In a brotherly display of Sacramento love, world-renowned producers Hippie Sabotage made a hometown stop last Wednesday as they kicked off their ‘Lost California Tour’ inside Ace of Spades.
Following their most successful year of touring, Kevin and Jeff Saurer, better known as the Hippies, came to Sacramento determined to share their new body of work and the energy that comes with it. Crowd surfing by the second song of the night, the two brothers set off an enduring series of events, as wild as a high-speed drive along the California coast – reckless, but beautiful.
Looking back at the current year and their collective growth over the last few years, the Hippies are admittedly in a good place right now.
“It’s honestly been a great year for us,” said Kevin. “Getting to end the year going through California, our home turf, and smoking weed and performing for hometown crowds is just a great feeling. I’m super happy with it honestly.”
WIth more than 2.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify, the Hippies have clearly garnered a loyal following, which speaks to their continued efforts to expand their sound and push their own creative boundaries. Stemming from a hip-hop background, their sonics have crossed genres into EDM realms where they stand out during live sets as Jeff gets on vocals and guitar.
Since releasing a quiet project under the pseudonym Johnny Long Chord in 2013, Jeff is comfortable in saying his abilities have always been there, though the assertiveness was misconstrued.
“A lot of it was the confidence,” said Jeff. “I mean – I didn’t wanna play – like I’ve been playing guitar since like middle school but I never thought of myself like a dope guitarist, you know? But once we toured a bunch and I saw other bands, I’m like, I’m better than you at guitar, you know?” [Hippie laughter]
As far as the singing goes, it was his decision to enroll in a music program at UC San Diego that ultimately pushed him to strive for more within himself.
“The singing – it was my final project in school,” said Jeff. “You had to like, for music, it was like pick the thing in music that you’re the worst at. I was like, ‘I can’t sing, I’ve never sang,’ so I made a project where I called myself Johnny Long Chord, and then, it just led to that and people fu***d with it and then I’ve just been doing it ever since.”
Highlighted in the release of last year’s “Drifter,” tracks such as “Different,” “Devil Eyes,” and “Angels on My Side” have planted the proper seeds for fans to grow with the introspective lyrics and menacing tone of Jeff’s voice.
“It’s just another tool in the arsenal when we’re creating stuff,” said Kevin. “It’s like ‘alright this beat’s awesome, who do you hear on it?’ ‘I guess I can sing on it and I could make it sound good.'”
On Wednesday night, one could feel the nerves of an emerging vocalist’s desire to do his best before a live crowd. Reassured by the presence of his brother and the swarm of fans, the hunger to be great would fill the venue with ease, alongside a new age of psychedelic visuals.
Throughout the show there were times that felt like Kevin lives off more energy than a cup of Weatherstone coffee could ever offer. His determination to keep the party going remains unmatched and perfectly complimented by his aggressively sweet words of encouragement throughout the night – a staple of sorts during their live shows – which would eventually lead to an open invite for everyone to rush the stage during “Stay High” – another staple.
“Some of these places like Redway, we don’t know if we have a thousand fans there,” said Kevin. “But I know, when we leave, that we’re going to have done our best to try to have made a thousand fans and I think that’s just always our attitude, is just never taking it for granted and always trying to make new fans with every show opportunity that we’re given.”
As Kevin and Jeff ride out the rest of the year on the fruits of their hard work, they mention a huge investment they plan on taking forward into the next year – something special for their hometown.
“I think it’s something we’re really trying to do next year, we’re not taking it lightly,” said Kevin. “It’s not something we could just pop up, but I think that’s something we would love to do, just like we said, being from Sacramento and being born and raised here, we’d love to be able to do a music festival that we could do every year and just kind of both give back and just have a great fu****g time.”
The ‘Lost California Tour’ continues this weekend with two shows in Santa Cruz. For more information on show dates and everything Hippie Sabotage, visit HippieSabotage.com.
Photos courtesy of Hippie Sabotage.