Over the last two months, The Sherp has been interacting with some truly passionate fans of Above & Beyond from different parts of the world – fans who have ‘Pushed The Button’ at their various events, fans who attended the acoustic show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and the more recent ABGT050 at Alexandra Palace in London, fans who have had the privilege to meet Tony, Jono and Paavo, and also the fans who have not witnessed an Above & Beyond live performance, yet. It has been an absolutely overwhelming experience, to say the least.
It’s beyond amazing how Tony, Jono and Paavo have impacted lives around the world… in ways you cannot even imagine! Some of the incidents the fans shared moved us to tears and at times, we even had goose bumps! We would love to share them with each of you:
(P.S. If I were you, I’d bookmark this page)
1. I saw Above & Beyond for the first time at Creamfields 2013. I traveled across the country purely to see them after being such a huge fan of theirs for a while. During their set, I have never felt such happiness and love within a room of people. I was with my best friend, and although I knew no one else at the gig, it felt like we were one huge family. I’d been struggling the past couple of years with an abortion which I was finding hard to get over, but Above & Beyond changed my life that day. Not only was I at the front having the time of my life just being there, I got chosen to go on stage and push the button to drop ‘Sun & Moon’. It was surreal. Jono told me “this is your moment” and as I looked out at the crowd, I pressed the button and everyone went wild. Paavo and Jono hugged me and honesty it was that moment that I felt life would get better. A quote from that night which I’ll never forget is “inspiration comes from the darkest moments in life” – Above & Beyond gave me faith in myself which I had lost over the years, but they’ve given me the strength to carry on, and for that I will be forever grateful!
– Charlotte Walcott, 18 – England
2. The first time I saw Above & Beyond was at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2010 in Los Angeles, California. It’s actually really funny what happened, I had a love connection. I remember it like it was yesterday, my friend Cesar and I were swaying with all our friends to the beats of Above & Beyond when I looked at him and saw that he was staring back at me. We gazed into each other’s eyes and without having to say anything a switched turned on. A switch that let us both know we could be more than just friends. He didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. We didn’t have to. The love was in the air and it all felt so right. Since that day we started talking and eventually started dating. Less than two months after their set at the Electric Daisy Carnival, we made it official and have been in a relationship since. It has now been a little over three years and I guess I need to thank Above & Beyond for the love in their music. Without them I don’t think that connection would have happened and I wouldn’t be where I am today. To this day I tell him “I love you.” He says “How much?” and I reply “To Above and Beyond!!” (Referencing to when it all started). They say “A couple that raves together stays together.” I know he’s the man I’m going to marry, and I know that when I do Above & Beyond will have a special place in my wedding vows. I never really took the time to think about it but I’d have to say that they have changed my life forever. THANK YOU A&B!
– Tania Vanessa Perez, 22 – Los Angeles, California
3. Paavo, Tony and Jono – three normal guys were brought together by the universe to give humanity a gift – their music. There are literally thousands of DJs who can make a crowd go wild with those breaks, those mash-ups, those “sick drops” but nothing comes close to the quality that Above & Beyond deliver during their shows. Rather than focusing on the adrenaline they focus on the heart, the soul and spirit. They take you on a journey which you never thought you could go on. The out of body-out of mind experience is simply fantastic and overwhelming (no, I wasn’t on any pills). I have been to countless gigs in clubs, stadiums, arenas, expo halls and beaches and seen top of the line DJs play some incredible sets but at the same time I can compare most of them with each other on some level. But what I witnessed in the summer of 2010 at the Marina Bay Sands expo hall cannot be put topped, cannot be outdone and cannot be put in words.
Above & Beyond are one of the selected few who have stayed true to their sound, true to their roots and moreover true to their fans. In an age where everyone is jumping on the EDM wagon, they decided to do an acoustic show and got Skrillex on stage too. In 2012, I was a lucky winner for this private party which Nokia had organized, where Tony played a special set for like 200 people. After the show I managed to get a picture and have like a small conversation with him. Being the fan boy that I am I said, “this is the craziest moment of my life” and he just replied “don’t be silly mate, that moment was when you were born, thanks for coming out tonight, hope you had a nice time!” He shook my hand and just bounced. I was blown away by his persona and was overwhelmed beyond words and I called about some 100 people after that because I was that excited!
Now, going back to my first Above & Beyond gig:
It was August last week and Avalon Singapore had just announced this mega-gig called ‘Avalon at large presents GO!’ and since it was last week of August, it meant that I had to put down my last 100 bucks to buy the ticket (student life :P), which I recklessly did. I got to the venue by 11 o’clock (Flo-Rida also performed that night but let’s just not talk about that, please). Steve Angello and Steve Aoki did some damage post midnight and it was now 4 o’clock in the morning. Since it was a weekday, there were only 1500 of us lucky ones left in the massive expo hall. I’ve never ever had such ridiculous chills going down my spine, and all of a sudden Jono and Paavo just walk up to the console and start doing what they do best – I was just blown away by what was happening! On the massive LED behind they kept displaying these amazing messages like “this is our favorite view of Singapore”. They played the amazing ‘Remember Love’ track by Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold, in remembrance of the Love Parade tragedy, which had happened a month ago and then all of a sudden they played ‘Sun & Moon’ and I went like “W O W”! Then to end the night they just played the instrumental version of ‘On A Good Day’ and the crowd took care of the vocals.
The energy, the atmosphere was simply euphoric. 3 years on (and countless other gigs and festivals in between), that night is still up there for me. It’s not just their music that makes their gigs stand out; it’s also the connection they make with the crowd which makes them so awesome. They are living legends and their music will be heard by the generations to come. And at the same time I consider myself lucky to be living in this golden age of electronic music which has pioneers like Above & Beyond.
– Dipit Sharma, 23 – Singapore
4. I’d like to share with you the story of the day Above & Beyond changed my life, which is the day I ‘pushed the button’ with my best friend at the Electric Zoo Music Festival in NY. I will try to keep it short but I feel it’s only fair to start from the beginning. My older brother first introduced me to A&B about a year ago. Their music immediately stuck with me and inspired me. I remember listening to the first Group Therapy and really connecting with it. The first time I saw A&B live I realized they do the whole ‘push the button’ thing and I dreamed of pushing the button ever since. I had vivid day dreams where I was almost moved to tears trying to imagine what that moment would feel like.
My best friend and I weren’t even planning on going to Ezoo. It wasn’t until the week before that there was a coupon online and we ultimately decided to go. We knew we’d make signs and try and stand as close to the front row as possible. So we went to Ezoo that day wearing A&B shirts that my best friend had made me for my birthday and our ‘push the button’ signs in hand. We got as close to the front as possible and there, we stood for 4 hours in sheer anticipation. Those 4 hours were absolutely terrible. Not only was it incredibly hot, but we were also standing on a ledge that left your legs, feet, and back feeling terrible. People with hoses kept spraying us in the face and people behind us kept trying to elbow or punch you in the face to get in front of you. I remember looking at my poor friend thinking is this really worth it? I had doubts that they were even going to pick someone to push the button. Once A&B took the stage the tears started to flow. Seeing them live is always an emotional experience for me but this was on another level. We held up our signs every so often so Paavo and Tony could see. We hoped that by some small chance we’d be chosen.
Then we saw him. A tall blonde man pointing at us. “You two” he said, just like that. And as they got security to pull us over the fence that’s when I lost it. The tears were uncontrollable. I was in pure shock. I couldn’t believe it. We were actually chosen. My best friend and I were going to stand on stage with Tony and Paavo. And in front of thousands of people we were going to push the button. As we rounded the corner to the back of the stage I was beginning to lose my nerve. I was crying so much that people probably thought I was crazy. All I could manage to say was “thank you”. I must have said it 1000 times. “Thank you so much,” I told them, “you have no idea what this means to me”. When it was about time to go on, they moved us to the back left of the stage. ‘Sun & Moon’ started playing and the lyrics I have come to be so fond of meant that much more. I looked at my best friend and gave her the biggest hug. Without her I knew this moment never would have happened and being able to share it with her made it that much better.
Then Tony came running off the stage towards us. He gave us a big hug and led us around the stage. I remember looking at the crowd and feeling like the wind was knocked out of me. There were so many people it was insane. Then we went up the back steps and with Tony and Paavo by our sides we did it. We pushed the button. The moment I had dreamed of for so long was really coming true. My friend and I became lost in the moment. We jumped higher and harder than we ever thought possible. It’s hard to describe exactly what emotions I felt during this time. Paavo later posted a photo on his Tumblr of us with the caption “pure emotion” – which is exactly what it was. As I walked off the stage I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe my dream had come true. I didn’t want that feeling to ever fade. It’s been almost 4 months since that fateful day. But now even on my darkest days I only need to think back on that moment and it puts a smile on my face. I still can’t thank everyone who made that moment possible enough. Above & Beyond, Tony, Paavo, Jono, and everyone at Anjunabeats changed my life forever that day. Through that one small moment they gave me endless hope and happiness. That moment made me realize that my dreams have no limits, because even my wildest dreams can come true.
If I had to sum it up I guess the main thing I want to say is that Above & Beyond has changed my life. After pushing the button at Ezoo I now fully believe in every single one of my dreams. I can find hope and happiness even on my worst days just by remembering this moment. I am eternally grateful for the love and happiness they have brought to my life. Their music inspires me on a daily basis.
– Laney Bomberger, 23 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania