In October, Above & Beyond filled every seat of L.A.’s iconic Greek Theater for two nights in a row of their one-of-a-kind acoustic performance. The concert was an elegant evening filled with crisp, resounding vocals and evocative string renditions of some of the trio’s most celebrated hits. The U.S. debut of Above & Beyond’s live acoustic show confirmed an upcoming Above and Beyond Acoustic album, scheduled for a January 28th release.
As a teaser for fans eager to hear the anticipated acoustic album, Jono, Tony and Paavo have revealed their “Sun & Moon” acoustic rendition. Paavo explains the process in creating the perfect formula for their most famous song: “‘Sun & Moon’ is one of our best-loved songs and probably the one that evokes the biggest crowd response all over the world, so it was an interesting challenge to try to create an acoustic version that might connect in the same way. To then have the chance to perform it live as part of a band – and eventually experience 6,000 people singing it with us at the Greek Theatre – will go down as one of the greatest thrills of our career.”
Listen to Above & Beyond’s “Sun & Moon” Acoustic here.
Hardwell’s Amba Sheperd-assisted hit was one of the biggest tracks of 2012 and along with the official remixes which followed, outlasted the normal lifespan of even the biggest hits. Coming soon as part of the official soundtrack to his ‘I Am Hardwell’ tour alongside radio edits of Hardwell favorites and the much heralded Orchestral Intro version of “Spaceman,” an acoustic version of “Apollo” will be the highlight of the upcoming compilation. It was already a track that tugged at the heart strings of listeners everywhere, but the acoustic version cranks up the emotion without the big room sensibilities that were so prominent in the original. The stripped down acoustic version will hit iTunes alongside the official soundtrack and documentary on December 6th.
“We had these dates reserved for electronic shows.” At 10 p.m. on Saturday night, the Los Angeles crowd was ecstatic that the speaker of those words had left his CDJs at home. Standing on a stage amongst violins, guitars, drums, vocalists, spotlights and sport coats, Above & Beyond’s Tony McGuinness took his turn to command the mic during a break between tracks. Paavo and Jono would also take their turns that night, as, unlike a DJ set, tuning and tweaking replaced seamless transitions. Also unlike a DJ set, the crowd the producers addressed was sitting before them respectably dressed and orderly – at least, most of them.
After stunning Porchester Hall attendees with expertly arranged acoustic performances, Above & Beyond has announced that they’ll be bringing the experience across the pond. On October 12th, Jono, Tony and Paavo will be joined on stage by a string quartet, a harpist and vocalists, including Group Therapy’s Zoe Johnson, in an evening of emotive instrumentation. Though the Los Angeles venue has yet to be announced, the group has promised it will be “very special and fitting.” Presale tickets go on sale August 14th — registration available here.
If you simply can’t swing across the country for the event, fear not: The show coincides with the release of A&B’s acoustic album; meaning you’ll be able to tap into your own acoustic set anytime you like.
Acoustic version of dance music songs are currently all the rage. We’ve heard acoustic versions of Zedd’s “Spectrum” and “Clarity,” Above & Beyond’s “Sun and Moon,” Hardwell’s “Spaceman,” Swedish House Mafia’s “Dont You Worry Child,” and now Kaskade’s “4AM.” The American producer tweeted it out last night alongside the following statement, “Seems like more electronic artists are getting into the idea of doing acoustic versions of their songs. When I filmed this 4 years ago all it did was confuse people and the label just looked at me strangely when I delivered it.” We’re glad the world is finally embracing acoustic remakes especially because 4AM is one of our favorite tunes of all time. Check it out above and let us know in the comments section what other songs you’d like to hear acoustic versions of.
Hardwell recently released an emotional Electric Zoo 2012 aftermovie. Instead of setting the video to one of his many high energy tracks, he gaves fans the opportunity to create an acoustic version of his massive song, “Spaceman.” The winner of the contest was Collin McLoughlin, an aspiring singer with a passion for dance music. McLoughlin has created highly trafficked covers of popular tracks like “Titanium” and “Save The World.” His acoustic version of “Spaceman” doesn’t fall short of the expectations he’s created for himself and is available for purchase via iTunes. Read on to hear his cover of “Titanium.”
Before the release of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child,” members hyped up the track for its “emotional” qualities and word even spread that it could ‘make grown men cry.’ Well, the original mix of the song has already received a fair bit of airplay in nightclubs and at festivals around the world, but now there’s an official acoustic version that really lets John Martin’s soulful vocal shine through.
The slowed-down vocal is laid over gentle guitar riffs, providing a far different sound than the original that you’ve inevitably heard by now. Axwell told Rolling Stone that “A stripped-down version of the song that captures the essence of the messages… was important for us,” and that they wanted to keep the song’s integrity after hearing the vocal from John Martin in LA.
SHM has also uploaded sheet music for the track to their website, which you can find right here. If you end up doing a cover, be sure to drop the link in the comments!
“Spectrum” is certainly in the running for most remixed song of the year. As of now there are seven remixes of varying styles as well as an acoustic version — enough choices to suit anyone’s taste. Although we posted many of them yesterday, the package isn’t complete without the Congorock remix and acoustic version. These two tracks have nothing in common — except that they were birthed from the same song — but each bring something important to the table. The acoustic version is stripped down to nothing but a tinkling piano — played by Zedd — and Matthew Koma’s spectacular vocals. It’s not of the dance music persuasion but it does illuminate Zedd’s versatility and unparalleled talent. Congorock’s version on the other hand is full of synths, melodies, and layered elements. The acoustic version is unfortunately not yet available for purchase.