Phoenix — Infected Mushroom’s tenth studio album Return To The Sauce had fans rushing the streets of downtown Phoenix Friday night to secure a spot inside Monarch Theatre for a special DJ set. One-of-a-kind beats could be felt vibrating out of the dance club as Israeli psychedelic trance duo, Amit “Duvdev” Duvdevani and Erez Eisen (referred to as mega-revolutionaries and twice-ranked as the world’s “10 Best DJ’s” by UK’s DJ Magazine) took command of the room. The evening kicked off with notable openers Binary Hertz, Astony, and Avitas; a perfect cocktail of chunky beats and futuristic electronica to foreshadow what was yet to come.
Lime green and royal blue lights gushed in flashing motions above the entranced crowd as mysterious, three-dimensional psychedelia circumvolved on screen behind the stage. Their infamous visuals are actually known as a mark of transformation for the group, as they first introduced fans to this unique art in 2013 during their “FungusAmongUs Tour”, featuring three-dimensional figures that appear to collapse in on themselves as the music rises and falls. The hypnotizing display serves as the perfect backdrop for Infected Mushroom’s “psy-trippy synthetic rhythms”, having been dubbed by Relentless Beats as both “enigmatic” and “always trippy.”
The vibe of the night was pure ecstasy. People danced with everything they had in them, grinning from ear to ear the whole time — adorned in multi-colored glow sticks, varying Infected Mushroom gear, and glazed looks of general intoxication. The set was a solid two-hour fusion of fan favorites mixed with the full Return To The Sauce album, a dance party to top all dance parties. Curiously, the song titles of the most notable tracks from the evening seemed to perfectly foreshadow the audience’s spirit along the way.
Although it was easy to get lost between one track and the next, it was clear Duvdev and Eisen knew exactly what the people of Phoenix wanted. They started things off with an electrified mash-up of “Return To The Sauce” followed soon after by “Flamingo” and “See Me Now.” As the opening notes to “Becoming Insane” tumbled out of the speakers, the crowd’s energy was on the verge of bubbling over. Bartenders thrust water hoses into the air in tandem, cutting through the dampened air with splices of icy water, sending everybody into a craze of complete euphoria. Senses dimmed and the beats took over; all that mattered was the music.
It was the raw innovation behind Infected Mushroom at work, enrapturing the crowd and never holding back, passionately compelling the audience to mirror their energy with every ounce of being until the set’s closing. Together, we danced furiously through the remaining tracks of Return To The Sauce, erupting louder and louder each time at surprise mixes of tracks like “Special Place”, System of a Down’s “B.Y.O.B.”, and “Deeply Disturbed”. By the night’s end it felt a bit like all of us had left something much needed behind on that dance floor. And that “something” speaks to the magic that is Infected Mushroom: Two producers who invented an entire subgenre of trance music; two creatives who have been captivating listeners for over a decade. Whether it was sweat and spilled drinks or something a bit more meaningful — “saucy” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Binary Hertz Photos: Russ Broty | Infected Mushroom Photos: Ken Kendall
Photo Editor: Katherine Amy Vega
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