It’s been a big week for Above & Beyond (aka Jono, Paavo Siljamäki and Tony McGuinness). Their studio album ‘Common Ground’ was released 26 January, 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 the 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 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 singles and some of the most loyal fans in all of dance music, the group has probably 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.
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 the album 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 29 December 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.