Weird. The past few days have been weird- to say the least. As many of you know, the trance family was given a shock on Friday, a day that we normally await with fervor, as Above & Beyond announced that their upcoming “Trance Around the World: Episode 450” broadcast will be the group’s final TATW episode. Ever. After celebrating their 450th-show milestone in what will certainly be a special night in Bangalore, India, on the eve of Diwali, the festival of lights, the trio will end a chapter in its legacy that has been a blessing to the music world for over eight years. And for a show that has become an emotional foundation for so many for so long, the announcement of its termination could not have been more abrupt. In the final few seconds of a TATW 449 episode that was nothing short of spectacularly nostalgic, Tony announced: “And finally some news just in: Trance Around the World 450 will be the last ever Trance Around the World. Bye for now.”
And here we are, two days later, still in shock, still in disbelief, still wondering what lies ahead for Above & Beyond—what lies ahead for all of us. Earlier today, A&B tweeted this link to an enigmatic page on their site. A countdown (that expires tomorrow, November 5, at 1:00pm EST). To what we have no idea—and many have taken to the online community with various speculations and analyses. Certainly Friday’s news carried with it countless questions for all of us and today’s mystery has only added to those. Hopefully these questions are answered at the end of this countdown, but that we will not know until the dwindling time expires.
But the one question, perhaps the most important one, that came from Friday’s announcement will in all likelihood remain unanswered: why? Why end Trance Around the World now? Why end Trance Around the World ever?
I was stuck with that question plaguing my mind for the past two days. But today I realized that “why?” is a question that will never be fully satisfied with its answer. “Why?” is an untrusting inquiry– it grows like a weed from seeds of doubt and insecurity. And, at least for me, Above & Beyond has earned my trust, my support and my confidence. They’ve taught me too much about myself, my relationships and my emotions, not to mention about the goodness of this world, as dark as it may seem in this time. And they’ve given us all too much music, wisdom and inspiration for us to question them now—they’ve given us the one thing that all of us lose and will never gain back: time. And they’ve made their time so beautiful. Some of you may choose to remain feeling depressed, betrayed, even angry, but I hope that we can all come to reach an overwhelming sense of gratitude from all of this. Together. Because, no matter what, we are all so thankful for Paavo, Jono and Tony.
Trance Around the World is inevitably done. And with it a great chapter in our experience with Above & Beyond will end. It is up to us, the fans, how we wish to bid the show adieu. Trance Around the World may have seen its end, but Above & Beyond lives on.Yes, the first Fridays spent without the broadcast will be hard, but the lament need not last long. The future could be even brighter for us. We just don’t know it yet. We don’t know the details of the future– we never will. But what we do know is too damn powerful to ignore at this time. We know that Above & Beyond will always be a profound part of all of us, uniting a worldwide community lovingly proud to call itself the trance family. We know that Group Therapy is far more than an album; it’s a message—a strand woven into our souls that connects us, giving us all a common strength to see us through the times we feel alone or vulnerable. We know that somewhere on this earth there are three men who deeply care for all of us, even if they’ve never met most of us, and who truly believe that everyone deserves to dream, to celebrate, in honor of a thing called love.
And we know that, “whatever happens, we’ll be ok… Nah, we’ll be fucking fantastic.”
As we look ahead to our future with Above & Beyond, we smile with the past in mind.
Thank you for all you’ve given us, from the small moments to the sun & moon.
Thank you Paavo, Jono and Tony.
Thank you Above & Beyond.
Written by Derek John.