California brothers Jeff and Kevin Saurer brought their unique brand of EDM music to a primarily young drive-in audience desperate for a live danceable bet. The Sacramento duo known as Hippie Sabotage played their first concert in over a year at the Concerts in Your Car series at the Ventura Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 24th. The first show the trance masters had done since their ambitious 2020 “Direction of Dreams” was shut down shortly after it began by the COVID-19 pandemic.
By the time Hippie Sabotage took the stage, darkness had descended on the fairgrounds, and a cool spring sea breeze blew through the rows of parked cars. But that didn’t seem to dampen anyone's spirits as people began to gyrate in their pods as soon as the music commenced. The sound system from the stage was just loud enough to send a trance-inducing bass thump across the venue. While it wasn’t a Bassnectar style headbanging, ear-shattering thunderous wall of amplifiers, it was enough for music fans to keep the beat. Some cars equipped with intricate sound systems blared the live radio broadcast creating localized bass-centric zones across the fairgrounds.
Brother Kevin Sauer was the first to address the crowd, sporting a thick pandemic lockdown stylish beard and a dayglo tye-dye sweatshirt with Ventura Beach written on the back. “We haven’t played in over a year. It’s good to be back, “ he explained as the crowd responded enthusiastically. Jeff Saurer immediately took to the turntables as Kevin bounced about the 360-degree stage in a trance like Whirling Dervishes. Essential to the duos infectious performance, elaborate synchronized computer animations towered over the stage, mixed masterfully with live camera images of the performers. The four giant video screens ensured a dazzling video display for anyone in the 360-degree audience.
The pair perform a complex set of trance-inducing jam music that has set them apart from mainstream EDM DJs. Both brothers take turns mixing the beats while the other commands the spotlight in front of the stage. While Kevin uses his frontman time as vocal beat master, Jeff relies on fantastic guitar jams to do the talking for him. Sometimes, the brothers would meet at the mixers for a bit of a jam-off, but their performance style was mainly symbiotic. The brothers played songs with a heavy beat like “Bob Dylan” and “Your Soul," much to the audience's delight. Other songs like “Devil Eyes” transitioned into more sultry, moody sounds. While music fans needed to stay close to their vehicles, that didn’t stop them from engaging in all manner of dance trance. Fans in exotic onesies could be seen dancing on the back of flatbed pick-ups. Others dressed as a butterfly with led light-up wings flittered about the area. The pent-up energy for a live EDM show was visceral through the crowd.
The brothers ended with their biggest hit, the remix of Tove Lo’s “Habits” that elected a crescendo of car horns honking and cell phones lighting the night sky.
The Concerts in Your Car series continues with an extraordinary benefit concert mental health awareness on May 20th. The show will feature a small army of Indie music performers including, All Time Low, Fitz and The Tantrums, Lovely The Band, and many more. War will hit the stage on May 29th. Hip Hop star Nelly with Baby Nash will appear on June 12th. The venue also features movies, including an exclusive concert by Bon Jovi n May 22nd.
For more information, visit Concertsinyourcar.com