Hippo campus Concert review

Peter Fedyk, Entertainment Editor

Thursday night in the “Hell” venue at Atlanta’s infamous Masquerade can only be described as electric. The indie pop-rock band Hippo Campus-based out of St. Paul, Minnesota played a ten song set, preceded by the opening act, Magic City Hippies, a Miami indie funk band. The show was completely sold out, and the crowd bubbled with anticipation as unrelated songs from the loudspeaker kept the crowd’s ears preoccupied. The crowd’s anticipation was met with the relatively unknown opening set. As a professed fan of Magic City Hippies, I was just as excited for them as the headliners. The band’s unique blend of music was well realized live, and the crowd warmed up to the South Beach natives by the end of their forty minute act. The group’s groovy guitar riffs, drum breaks, baselines, and muffled vocals were particularly proficient at getting the crowd moving. As their time on stage came to an end, the band stacked even more hype for Hippo Campus on to the figurative tower that was towering over the venue. This was followed by ten minutes of loudspeaker tunes; the pit of mostly college students dripped with patient anticipation. Not one person had more important matters to attend to.
Music from the speakers slowly faded in sync with the dimming lights. Hippo Campus emerged from stage right and silently readied their respective instruments. The constant droning hum of “Sun Veins,” the opening track of their debut LP “Landmark” smoothly transitioned into a hit track from the same album, “Way It Goes.” The insanely catchy riff cued an eruption of cheers from the audience, a common theme for the start of each song throughout the night. The tracklist was mostly comprised of “Landmark” songs, but also included a few songs from previous EP’s, such as “South” and “Bashful Creatures.”
The quartet, affectionately known as Turntan, Stitches, Espo, and Beans (their stage names), kept an incredibly high level of energy from start to finish. Hippo Campus is relatively young, and it was clear they were enjoying the set just as much as the fans were. Their high energy performance was well complimented by the fairly simple but effective light rig behind the young band; they constantly changed colors to match the current song’s tone and flashed in higher frequency to emphasize the hard points in songs. However, the lights eventually dimmed, the band quickly thanked their audience, put down their instruments, and exited right stage. Other than the lucky fan that caught Beans’ flung drumstick, the crowd reacted solemnly; that is, until the infamous “one more song’ chant flooded the entire room. After a minute of begging, Hippo Campus quickly ran back to their instruments for an encore. The cheers that followed almost matched the music previously played. Turtan, or Jake Luppen (the lead singer), humbly thanked everyone at the show, and then asked, “You guys want to rock out?” The answer was quite loud. The response to our answer was even louder.
Hippo Campus’ “Landmark” show was incredibly energetic, loud, and a pulse-pounding experience. It was well worth the price of admission; I doubt anyone in that room experienced buyer’s remorse. Though it did not break any ground, the concert not only was a crowd pleaser but a catalyst to mass deafness, a price I happily paid.