Brothers Kevin and Jeff Saurer who make up the EDM duo, Hippie Sabotage, performed at The Knitting Factory this past Thursday.
The Saurers were born and raised in Sacramento, California, where they started producing hip-hop beats when they were 12 years old. In 2008, the brothers worked with a local producer Chase Moore and later collaborated with Chicago-based hip-hop artists like Calez of the 2008ighties.
The next year, Hippie Sabotage was created.
Soon they were releasing instrumental albums, mixed with hard-hitting kicks of hip-hop and trap.
HS debuted its first studio album, "Vacants EP," in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2014 that it broke into the scene with the breakthrough remix, “Stay High” by Tove Lo, which was promoted by Ellie Goulding. Since then, the duo has released an EP and two albums.
These days, it’s hard for an artist’s music to stand out from the rest, but that’s not an issue for HS. The music produces a feeling like no other. Their combination of both a spiritual and hard-hitting sound, integrating into a unique resonance will send chills down your spine. It’s no wonder how the group accumulated over 1 billion streams. This past fall, the duo went on their Lost California tour and are currently crossing the country on their Beautiful Beyond tour.
The Knitting Factory was packed; people in everything from brightly colored outfits to flannels were squished shoulder to shoulder. Most of the crowd was college-aged, but those in their 30s and 40s also came to enjoy the music.
Many of the attendees were GU students.
“My experience was super awesome. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting because I thought they’d play more vibey-chill music and it was definitely more of a rave, but I loved it nonetheless,” said freshmen Isabella Harris Hamlin. “It was super hype. Everyone was really high energy which I loved.”
Her friend and fellow freshmen, Jessica Lena chimed in.
“It was really fun. We were able to make our way to the front and everyone was super friendly. They had a really cool and vibrant set up. My friend and I met them afterwards, too. I just like the lighthearted, laidback vibe of their music,” Lena said.
The opener was Sebastian Paul, a 23-year-old singer who produces his own electronic music. Some of his popular songs include “Lust Drunk” and “This Crippling Youth.” The atmosphere in the venue during his performance was relaxed and intimate. Blue, orange and purple lights illuminated his multitude of necklaces and open neck shirt. Although his energy wasn’t as high as the following performance, Paul still received hearty applause.
HS fans then waited until finally, the lights in the venue went dim and the screens on stage bloomed into a visual of the sun peeking out above a multicolored horizon. The crowd exploded in cheers. Kevin walked to the front of the stage, while Jeff positioned himself behind the DJ controller. A small flame illuminated Kevin’s face as he lit a joint and the music transitioned into full swing.
Kevin immediately jumped off the stage and stood on the foothold attached to the bar that separated the crowd from the stage while the fans yelled in excitement. The show blasted off with high-energy performances given by the brothers. Kevin jumping and dancing around while he led chants.
Kevin stage dove and the crowd excitedly supported him as he floated on his back around the venue. Jeff walked up to the front of the stage from behind the DJ controller and sang “Devil Eyes” while he played his guitar, his long hair covering most of his face. Jeff repeated this a few times throughout the show, performing various songs[NGRM1] like “Stay High,” “Different” and “Options.”
The visuals on the screens behind them varied throughout the performance, from psychedelic images and patterns to images of the brothers.
During the middle of the show, Kevin grabbed a water bottle, took a few sips and splashed the rest at the hot crowd. He did this several times throughout the show and large packs of water bottles were brought out by the group’s manager, which Kevin handed out to the active and sweaty crowd. Merchandise, like T-shirts, was also thrown out into the crowd by the brothers.
After they played their last song and the stage, the crowd immediately chanted “encore.” Happy to oblige, HS played a couple more songs, closing their performance with a bang. Although they were drenched in sweat, the energy never dipped. They left with smiles on their faces and peace signs in the air. After the show, HS walked onto the venue floor and positioned themselves next to the merchandise store, happily taking pictures with fans and signing merchandise.
Outside of the venue, it was a brisk and quiet night. In the Knitting Factory, it was quite the opposite. HS gave a performance for the books, with high energy, positive vibes and of course, distinguished and enjoyable music.
Kyle Breunling is a staff writer.