono witnessed in awe.  “Blue Sky Action” followed, and was another special moment of the night as two lucky fans were brought up to push the button.  Before we knew it, ABGT100 came to an emotional close, with “Thing Called Love” as the stadium lit up red with lights and confetti and a chorus of 13,000 strong.  While exiting The Garden involved plenty of waiting and traffic, everyone either left with a smile, teary eyes, or both – all of which were signs of a memorable night.

ABGT100 was streamed online for fans all over the world to experience, and is available for viewing at the link below.  As read on the screen, “life is made of small moments like this,” and now you can relive this one, over and over again.  Or catch them on the road in the new year, as a global tour will be accompanying the release of “We Are All We Need,” set for release on January 20th.

 

• Watch ABGT100

• Listen on SoundCloud

• Pre-Order “We Are All We Need” on iTunes

 

Photo Credit:  Rukes

 

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