Gig Review: Above & Beyond Live At Printworks, London

In the constantly evolving ecosystem which surrounds dance music, one entity that has stuck to its powers is Above & Beyond and their innate ability to host some of the most intimate shows the genre has seen. The trio have built quite a reputation for themselves with their breathtakingly beautiful music and remarkable shows, adept at making every single person feel right at home, and that still stands true till date.

The highly adored Trance group announced two shows for London at the iconic Printworks back in December 2018, and the tickets sold out for both the nights in quick succession as soon as they went on sale. Having announced Anjuna regulars Ben Böhmer (live), Trance Wax and Penelope on supporting duties for Day 1 and a rare 3 hour set (even their ABGT sets are just 2 hours long) from Above & Beyond, we knew that the night had something special in store for us. And it was special indeed. Both Penelope and Trance Wax spun some sublime tunes, warming up the crowd perfectly for the headlining act of the night. Up next, Ben Böhmer took the crowd onto a deeper journey with a fantastic 2 hour set featuring his own eclectic brand of gorgeous and groovy deep house. The German DJ/producer played a bevy of his own cuts, including ‘After Earth‘, ‘Ground Control‘, ‘In Memoriam‘ and many others, as more and more people started trickling into the Live Room, just ready for Above & Beyond to take over.

As soon as the clock struck 11 pm, Paavo and Tony took to the consoles to dish out a set that can be only described as transcendental. With a 3 hour set, many fans were expecting Above & Beyond to go slow and build the set with time, but both Paavo and Tony had different plans. Starting the set with Tinlicker’s remix of ‘Need To Feel Loved‘, the duo then went on to drop three IDs back to back, as well as a number of classics from their own and Anjunabeats’ catalog, much to the delight of the Anjuna faithful. As the minutes ticked down, Paavo and Tony kept the energy going with some more high octane cuts, with music from the likes of Virtual Self, Gabriel & Dresden, ilan Bluestone, Oliver Smith among others, leading to the most anticipated moment at any Above & Beyond show. Push The Button. As soon as the set transitioned into ‘Sun & Moon‘, drawing a large cheer from the crowd and launching a full scale sing-along, everyone anticipated what was about to come. The whole venue erupted into a euphoric rapture as soon as the beat dropped and everyone knew they were home. But Above & Beyond still had no plans to stop. Paavo and Tony continued their onslaught with the final songs for the night, and bowed out with ‘Sun In Your Eyes‘ as confetti rained down upon the crowd, with the night culminating into a finale befitting only to an act of Above & Beyond’s stature.

As good as the show was, we have to take a moment to appreciate the venue that is Printworks. Having hosted some absolutely brilliant acts over the months, including Solomun, BICEP, deadmau5, Rufus Du Sol and many more, Printworks is without a doubt one of the best venues in London. With its phenomenal sound system and an industrial warehouse vibe, not to mention the pretty different architectural design that sets it apart from its counterparts, Printworks looks like its all set to define the live electronic music culture in London for years to come.

All images courtesy: Jake Davis