About two-thirds of the way into their mostly-acoustic performance on Sunday night, their second in a row at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater, Above & Beyond asked their friend with nice glasses, Sonny Moore, to join them on stage. Moore, of course, is multiple-Grammy-winning DJ Skrillex, and the audience audibly realized this upon seeing the longhaired dubstep icon walk onto stage and pick up a guitar. But while Skrillex’s presence lent some star power to the stage, the trance trio needed no assistance with their sound, as across their 90-minute set, they proved not only the durability of their own material, but the possibility in transposing the entire genre of trance to live instrumental form.
As reported in August by Billboard, Above & Beyond first began their acoustic project in London earlier this year, bringing a small orchestra to Los Angeles for just these two shows. The ensemble included a harpist, horn player, upright bassist, string quartet, guitarist, percussionist and three vocalists, plus each member of A&B taking on multiple instrumental duties. The group’s Tony McGuinness acted as de facto emcee, while also playing a variety of guitars and even singing (as he does occasionally on record). Jono Grant sat mostly at a Rhodes while sometimes working a vibraphone and Paavo Siljamäki played a Bösendorfer piano and made a casual attempt at playing the cello on one song.