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EVENT REVIEW: Above & Beyond in Manchester 25/11/2016

Above & Beyond is considered to be one of the biggest electronic dance music band or project in the world right now with sold out shows in every part of the globe and Grammy nomination as well for their song writing and composition skills. On Thursday 24th they kick off their extensive European tour from Glasgow, after their impressive ABG200 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam that was an absolute joy and incredible success and next was Friday 25th of November in Manchester at the Warehouse Project with a stellar line up that I believe is the best in all their European tour dates. A car park in the day is turned into a futuristic underground venue that definitely recalls the underground rave parties of the 90's and less the big shinny and glossy superclubs of mid 2000. The dark and moody  surroundings offer the illusion of being literally underground but in a highly controlled and secure environment. Thanks to Gareth Jones at Anjunabeats offices I was included in the guest list so I didn't miss the chance to travel from Leeds  to Manchester to attend this monumental event and see Above & Beyond for a third time in 2016. First was at the Albert Hall with their Acoustic 2 tour and then was at Creamfields where I interview them as well. The Warehouse Project event is very special as it started at 10 and finished at 4.30 and it included in the first room acts from Anjunabeats starting with the local talent Universal Solution continuing with Jerome Isma-ae and after Above & Beyond last set was offered by Oliver Smith while  the 2nd room was devoted to Anjunadeep sound with Live performance by Way Out West and magnificent Dj sets by Martin Roth and Cubicolor. 

     I enter the venue at around 10.30 and straight away I tried to familiarise myself with the surrounding  by figuring out where  every room is situated and the most convenient way to go at the front of the Room 1 when Above & Beyond will be performing as the place will be jam packed with trance fans like me trying to be at the forefront of the action. I notice straight away that there were reasonable prices for drinks and enough toilets to avoid endless cues. The cloarkroom busy and the price affordable for each item. The decoration, lighting and lasers were not in full effect yet as the local talent Universal  Solution was warming up Room 1 with very emotional touching synths and relaxing but danceable Anjunabeats  and Anjunadeep style grooves and rhythms. You can call them balearic and soul thrilling if you wish too. Universal Solution set was an ear opener that could take you on a journey as he only knows how to do it.

Way Out West
The time has come to run at  Room 2 to catch from the very start the return of the beloved duo Way Out West with Jody Wisternoff and Nick Warren that both have shinny careers on their own but still Way Out West is a considerable part of their history. Soon they are about to release their new album on Anjunadeep so their set was packed with all the latest productions Tuesday Maybe, the housey Set My Mind and new versions of their evergreen classics Ajare and The Gift. I was waiting for my favourite Jody's track The Bridge but they didn't play it as I guess they focused on Way Out West material and the result was monumental for me. So glad they are back together as these two can do wonders for sure. 

Martin Roth
Next on Room 2 at 12.30 was an ex trance DJ turned into deep melodic tech house meets prog house style, the one and only Martin Roth. I wish one day to return to trance productions but still his sounds are incredible and his set had a nice arrangement of wide variety of deep sexy grooves. What I adored with Martin Roth was his ability to dance like clubbers did throughout his set and make my life difficult as I couldn't catch him to take a photo from him. I consider him one of my beloved electronic music artists.

Next stop was Room 1 as it was about the time for Above & Beyond and as always I'm truly excited to hear their sets and read their nice messages on the screen behind them. Jerome Isma-ae was still playing his own brand of unique mesmerising dreamy prog house warming up perfectly to give the right boost of energy to the crowd. It is not a secret that he has the special talent to create awesome atmosphere. We hope to see him with new release on Anjunabeats or even better on Anjunadeep maybe.

Above & Beyond
The room was hot and sweaty and absolutely full so the lights and lazers started the game and the flicking images started to appear on stage. We were pretty sure that Above & Beyond will soon come on stage for the 2nd day of their ongoing European Tour. Pano and Tony was with us tonight with super banging set packed with their biggest anthems along with many new material from Anjunabeats plus material from other artist they respect as well. Of course the real deal are the vocal anthems that the crowd loves to come together and singalong and feel united as  one. They knew the lyrics by heart and their performance was close to the one of the singers. I think actually that they should record some crowd vocals and incorporate them in one of their tracks or remixes. Counting Down the Days, Sticky Fingers, Another Chance with my beloved Justine Suissa, Sun & Moon, We're All We Need, On My Way To Heaven, Blue Sky Action and new versions of On A Good Day, Sky Falls Down and of course the new single Sink The Lighthouse.

Above & Beyond
Every track was perfect opportunity for the large and diverse crowd to start jumping and dancing and feeling being part of the incredible show. The Push The Button moment was very emotional as Steph and her Dad came on stage to Push The Button and let the confetti explode proving a very precious moment that will stay recorded somewhere in the deep and long corridors of our minds. Great proof that the following of the group is composed by wide range of ages with appeal to everyone who likes his trance above & beyond average selections. Superb mixing with vocals and instrumentals and tendency to entertain and educate with new progressive forward thinking sounds. One word says it all: Brilliant!

Now was about the time to move to Room 2 to enjoy the incredible sounds of Cubicolor well known as 16 Bit Lolitas too. Their album Brainsugar on Anjunadeep is one of coolest in 2016 and actually one of the strongest too. The set was mesmerising and groovy with tripping out sound that melt into the same pot beats of progressive, deep, tech, house and even trancy melodies with very strong vocal ideas that can be full song song or just an addictive vocal snippet. Thankfully he played my favourites like Got This Feeling and their other famous alias 16 Bit Lolitas smooth and velvet hit Deep In My Soul. When deep is made properly and with true depth in it....

I had to leave final destination the Room 1 for the impressive Oliver Smith. What can I say for this ultra talented sweet and humble guy that produces always smashers with his name or as Meramek for his deeper productions and most importantly one of the few artists that he stayed  so loyal with Anjunabeats servicing classy tunes. His set was packed with well known tracks from Anjunabeats catalogue and of course his own floorfillers. I had to experience him Live from the last time that I saw him in Greece before many years and I must confess that was the finest choice to bring this night to the end it really deserved and be one to remember. 

Dimitri Kechagias quick facts review:
[review top="1"]
 [item value="10"]Choice of venue[/item]
 [item value="10"]Decoration of the venue[/item]
  [item value="10"]Venue Efficiency and Effectiveness[/item]
 [item value="10"] Quality & pricing of drinks [/item]
 [item value="10"] Free Water[/item]
 [item value="10"]Vocals and Lyrics[/item]
 [item value="10"]Quality of Above & Beyond DJ set[/item]
 [item value="10"]Visuals & videos supporting Above & Beyond performance[/item]
 [item value="10"]Intensity, Drive and Energy of A&B set[/item]
 [item value="10"]Sound-design and Arrangement of A&B set[/item]
 [item value="10"]Overall Atmosphere[/item]
 [item value="10"]Goosebumps / Shivers moments of A&B set[/item]
 [item value="10"]Emotional affinity and heartfelt moments during A&B set[/item]
 [item value="10"]Originality and Inventiveness in the DJ sets on both rooms[/item]
  [item value="10"]Line-up in both rooms[/item]
   [item value="10"]Universal Solution DJ Set[/item]
  [item value="10"]Way Out West Live[/item]
 [item value="10"]Martin Roth DJ set[/item]
[item value="10"]Jerome Isma-ae DJ set[/item]
 [item value="10"]Oliver Smith DJ set[/item]
 [item value="10"]You can’t get this memorable event out of your head[/item]
 [item value="10"]It has potential to become the event of the year[/item]
 [item value="10"]Above & Beyond in Warehouse Project in Manchester[/item]
 [content title="Summary" label="Overall Score"]Without any hesitation Above & Beyond have set the bar very high with their second show in their European tour. This night was extremely emotional with one of their finest and most mature performances  by playing the well known and by not afraid to take risks. The crowd was totally in tune with them singing and feeling goosebumps throughout experiencing definitely one of those moments that when you will go through all your photos in your facebook album with your grand children you will be proud to state that I was there with all those nice smiling people. The selection of DJs in both room spot on and classy from the start to the end. Manchester is always super special beloved city and they prove their love to Above & Beyond once again. If you are lucky to have them reaching a city near you in their extensive European tour better get your ticket now and be there at the forefront! Who knows who will be next to Push The Button of magic! #PureGold #PureClass Love it [/content]

November 27
Olympia Theatre
Dublin, Ireland 

November 30
Progresja Music Zone
Warsaw, Poland

December 01
Hamburg, Germany

December 02
Backstage Werk
Munich, Germany

December 03
Live Music Hall
Cologne, Germany

December 10
Ancienne Belgique 
Brussels, Belgium

December 11
Elysée Montmartre
Paris, France

December 15
Stockholm, Sweden

December 16
The Circus
Helsinki, Finland

December 17
Copenhagen, Denmark

December 18
Sentrum Scene
Oslo, Norway

Additional info:
Live Dates: http://po.st/ablive
Soundcloud: http://po.st/absc
Instagram: http://po.st/abins