It’s been a truly memorable week for Above & Beyond (aka Jono, Paavo Siljamäki and Tony McGuinness). Their acclaimed studio album Common Ground was released January 26, just a day before a sold out performance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York during Grammy week. While in New York City, the band also hosted a screening of their new concert documentary Above & Beyond Acoustic: Giving Up The Day Job, a film which chronicles their 2016 Hollywood Bowl acoustic performance. Now for the icing on the cake, Above & Beyond’s Common Ground has debuted at an astounding No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, in the company of popular releases from the likes of Migos, Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift, to name a few.
While Common Ground is certainly one of the biggest US chart debuts by a British electronic music act, it’s also a defining moment for independent music – the album was released via Above & Beyond’s own Anjunabeats record label and with the support of its dedicated staff.
However, none of this chart success is a surprise for anyone who’s followed the upward trajectory of the band. Since forming in 2000, Above & Beyond has consistently pushed the envelope to redefine what songwriting and live presentation in dance music is all about. Lead by four studio albums (Tri-State, Group Therapy, We Are All We Need, and Common Ground), two more albums for their acoustic side project (Acoustic and Acoustic II), numerous hit singles and the most loyal fans in all of dance music, Above & Beyond has outgrown nightclubs to sell-out some of the world’s most prestigious venues including The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, The Gorge Amphitheater, Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, London’s 02 Arena and Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome.
Of paramount importance to the success of Above & Beyond is the relationship the band has with its fans – fostering a feeling of positivity, unity and spiritual connectedness. In a testament to Above & Beyond’s songwriting skills and their ability to touch the heart, the group’s live shows have often been described as a near religious experience, where fans from of all walks of life come together to experience the catharsis of A&B’s unique brand of ‘Group Therapy.’
As a special treat for fans, Above & Beyond celebrates a full year of its weekly “Group Therapy” (ABGT) radio show with a massive annual live concert which takes place from an iconic location (Alexandra Palace, Madison Square Garden, etc) and is experienced globally via livestream. The most recent event, ABGT250 took place in September 2017 at The Gorge Amphitheater and was for the first time a multi-day event. A hallmark of ABGT shows, a Twitter feed runs above the stage displaying messages from fans tuning in throughout the world – further cementing a feeling of global togetherness, or common ground.
The release of Common Ground coincides with a tour of the same name – A&B’s most ambitious North American tour to date. Presented by T-Mobile, the tour kicked off on December 29th at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the first full leg of the tour commenced in late January with a Grammy week performance at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Future highlights include stops at Chicago’s Navy Pier, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and a Miami Music Week show at The RC Cola Plant in Miami, Florida, with Seven Lions joining as special guest. This is the final stop on the tour and will be one of the most memorable events during dance music’s signature week of the year.