Hippo Campus brings the energy

Anya Annear

By Anya Annear
Assistant News Editor
Christopher Hendrickson
Photography Editor


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Hippo Campus brought together many students in the SPU community. Cities like Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and San Diego are among those that have embraced the band’s alternative rock style. Christopher Hendrickson | The Falcon

Outside it was 40 degrees and raining. Inside, the crowd at The Neptune was transported to the summer time.

As the spotlight illuminated the stage, an ecstatic energy surged through the sea of people welcoming Hippo Campus. After the opening act, Sure Sure, Hippo Campus kicked off the night with the smooth rhythms of “Poems,” followed by a throwback from “Bashful Creatures Suicide Saturday.”

The warm blue lights rose from the stage to the crowd, painting them with color as each of the fans swayed to beat of the next song, “way it goes”.

The blend of vocalist Jake Luppen with the lead guitarist Nathan Stocker created playful and polished melodies, giving the crowd a musical ride through the yelps and swoops of the band as the night went on.

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DeCarlo Jackson added his own flair to “way it goes” and other hit songs. Christopher Hendrickson | The Falcon

They played through the songs of their old album “Bashful Creatures” and their newest album “Landmark,” along with tracks from their new EP “Warm Glow.” Many of the old songs created nostalgia for the fans who have been with them since the beginning.

“Someday I hope to go to a Hippo Campus concert and hear them play ‘Last Snowstorm of the Year,’” said sophomore Matthew Benzar, who attended both this concert and the one last year.

This is the second year in a row that Hippo Campus has introduced Seattle to new music on the night of their concert.

In January of last year, the band released their album “Landmark” the day of the show.

The band was joined by trumpeter DeCarlo Jackson who added his skilled brass to songs like “way it goes,” “Monsoon,” and “Interlude.”

Nearing the end of the night, Stocker carried the tune into their single “South,” pausing on the guitar and directing the crowd to generate a more intimate setting. The band’s intention was to take the audience down south for the second to last song of the night.

The band then treated the audience to the song “Buttercup,” to which the band needed no request for the audience to sing along.

The walls of The Neptune echoed while fans sang along every line, jumping and dancing along to a song about a messy break-up.

As the last strum faded from the guitar, the audience wanted only one thing: an encore.

Before long, Hippo Campus brought back the music, carrying the crowd with their crisp and cascading harmonies.

Luppen paused and thanked the audience for their appreciation, expressing that the audience was what made it all worth it.

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Lead guitarist Nathan Stocker illuminated the stage with his energy. Christopher Hendrickson | The Falcon

The spotlight flashed up to drummer Whistler Allen, who closed the night by saying: “Violet, trying to start your riot, trying to get up and then go, so the world will always know.”

Subtly igniting the rebel inside of each listener, “Violet” concluded the evening, still leaving the crowd wanting more.

Senior Hannah Evans said, “For me personally, they played a lot of my favorite songs, but they also had a really relaxed vibe to them, so it didn’t feel like things were too out of control. So we ended up having a really good time.”

For this Minnesota-based band, touring far from home is nothing new.

Cities along the west coast like Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Diego have all embraced the alternative rock band’s style.

Hippo Campus has already been voted as one of the best bands in City Pages’ annual “Picked to Click” poll, according to the Minnesota Public Radio.

For a band that has exploded in popularity in the last year, Hippo Campus most definitely holds up to the hype.